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Starting Point: Finding Common Ground

Karen A. Newman
Back to the May Issue

Power drinks and energy bars were ubiquitous among the food products sampled at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California, last month and it was all served up with a hearty side order of food for thought from the personal care side of the show. It was clear that the personal care and beauty brand owners at the show care deeply about marketing products made from high quality materials whose functionality is supported by science and will neither cause nor aggravate adverse conditions of any kind in their consumers. Sound like any marketers you know?

The current surge in interest in building environmentally sustainable businesses across diverse industries—whether driven by health and wellness concerns, the desire to protect natural resources or other interests, or a combination of it all—is another indicator of a growing equilibrium. While many of the brand owners at the show think of themselves as part of the natural product industry rather than the beauty industry, I believe we stand more on common ground than battleground these days.

Another important message came from a rather unexpected source. I was speaking with a representative from a hair product company who told me, “Women want what they want.” It was a clear acknowledgement that there is room for a wide variety of products in this big, beautiful business. Brand owners who continue to market beauty products delivering the desired attributes of their chosen consumer will find success. Who knows? Perhaps the ultimate winners will be those that incorporate the very best of function, science and sustainability from all sources.

GCI magazine’s participation in Natural Products Expo West is only one indication of our commitment to promoting the fast-growing natural and organic products segment. All things natural will be covered in our Webinar series, Beauty Goes Green, launched last month and archived on our Web site, For a discussion centered on building sustainable businesses, register for the next Webinar in the series, scheduled for June 5. Watch your e-mail and for details.

Talk of the environment is everywhere you look these days, and this issue of GCI is no exception. The difference is the environment we cover here is not the natural kind but the built kind. In our “Global Report” on fragrance, contributing editor Nancy Jeffries delivers an interesting article on the scents, the science and the hardware that is bringing consumers a better shopping experience.

Also in this issue, we launch a new section called “Asia Insider,” written by people in the industry—maybe you!—doing business in China, Japan, India and elsewhere in that fascinating region. We start with a review of the 2006 removal of SK-II from beauty counters in China, written by Dr. T. Joseph Lin, a longtime contributor to our sister publication, Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine and a true Asia insider. SK-II is back in stores and Dr. Lin believes there are important marketing lessons to be learned from the experience.
Enjoy the issue and remember, food for thought has zero calories, carbs or trans fat and has always been gluten-free.
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