2 Jun 2014

Major deals for Science City supported Shampooheads

An innovative Newcastle company supported by Newcastle Science City is aiming to become the world leader in its field after securing an array of major distribution agreements, both in the UK and overseas.

Shampooheads, which manufactures children’s hair care and body wash products, built up its reputation through an exclusive agreement with Boots, and is forging ahead with new product lines with a number of major distributors.

The firm currently distributes to 350 independent pharmacies in the UK and its products can now be found in over 170 Waitrose stores across the country. In the last six months, exports have also increased taking Shampooheads into 175 SuperValu stores and 27 Dunnes outlets throughout Ireland. Products are now also stocked in Spinneys in Dubai, and will soon appear in 750 Coles supermarkets in Australia, with potential markets opening up in Cyprus and China.

Founder of Shampooheads, Geoff Bell, launched the products with business support from Newcastle Science City which played a pivotal role in scientifically proving the products’ tear-free formula, as well as achieving dermatological testing.

“Our business is about creating the world’s most successful children’s washing and bathing products, and if we aim high, hopefully we’ll get somewhere near that goal. I think the next 12 to 24 months will see the business grow rapidly,” Geoff said.

The company was catapulted into the limelight following an appearance on Dragons’ Den, when it attracted interest from all five Dragons. Geoff and his business partner and wife Colette, decided to work with Theo Paphitis and Hilary Devey, who offered a combined £75,000 investment in exchange for each taking a 10% share in the company.

Speaking of the company’s progress, head of business support at Newcastle Science City, Simon Green said:  “By providing business support to Shampooheads we were able to help Geoff and the team to get a proven product to market which has clearly become very successful. It is extremely satisfying to see how far the business has gone on to develop and grow.”

Since working with Newcastle Science City, Shampooheads has upgraded its formulas, which are designed to be gentle on children’s skin, launched a range of bubblebaths and attracted the interest of childcare expert Dr Miriam Stoppard, who has recently become its brand ambassador.

Newcastle Science City is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, securing £2.3million of ERDF investment. The ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-2013 is bringing over £300m into the North East to support innovation, enterprise and business support across the region.

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