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Business Case Report for Thyme Report

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Updated: Jul 22nd, 2021

Executive Summary

This document makes a business case for the use of thyme, as a facial oil product with immense benefits in skincare management. The product’s efficacy stems from scientific evidence, gathered and reported in this report, which affirms the existence of antioxidant properties in the compound. The ability of these properties to occur naturally in the plant extract may increase the demand for facial oil because there is a strong interest in natural skin-care products around the world.

Based on this appeal, it is estimated that there will be a surge in the demand for the product from different groups of clients, including women, young people and the old. Senior citizens are also likely to benefit from the antiaging properties of thyme, while the other demographics could be attracted by its moisturizing and youthful properties.

Initial product launch is projected to be more successful in North America compared to other markets around the world because of its sheer size and immense financial potential. However, since natural skincare products form only a small share of the cosmetics market, it is projected that the thyme facial oil would command a market share of about 5%. However, before such targets are achieved, it is pertinent to fund key experimental projects that would safeguard its efficacy, including antibacterial activity assay of the product using high concentrations, undertaking conformational identification, such as HPLC to obtain reliable and accurate data and identifying new areas of therapeutic use for the product.

Introduction

Natural oil products have generated a lot of interest because of their immense benefits on skincare (Lorenzo et al. 2019). Particularly, their hydration, antioxidant, anti-ageing and moisturizing properties have made them widely popular among the youth and the old alike because they are keen on maintaining a youthful and healthy look. Consequently, researchers have done extensive studies on aromatic plants to extract their antioxidant properties.

In turn, there has been increased attention to the health benefits of essential oils and their diverse extracts (Lorenzo et al. 2019). Current research suggests that the antioxidant properties of these plants share a close relationship with the presence of hydroxyl groups of phenolic compounds (Lorenzo et al. 2019; Keith 2016). Thyme is one such subgroup of plants that has similar properties (Keith 2016). Interest on its antioxidant properties stems from the attention given to natural antioxidants in the wake of rising concerns about the effectiveness of synthetic oxidants on human health (Keith 2016).

Broadly, thyme is a plant-based natural extract, which has antioxidant properties. Thymol is its naturally occurring component that stems from a larger group of biocides with antioxidant properties (Lorenzo et al. 2019). They are known to have the ability to destroy harmful bacteria because of their antimicrobial properties, especially when their application is coupled with carvacrol use. Some studies have also shown that thyme can reduce resistance to common antibacterial drugs, such as Penicillin (Lorenzo et al. 2019; Keith 2016). Its properties also enable it to be used as an effective treatment component for people suffering from acne.

In the context of this report, a case for its use in facial treatment and supplement development is made. The document is categorised into seven key sections that highlight the scientific knowledge underpinning its use, prevailing market demand and projected financial measures that would improve the probability of successful market launch. A summary of the key findings is provided in the last section. The section below outlines the product’s key qualities.

Details of the Product

As mentioned in the present study, the main product to be sold will be thyme facial oil. Its ingredients will be thymol, carvacrol, p-cymene and y-terpenine. These compounds will make up 30-54%, 2-8%, 18-50% and 8-10% of the product’s composition, respectively (Lorenzo et al. 2019). They will be used to make the facial oil because they are beneficial in stimulating the senses and perking up fatigued skin (Lorenzo et al. 2019; Keith 2016).

Their antiseptic and antifungal properties also complement their antioxidant nature, which cleans the skin and inhibits surface bacteria from damaging the organ (Keith 2016). Finally, the facial oil will be marketed to clients as a skin-fortifying cream because the above-mentioned ingredients also share this property. Particularly, they have the ability to provide relief to people who have dry and itchy skins, as has been demonstrated among people with acneic conditions (Lorenzo et al. 2019).

Overview of Scientific Knowledge and Data

The business case for thyme outlined in this report stems from an analysis of its chemical properties. Consequently, a keen review of its antioxidant, antibacterial and anticancer properties was undertaken. A seven-step program was adopted to achieve the above-mentioned objective. Key stages included a thin layer chromatography analysis, solid-phase extraction, total phenolic content development, DPPH Assay investigations, MIC Assay reviews, MTS Assay analyses and post-mortem investigations. The first step (thin-layer chromatography) was used to determine the best solvent to use in the experiment.

This process paved the way for the second procedure of analysis, which entailed extracting the solid phase. Here, methanol was used to fractionate the compound’s active content. The addition of total phenolic content described the third stage of the experimentation process. Emphasis was made to understand the total phenolic content of the crude extract obtained in the study. It was later compared with fraction to evaluate its antioxidant properties. The capacity of the extract to have such properties was measured as a percentage of inhibition towards DPPH radicals. The process was done at the fourth stage of the mini-project. Afterwards, the fifth stage involved the MIC Assay where thyme’s antimicrobial properties were extracted and tested. The experiment was done on an E. coli culture.

The next stage (MTS Assay) involved a determination of NADPH dependent dehydrogenase enzyme. This compound was mostly found in metabolically active cells. The final stage of the experimentation process involved a post-mortem where a male Wistar rat was dozed with thyme fraction. The toxicity level in the tissue was assessed by comparing it with that of a control specimen. Overall, the findings generated in the mini-laboratory experiment showed that thyme has antioxidant properties, which could be used to treat skin diseases. This outcome was achieved by analysing crude extracts and infractions. The higher percentage of inhibition from the fraction, as highlighted in figure 3.1 below shows evidence of antioxidant properties.

Antioxidant properties of thyme
Figure 3.1 Antioxidant properties of thyme (Source: Developed by Author)

Based on the findings depicted above, thyme’s antioxidant properties were investigated by analysing the cruise extract and fraction. The results showed that the fraction had a significantly higher level of inhibition (95.19), which affirmed the presence of antioxidant properties. The MIC Assay of the thyme extract was also compared with the antibiotic control specimen and it was established that inhibition occurred at the highest concentration of 500ug/ml.

Based on this assessment, future experiments done on antibacterial activity assay should be redone with high concentrations. Similarly, different methods of diffusion should be considered for use, including the agar diffusion technique. Furthermore, newer techniques to determine conformational identification, such as HPLC need to be adopted to obtain reliable and accurate data. Lastly, more studies that are clinical should be undertaken to identify new areas of therapeutic use for the plant extract. These pieces of evidence are useful in determining its market potential as outlined below.

Market Demand

As highlighted in this paper, thyme facial oils have naturally occurring properties that are beneficial to people with delicate or ageing skin. Consequently, their rejuvenating properties help to nurture skin and aid their growth. According to Market Watch (2019), the market for these products is expected to grow exponentially between 2020 and 2028. The demand is expected to be buoyed by an expanding ageing population in developed countries that buy this product to nurture their skins. The increased need to improve one’s youth appeal is also a driving force among middle-aged and female populations to buy the product.

Additionally, the high number of people looking to have spa and facial cleansing experiences among the rising number of beautification centres across different communities around the world is also contributing to this trend (Market Watch 2019). Broadly, the vibrant cosmetics industry is the biggest driving force for an increased demand for facial oil products.

The global market is largely categorised according to major regions that harbour the strongest demand for facial oil products. They include North America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, South America and European markets (Market Watch 2019). The North American market holds the biggest demand for facial oil products because most of them are launched in the region (Market Watch 2019). Its customers also have a high affinity to experiment with new brands. Consequently, most major products are launched in this region before they are disseminated to other markets. Projections for the next ten years suggest that North America will continue to further drive the sector’s potential (Market Watch 2019).

A flourishing cosmetic industry in this market is one of the main reasons why it presents the greatest potential for growth in the world. The presence of multiple players operating in these markets is also another reason why it holds great potential. Indeed, competition in the cosmetics industry is dominated by major multinational with a market presence in most parts of the world. According to Market Watch (2019), some of the biggest competitors in this market include Johnson and Johnson, Chanel, Burberry Group Plc and the French-based L’Oréal S.A.

Research suggests that the increased rates of mergers and acquisitions between regional and international actors are likely to further fuel the trend towards market domination by major players (Market Watch 2019). Nonetheless, it is important to understand that the facial oil market, as a sub-segment of the global cosmetics industry, which is categorised into two sections: product type and distribution channels. A deeper analysis of the product type categories suggests that the broader market is subdivided according to anti-ageing and facial moisturising products. Some works of literature further categorise the market into pre-shave oils and facial moisturizing products (Market Watch 2019).

The latter is deemed the largest in terms of market size. Alternatively, attention on the anti-ageing properties of facial oil is expected to have the highest likelihood for growth as the product becomes increasingly popular among baby boomers and millennials who are keen on using the quality products to maintain their skin.

In terms of distribution channels, the facial oil market is also categorised according to products that are sold virtually and through brick-and-mortar value chains (Market Watch 2019). Most of the products are sold offline because of the high concertation of specialised retail stores in many major markets. However, products sold online have the highest potential for growth, especially among young urban consumers who appreciate the convenience offered by such points of sale transactions. These insights suggest that there is a strong market potential for thyme products.

Financial Costing for Future Experiments

Based on the insights outlined in this document regarding the use of thyme, three key experiments need to be conducted in the future. They include undertaking antibacterial activity assay with high concentrations, performing a conformational identification process for the plant extract and formulating additional pathological studies to affirm its use. These experiments are essential when validating some of the findings highlighted in this document and expanding the body of knowledge regarding the use of thyme as an antioxidant skincare product. A detailed analysis of their importance is provided below.

Experiment 1: The first experiment will involve undertaking antibacterial activity assay with high concentrations of a diffusion compound because some natural products often adhere to discs preferentially. The experiment will entail narrowing the scope of analysis after which growth curves would be developed. The solvent will also be controlled because some bacteria are fastidious. In other words, they can survive high concentrations of solvents. This experimental process is expected to cost about $115,000 and it is integral in developing thyme extracts without necessarily affecting bacteria.

Experiment 2: The second experiment to be conducted will involve conformational identification. The experiment will be essential in determining the chemical and physical properties of the thyme concentrate. It is also of critical importance in organic thin-film assessments based on an interplay of interfacial properties of thyme. Different techniques could be used to undertake this experiment but preference is hereby made to use scanning tunnelling microscopy as the main technique because of its reliability. The experiment is expected to cost $110,000 and is pivotal in enhancing the technological implications of thyme as a skincare product.

Experiment 3: The third line of experiments that have to be undertaken involves additional pathological studies, which will be useful in understanding the cause and effects of different compounds of the thyme concentrate. Particularly, the experiments would be critical in evaluating the structural components of cells and the influence of morphologic changes on the efficacy of thyme, as an antioxidant. These experiments are estimated to cost about $210,000. A broader overview of their cost structure is provided in table 5.1 below.

Table 5.1. Financial costing for future experiments (Source: Developed by Author)

Experiment Cost
Undertake antibacterial activity assay with high concentrations $115,000
Conformational Identification $110,000
Additional pathological studies $210,000
Total $435,000

Financial Forecast

In this section of the report, the future financial projections of thyme products are provided. To recap, three product lines could be developed. They include single, multiple and corporate user products. Key tenets of this section include an analysis of the predicted sales, return on investments (ROI), projected time to break-even, a determination of the selling price and the desired market size. The pricing structure is provided below.

Pricing

According to Davidson (2018), pricing is an important aspect of sales and, by extension, a business’ sustainability record. Typically, facial oils are categorised into three categories: single user, multiple user and corporate users. A single user product is averagely priced at $3,200, while those of multiple users are set at double the price – $6,400. Products made for corporate customers attract the highest price – $8,000. this cost structure will be used to calculate the sales figures below.

Projected Sales

Based on the above-mentioned pricing structure, table 6.1 below shows that the three product categories for the thyme extract – single user, multiple users and corporate users – will yield different sales numbers. Corporate clients will generate the highest volume of sales because of the premium pricing structure adopted, while single users will provide the least returns based on the same reason. The month-to-month breakdown of the expected sales is also provided on the same table.

Table 6.1. Sales projections (Source: Developed by Author).

Product Lines Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6 Month 7 Month 8 Month 9 Month 10 Month 11 Month 12 Annual Totals
Single User
10000 Sold 0
Total Sales 100,000 110,000 120,000 100,000 110,000 111,000 105,000 120,000 112,000 120,000 120,000 120,000 $ 1,348,000
Total COGS 80,000 100,000 80,000 70,000 80,000 80,000 80,000 80,000 80,000 80,000 80,000 80,000 $ 970,000
Total Margin 20,000 10,000 40,000 30,000 30,000 31,000 25,000 40,000 32,000 40,000 40,000 40,000 $ 378,000
Multiple User
5000 Sold 0
Total Sales 200,000 200,000 150,000 170,000 180,000 200,000 120,000 180,000 160,000 130,000 200,000 180,000 $ 2,070,000
Total COGS 100,000 100,000 100,000 100,000 100,000 100,000 100,000 100,000 100,000 100,000 100,000 100,000 $ 1,200,000
Margin 100,000 100,000 50,000 70,000 80,000 100,000 20,000 80,000 60,000 30,000 100,000 80,000 $ 870,000
Corporate User
2500 Sold 0
Total Sales 500,000 400,000 450,000 500,000 480,000 470,000 500,000 450,000 420,000 490,000 450,000 500,000 $ 5,610,000
Total COGS 250,000 250,000 250,000 250,000 250,000 250,000 250,000 250,000 250,000 250,000 250,000 250,000 $ 3,000,000
Margin 250,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 230,000 220,000 250,000 200,000 170,000 240,000 200,000 250,000 $ 2,610,000
Total Sales $ 800,000 $ 710,000 $ 720,000 $ 770,000 $ 770,000 $ 781,000 $ 725,000 $ 750,000 $ 692,000 $ 740,000 $ 770,000 $ 800,000 $ 9,028,000
Total Cost of Goods Sold $ 430,000 $ 450,000 $ 430,000 $ 420,000 $ 430,000 $ 430,000 $ 430,000 $ 430,000 $ 430,000 $ 430,000 $ 430,000 $ 430,000 $ 5,170,000
Total Margin $ 370,000 $ 260,000 $ 290,000 $ 350,000 $ 340,000 $ 351,000 $ 295,000 $ 320,000 $ 262,000 $ 310,000 $ 340,000 $ 370,000 $ 3,858,000

Financial Ratio Indicators

For purposes of this analysis and based on the calculations presented in this document, the expected return on investment is 74% per annum. Davidson (2018) defines the return on investment as the ratio of profit or loss that a business incurs as a function of investment. The formula and calculations followed to derive this percentage is outlined below.

ROI = Net Profit / Total Investments *100

(3.8/5.1) *100 = 74%

Break-Even Analysis

The break-even analysis highlighted in table 6.2 below highlights the amount of revenue that the business has to generate to cover its expenses. Stated differently, the total break-even sales highlighted above represents the volume of goods that has to be sold for the business to recoup its costs. Therefore, in this analysis, the revenue should be equal to business expenditure. Consequently, any additional volume of goods that would be sold beyond the break-even output would lead to the generation of a net income for the business.

Table 6.2. Break-even calculations (Source: Developed by Author).

Gross Margin % of Sales
Gross Margin $ 3,858,000
Total Sales $ 9,028,000
Gross Margin/Total Sales 42.7%
Total Fixed Expenses
Payroll $ 300,000.00
Operating Expenses $ 250,000.00
Operating + Payroll $ 550,000
Breakeven Sales in Dollars (Annual)
Gross Margin % of Sales 42.7%
Total Fixed Expenses $ 550,000
Yearly Breakeven Amount $ 1,287,040
Monthly Breakeven Amount $ 107,253

The break-even calculations highlighted above were developed using the formula:

  • Break-even point = Total fixed costs / (Gross margin/ Total Sales)

Based on the above calculations, the business would have to generate at least $107,253 every month to break-even.

Market Size

As highlighted in this report, the cosmetics industry is a large market dominated by major international companies. Shahbandeh (2020) estimates that it is worth about $530 billion. Skincare products, punctuated by the use of thyme as an antioxidant, accounts for about 39% of the total market size (Shahbandeh 2020). Facial oil products are deemed the most profitable market subcategory based on forecasts that suggest future market expansion in the coming decade. Nonetheless, based on the financial estimates outlined in this report, thyme products should account for about 5% of the market share. This estimate is based on the sheer size of the global market and the innovative nature of new products, which are yet to be effectively distributed in the market.

Conclusion

This document has provided a business case for thyme, as a facial oil product with immense benefits in skincare management. The product’s efficacy in providing these benefits stem from scientific evidence, gathered and reported in this report, which affirms the existence of antioxidant properties in the compound. Its naturally occurring state is expected to appeal to most customers and subsequently increase the demand for facial oil because of a rising interest in natural skin-care products.

Based on its wide appeal, it is estimated that there will be a surge in the demand for the product from different demographics, including women, the youth and the old. Senior citizens are likely to benefit from the antiaging properties of thyme as well, while other people may be attracted to the moisturising and youthful properties of thyme. Initial product launch is expected to be more successful in the North American market compared to other parts of the world because of its sheer size and immense financial potential.

However, since nature-based skincare products form only a small share of the cosmetics market, it is expected that thyme products would command a market share of 5%. Lastly, the funding requirements mentioned in this document will be pivotal in financing three key experiments: undertaking antibacterial activity assay with high concentrations, conformational Identification and undertaking additional clinical and pathological studies.

Reference List

Davidson, W 2018, Financial forecasting and decision-making, John Wiley & Sons, London.

Keith, S 2016, ‘Thyme: history, applications, and overview of potential health benefits’, Nutrition Today, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 40-49.

Lorenzo, JM, Khaneghah, AM, Gavahian, M, Marszałek, K, Ferreira, IP & Barba, FJ 2019, ‘Understanding the potential benefits of thyme and its derived products for food industry and consumer health: from extraction of value-added compounds to the evaluation of bioaccessibility, bioavailability, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activities’, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, vol. 59, no.18, pp. 2879-2895.

Market Watch 2019, Cosmetics products market 2019 global industry trends, share, size, demand, growth opportunities, industry revenue, future and business analysis by forecast – 2023. Web.

Shahbandeh, M 2020, . Web.

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