Seed oil produced from Southland-grown meadowfoam is helping distinguish a New Zealand company's body care products in the Japanese market.
Pacifica Skincare Ltd's business adviser Alison Quesnel said the Auckland-based company had already sold some product in Japan and hoped to sell more.
It had started providing a lot of information to its Japanese agent about the ingredients used because that was the products' key point of difference.
"Our whole philosophy is we want to show the best of the South Pacific."
The company used ingredients sourced in New Zealand as much as possible and had discovered the seed oil about five years earlier while developing a special range of products for Air New Zealand passengers, Ms Quesnel said.
The oil was originally used only in lotion from that range but now featured in all of its lotions and body butters.
Sourced from Southland, through Christchurch company Oil Seed Extraction, the oil was a good humectant and stable, which helped preserve products and gave them a longer shelf-life.
It also held perfume for quite a long time and helped to prevent products from evaporating off the user's skin, she said.
New Zealand Meadowfoam Growers Association secretary, agronomist Bill Risk, said meadowfoam grew well in Southland but growers did not have any crops in the ground.
"We have got a little bit of stock on hand so we're taihoa-ing [slowing down] till this market out there develops."
The group was also dealing with companies that sold the seed oil overseas but this was in the development stages too, he said.
"This general economic downturn in the world economy hasn't helped this sort of development. So things are in a holding pattern at the moment," he said.
- The Southland Times