United Brands announces US expansion plans

New CEO appointed for US business

United Brands has announced that it plans to increase its presence in the US cosmetics market. As part of the development, the company has appointed Achim Ruehlemann as the new Chief Executive Officer of the newly formed United Brands America.

United Brands remains a family-run company. It creates a wide range of private label cosmetics pens, with 100% of its stock still currently made in its native Germany. Company Founder and CEP, David Kohen, commented: "I have four kids: two girls and one boy plus the company, which is like one of my kids."

In a statement, the company said: "We could not be more happy that Mr Ruehlemann, with his huge experience in this market, is joining our team!"

Ruehlemann brings more than 20 years of experience in the cosmetics industry to the new division. He has previously worked for cosmetics companies including Interco and Schwan Cosmetics. He has held a number of senior sales roles. Most recently he worked as Executive Director and Vice President of Sales in the US at Faber-Castell Cosmetics – one of the world’s largest cosmetics pen and pencil manufacturers. Before joining United Brands he had worked at Faber-Castell Cosmetics for almost ten years.

Ruehlemann is tasked with further expanding United Brand’s presence in the US. The company has already made significant gains, acquiring a new factory and additional equipment in its German base to help expand its capacity.

Over the next two years, the company plans to highlight its core categories of liquid eyeliner, lip pens, brow markers and innovative applicators in new markets.

Ruehlemann will also oversee the establishment of a new manufacturing facility in the US. The company plans to open a new premises in New York’s metropolitan area at some point within the next two years. The new facility will be twinned with its existing German factory and will produce the same products, printed with the slogan "Made in USA" instead of United Brands' usual "Made in Germany" tagline.

Ruehlemann’s appointment is said to be the first step in United Brand’s US plans, although United Brands told Cosmetics Business that it is already training employees for their future roles in the US.

United Brands has been operating for more than 24 years and now produces a range of more than 209 cosmetic pens. Its products are water based and free from parabens, alcohol and nano ingredients. It is still owned by its founder David J. Kohen.

In addition to its US expansion, United Brands also plans to open new premises in the Middle East next year.

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