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Nékter Brings Too Faced Cosmetics to its Menu

Nékter Juice Bar went local, and pink, for its first brand collaborated smoothie, partnering with Irvine-based Too Faced Cosmetics for the month of May.

According to the Costa Mesa-based juice bar chain, the youth-oriented cosmetics maker—which was purchased by Estée Lauder Cos. for a reported $1.5 billion in 2016—approached the Nékter team about making a custom smoothie with “high fashion” ingredients to match the pink products Too Faced consumers were familiar with.

“We’re both fun brands with serious products,” Nékter Chief Marketing Officer Jon Asher told the Business Journal.

Nékter’s Alexis Schulze, co-founder and head of research and development, led the process to create both an eye-catching and nutritious drink, officials said.

Data showed that customers who ordered the nearly $8 drink purchased it three or more times during its availability, according to the smoothie chain, whose digital prowess and dedicated customer base has helped grow the company to become the 20th largest restaurant chain based in OC, with annual sales in the $115 million range, up 10% from a year ago.

Pink Drink

The Too Faced pink drink, made with strawberries, pineapple, dates and agave to name a few ingredients, is only offered in May. Nékter said it plans to continue establishing similar collaborations; past partnerships have been more focused on drink giveaways and prizes rather than new products, Nékter’s Asher said.

The chain announced last week a second brand collaboration is in the works for the summer. Its gelato-like offering called “skoop” will return to menus in June featuring game maker Nintendo of America and three of its existing video games as themes alongside related merchandise and store events.

“It will be a bigger iteration of this kind of partnership,” Asher said of the project.
With a current store count of 190, Nékter is expecting to open its 200th location in the next few months. The chain is also testing a series of new food and snacks to launch in stores later this year.

Fashion and Fruit

Too Faced Global Brand President Tara Simon told the Business Journal that the food industry was an ideal place for the Irvine firm to find a partner, because of the sensory elements of its makeup products.

“We have always been a sensorial brand,” Simon said. “We are known for the iconic Sweet Peach Palette, which smells like peaches, our chocolate-scented and cocoa-infused bronzers, and our Better Than Chocolate eyeshadow palette which smells like chocolate.”

Simon wanted to extend the makeup experience for consumers in a still “fun and colorful” way and found that bridge with Nékter.

“We are always exploring new ways to express our brand values of well-being, confidence, and beauty so creating a smoothie with Nekter is an exciting way to bring our customer a new interpretation of Too Faced,” she said.

Other collaborations from this year included a more fashion-related focus—a team of Too Faced makeup artists created the makeup looks for over 60 celebrities at the 2023 Met Gala in partnership with Vogue.

At the time of its 2016 sale to Estée Lauder, Too Faced was expected to reach more than $270 million in net sales; the company doesn’t disclose its current revenue.

Co-founders Jerrod Blandino and Jeremy Johnson departed Too Faced last year and founded Toy Box Brands, a cosmetic industry incubator in Corona Del Mar.

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