Burt's Bees

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Burt's Bees
Typeprivately held [1]
Founded1984 [2]
FounderRoxanne Quimby
Burt Shavitz[1]
HeadquartersTemplate:Country data USA Durham, North Carolina [3], USA
Area servedUS, UK, Ireland, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan[1]
Key peopleJohn Replogle - President, CEO [4]
Industryconsumer products
Productsnatural personal care products
Employees420 (2005) [5]
SloganEarth Friendly Natural Personal Care for The Greater Good

Burt's Bees is an "Earth friendly, Natural Personal Care Company."[6] making products for personal care, health, beauty, and personal hygiene. As of 2007, they manufacture over 150 products for facial and body skin care, lip care, hair care, baby care, men's grooming, and outdoor remedies[1] distributed in nearly 30,000 retail outlets including grocery stores and drug store chains across the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Hong Kong, and Taiwan from their headquarters in Durham, NC.[7][1] Burt's Bees manufactures their products with natural ingredients[8] using minimal processing such as distillation/condensation, extraction/steamed distillation/pressure cooking and hydrolysis to maintain the purity of those ingredients.[9] In addition, every product has a "natural bar" which gives a percentage of natural ingredients in that product, often with detailed ingredient descriptions.[10] Burt's Bees operates under a business model referred to as "The Greater Good," which outlines that all company practices must be socially responsible. To reflect this philosophy, Burt's Bees uses all natural ingredients,[11] engages in environmentally friendly business practices,[12] and extends its humanitarian efforts to the community at large.[13]

Originating in Maine in the 1980s, the business began by bottling and selling honey, a practice that slowly diminished as the company evolved as a corporation.[citation needed] Eventually, other products using honey and beeswax, including edible spreads and furniture polish, were sold, before moving into the personal care line.[citation needed]


Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

All products listed below were from the Burt's Bees product page.[7]

  • face care (cleansers, exfoliants, toners, moisturizers, skin treatments, eye creams)
  • lip care (lip balms, lip glosses, lip shimmers)
  • body care (body washes, soaps, moisturizers, bath oils)
  • hand care (hand soaps, hand moisturizers)
  • foot care (foot creams, lotions, pumice stones)
  • hair care (shampoos, conditioners, hair treatments)
  • baby care (baby washes and soaps, diaper care, moisturizers)
  • pregnant mother care (belly moisturizer, leg and foot cream, baby oil)
  • mens' grooming (body washes, soaps, shaving materials, moisturizers, cologne)
  • sun and outdoors care (sunscreens, lip balms, body washes, soaps, moisturizers, skin protection, skin irritation products)


Burt's Bees products come in regular and sample sizes which are available in natural and specialty food markets (e.g. Trader Joe's & Whole Foods Market). In 2005, the traditional pharmacy chains, CVS and Walgreens, began selling the products. They are also sold at Target and Borders Books outlets.



Burt's Bees originated in Maine as a candle making partnership between Roxanne Quimby and Burt Shavitz in 1984. Shavitz had a honey business which provided the excess beeswax needed for the candles and Quimby's focus on maintaining high quality helped to grow their business from an initial $200 at the Dover-Foxcroft Junior High School craft fair to $20,000 by the end of their first year. Their first headquarters was an abandoned one-room schoolhouse rented out from a friend for $150 a year.[14]


Burt's Bees increased production after a New York boutique, Zona, ordered hundreds of their beeswax candles. Forty additional employees were hired and an abandoned bowling alley became their new manufacturing location. During this time, Quimby found a 19th century book of home-made personal care recipes and Burt's Bees entered into the personal care products industry.[14]


Burt's Bees became incorporated and had a product offering including candles, natural soaps, perfumes, and eventually lip balm, which became their best-selling product.[1]


Quimby bought out Shavitz's shares in the company. Increasing demand and product offerings necessitated a move from Maine headquarters to North Carolina where other personal care product manufacturers were also situated. Burt's Bees changed its focus to exclusively personal care products.[1]


The new manufacturing location was in an 18,000 square foot former garment factory in Creedmoor, North Carolina. Automated machines, such as a former cafeteria mixer from Duke University, were introduced to increase production, although Burt's Bees continued to focus on the "home-made" product theme. Chapel Hill was the site of the first Burt's Bees retail store which offered 50 natural personal care products. Distribution and demand of products had also reached the Japanese market.[1]


Burt's Bees was offering over 100 natural personal care products in 4,000 locations with sales in excess of $8 million dollars. Distribution had reached higher-end national retailers such as Whole Foods Market and Cracker Barrel. New product offerings branched into travel-sized skin care and hair care products.[1]


Again, with increasing demand and an increase product offering including sugar and milk-based body lotions and bath products, Burt's Bees relocated to Durham amongst many other high-tech companies and enterprises in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. An eCommerce website was launching allowing distribution in a much larger, nationwide scale.[1]


Burt's Bees launched its first toothpaste, first shampoo, and successful Baby Bee product line of infant personal care products. Founder, Roxanne Quimby, also used company-earned profits to preserve 185,000 acres of forest land in Maine, marking the beginning of a relationship with The Nature Conservancy, an international organization engaged in environmental protection and conservation.[1]


Private equity firm, AEA Investors, purchased 80% of Burt's Bees with co-founder, Roxanne Quimby, retaining a 20% share and a seat on the board. [15]


Michael Indursky, a former Garnier and Unilever executive joins Burt's Bees in July to head Burt's Bees marketing and public relations group.[16]


John Replogle, a former general manager of Unilever's skin care division, became the Chief Executive Officer and President, effective from January 19, 2006. Prior to joining Unilever, Replogle served as President of Guinness Bass Import Company, Managing Director of Guinness Great Britain and had several roles in Marketing, Sales and Strategy with Diageo.[17]


Burt's Bees currently offers over 150 natural personal care products in 30,000 retail locations and sales in excess of $250 million (2006)[1] with satellite offices across the United States, UK, Ireland, Canada, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.[1]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 "Our History - Burt's Bees". Retrieved 2007-09-20.
  2. "Burt's Bees". Retrieved 2007-09-20.
  3. "Company FAQs - Burt's Bees". Retrieved 2007-09-20.
  4. "Burt's Bees President & CEO - John Replogle". Retrieved 2007-09-20.
  5. Jones, Amanda (2005-02-10). "Burt's Bees leases more space, plans to add 50 jobs". Triangle Business Journal. American City Business Journals, Inc. Retrieved 2007-09-20. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. "Our Mission and Vision - Burt's Bees". Retrieved 2007-09-21.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Our Products". Retrieved 2007-09-20.
  8. "Natural Ingredients vs. Non-Natural Ingredients". Retrieved 2007-09-21.
  9. "Natural Processes vs. Non-Natural Processes". Retrieved 2007-09-21.
  10. "Setting the Natural Standard - Burt's Bees". Retrieved 2007-09-20.
  11. "Helping Ensure The Greater Good for All". Retrieved 2007-09-21.
  12. "Environmental/Sustainability". Retrieved 2007-09-21.
  13. "Humanitarian/Social Responsibility". Retrieved 2007-09-21.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "The Burt's Bees Story". Retrieved 2007-09-20.
  15. Singer, Natasha (2007-05-16). "It's Not Just Honey". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-09-20. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  16. "Mike Indursky - Chief Marketing and Strategic Officer". Retrieved 2007-09-20.
  17. "Burt's Bees Names John Replogle as CEO and President". Retrieved 2007-09-21.

External links