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Addressing Desires of Target Consumers Through Ingredients

By: Abby Penning
Posted: July 9, 2012, from the August 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Additionally, knowing the global and regional trends is also more important than ever for beauty brands. “Increasingly Active Organics is focused on becoming a globally viable provider with an expanded supply chain footprint, and that helps us have a better sense for what it takes to introduce a new ingredient globally or into a different market,” says Richardson. “Europeans tend to want to know more of the technical nature of an ingredient, while in the U.S. there is more interest in claims and claim substantiation—and consumers in Asia might want something else. Our global experience helps us understand that, but the common denominator is that you start with a sample ingredient in a formulation and you look to see what the market is for it. What solution is the brand looking to bring to the consumer, and how can we support that?”

Ingredient Personalization

With consumers able to reach out globally to get the products they want though, what trends are helping to spur ingredient innovation today? “We try to target our ingredients to help our customers fulfill the solutions they seek,” says Desikan. “Our ingredient portfolio can meet a range of needs, so if a customer seeks us out for a certain ingredient or ingredient type, we might also ask them, ‘Do you know the ingredient also provides an additional function?’ or ‘Have you thought about using this ingredient this way?’ or ‘These ingredients offer similar benefits and claims, but one may be more cost-effective or easy to use in your formulation.’ We try to be partners in innovation with our customers in this way.”

And Richardson notes, “We have a concept we call ‘customerization,’ and it’s about taking the market needs and translating them into a solution enabled by our ingredients, and that speaks to the customer’s needs. Maybe they want a different base or have a different preference for preservatives. We’re ready to work through all those needs.”

But is the trend of personalization trickling all the way down to the consumer in terms of ingredients? Yes, according to Toumit. “It is already happening, as the identification of needs are done within a given product category and definitely for a given target,” he says. “This is not necessarily only in terms of gender but in terms of age as well. If you think of skin, and more specifically of aging skin, for women, it is scientifically proven that the skin has different needs depending on the age and genes of a person. These needs, being different, require different solutions; therefore, different types of active ingredients, different product formats or different active delivery systems [are needed]. These considerations definitely impact and affect personal care ingredients for all products across categories.”

The specialized development of beauty ingredients according to specific consumer needs has other benefits for brand owners. “I think [the personalization trend in beauty] provides lots of opportunities,” says Desikan. “A more personalized approach means needing a greater range of ingredients to fit every want and need expressed by a consumer, because everyone wants something different, something tuned specifically to their issues and needs, and the more ingredients and elements you have at your disposal, the more you can test and match and experiment to create the right sensorial experience with the right benefits.”

In the end, it’s about finding the proper claims and talking points about the right ingredients for a particular beauty product. “If we are looking to introduce an ingredient that is completely new to a market, we rely more heavily on marketing to create and develop a story about what this ingredient is, what it does, as well as where it comes from and what benefits it has,” explains Morton. “You need to give consumers a reason to believe in the product.”