Top crop with V*gam Biome

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LANAUDIÈRE REGIONAL FOCUS. When it comes to skin cream, V*gam Biome has developed a very simple solution, but one that fits into a highly competitive industry dominated by very large players who share a US$140 billion global market. Founded in 2019, Lanaudière is aiming to make a name for itself there.

Although the commune of Lanaudière is still far from being the North American counterpart of France’s “Cosmetic Valley”, which alone employs more than 130,000 people, innovative and 100% natural solutions like those from V* gam Biome are getting more and more. attention of consumers worldwide, especially in Europe and Asia. Moreover, skin care products are expected to grow by 5% to 6% worldwide by 2026.

Quebec, like the rest of Canada, should not escape this. This is why 2023 should mark a turning point for the V*gam Biome. “We are on track and hope to quadruple our turnover this year,” says Mireille Vega, the company’s founder. It must be a year of profitability. »

To achieve this goal, the company benefits from the support and services of the business incubator and accelerator Innohub La Centrale in Terrebonne.

Leap into the unknown

Why embark on an adventure where your main competitors have billion-dollar turnovers and you have a doctorate in your pocket and a well-established career in the medical and pharmaceutical fields?

“There came a time when I kind of got mad at the industry,” says the entrepreneur, a chemist by training who has a PhD in biotechnology. At the end of my PhD I didn’t want to develop something that already existed and I thought “who am I to develop such a product if the big labs haven’t done it?” But 20 years later I think “if I don’t do it, it won’t happen”. »

The industry, he continues, often offers a large number of products that end up costing a fortune and sometimes make you dizzy. “The more steps we take, the more we run the risk of removing elements that are essentially present in the skin and that are good for it.” Some of these steps destroy the skin’s microbiota, he suggests.

“We made sure to develop a complete and easy-to-use skin care product,” says the entrepreneur. According to Mireille Vega, all a person needs is an emollient cream and a mineral serum that adapts to the fluctuating needs of the skin. Pretty simple.

“We listed all the ingredients we wanted to avoid, but more importantly, we listed all the ones we wanted and are absolutely essential. (…) That is why we developed a solution that connects all products. This is our main attraction. »

After several years of research, Mireille Vega found the right recipe and was able to balance dozens of natural, vegan and local ingredients in a large proportion. “The big players are not interested in playing on our beds because they would cannibalize each other,” he analysed. And perhaps it is this simplicity that gives it an advantage over other major brands that multiply their product lines.

This text was originally published in the April 12, 2023 paper edition.

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