After 18 years, the organic-focused skin-care brand Juice Beauty is getting a new CEO.
Karen Behnke, founder of Juice Beauty, is stepping down from her role as CEO and will move into a full-time product development role. Beauty veteran Lance Patterson has taken on the CEO role, having held various roles in the past 25 years within LVMH, Peter Thomas Roth and Kate Somerville. This announcement comes as the brand is actively rebounding in sales following the global pandemic of 2020 and working to solidify its position in the organic-clean beauty category. Its additional recent hires include a head of marketing in Sept. 2023. Currently, the brand is actively searching for an executive leader of digital, which will mark the first time such a role has been executive-level at Juice Beauty.
Juice Beauty earned about $100 million in retail sales for fiscal year 2018, which ended in June 2019. Behnke said its annual sales hover around the $100 million mark; sales were “flat” in 2020 before returning to growth. At the onset of Covid-19, Behnke said the brand’s sales were underpenetrated in e-commerce, which attributed to flat sales, but she and Patterson declined to share specifics. Privately-held Juice Beauty’s investors include Invus Group, lifestyle investor Amanda Eilian, TPG Capital founder Bill Price and Gwyneth Paltrow.
“We have a lot of growth ahead of us and more strategic decisions that we can [make] to grow the company,” said Behnke.
Since 2020, Juice Beauty has partnered with celebrities like actress Kate Bosworth and Kate Hudson, launched a TikTok account, and expanded to India.
Patterson said that his 2024 goals for the brand are shifting Behnke into a consumer-facing founder role via social media and retail appearances, as well as amplifying the promotion of the brand’s clinical testing results. Additional big moments planned for 2024 include a March media campaign and press/influencer mailer for its hero product Exfoliating Peel Spray, followed by a late-summer product launch. Beyond 2024, Patterson is eying more retail and international expansion in Europe and the U.K. Juice Beauty is currently sold in retailers including Amazon, Ulta Beauty and Sephora Canada.
With the rise of the clean beauty category over the last six years has ushered in a paradigm shift in how beauty products are formulated and bought. However, as the category has become more mainstream, it has also lost its uniqueness, and many long-time clean players are jousting to position themselves as the originators of the clean movement. But brands including Kora Organics and Juice Beauty are instead gravitating towards certified-organic messaging, as — unlike “clean” products — certified-organics products have existing rules and regulations for what can be labeled as organic. Juice Beauty uses organic ingredients. In 2018, the brand began leasing land from Price Family Vineyards & Estates in Sonoma, Calif., where it grows organic apples and olive trees, plus primrose and lilies.
“Many other brands call themselves clean are not fully what they say, and that’s where the consumer gets confused,” said Patterson. “Our dirty list [and organic position] is something we’re proud of and embrace. We have to help educate people on what is truly organic and what’s truly sustainable.”