There’s nothing remotely fun or exciting about using hand sanitizer. But if your little bottle of germ-killing spray was a beautiful, bird-shaped work of art, would you be inclined to use it more? Would you think of it as a ritual of self-care?
Olika, a Scandinavian-inspired personal care brand, has spent a lot of time rethinking hand sanitizer. For most people, it’s a pretty forgettable product, but it’s a market that is expected to reach $2.9 billion by 2025. This is thanks, in part, to the last few record-breaking flu seasons.
Today, the brand launches its second hand sanitizer, which it calls Minnie. (The first one it launched was called Birdie.) Olika has spent a lot of time thinking about the packaging, which is shaped like a little bird. But the company also uses natural ingredients rather than harsh chemicals, and includes aloe vera and bergamot, lemon, and spearmint essential oils, cutting down on irritation and dryness. It’s similar to what the beauty brand EOS did with lip balm, creating little orbs rather than sticks, and incorporating better ingredients in it.
Olika says this hand-sanitizing spray is just the first product of many. Its goal is to elevate the personal care products we use every day, to give the big conglomerates like Proctor & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson a run for their money. It hasn’t announced what its next product will be, but given how many ugly products there are on the drugstore aisle, Olika has a lot of work to do. Perhaps next it will develop a more elegant alternative to the Q-Tip or the cough drop.