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Wine Grapes Propel Personal Care Industry

By: Leslie Benson
Posted: August 5, 2008, from the August 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.
Italy’s Faenza vineyards

Silvi ’59 harvests the grapes grown in Italy’s Faenza vineyards to produce its skin care line.

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Beckley believes the best way for bigger companies to stay ahead is through acquisitions of smaller companies such as his own. However, he notes that small business owners have to try twice as hard to stay ahead of trends. He stays innovative by shopping in Ulta and Sephora stores, networking, attending trade shows for packaging and product ideas and speaking with Walgreens’ cosmeticians firsthand.

Big Brands and More Luxury Lines

Whereas smaller companies take advantage of quick turnaround times for new products, enabling them to launch full grape-based lines faster, bigger brands such as Christian Dior don’t rely wholly on their grape-based lines; rather, they sell them in conjunction with other popular lines. For instance, one of Dior’s many lines, L’Or de Vie, features luxury antiaging skin creams and serums produced from the extracts of white wine vines, sourced from LVMH’s prestigious Château d’Yquem. Similarly, L’Occitane launched Grape Body Care line, partially enriched with black muscat grape juices from Provence, France. In addition, Carlo Mondavi, the grandson of wine-making icon Robert Mondavi, co-founded Davi Skin, a luxury grape-based skin care line, in 2004. The Davi Skin line features products for men and women and is sold online through Bergdorf Goodman in New York and several country clubs and hotels.

Grape Seeds Expand into Hair Care Arena

Although the majority of brands touting grapes as a main ingredient can be found in the luxury and mass retail skin care arenas, hair care is another point of entry for brands. Garnier Nutrisse has combined grape seed and avocado oil into a permanent hair color cream, endorsed by Sarah Jessica Parker. Also in the mass market, Organix launched a specialty line in 2008, featuring Reviving White Tea Grapeseed Shampoo and Conditioner.

“We created the Organix brand with an emphasis on ‘good for you’ ingredients,” says Organix representative Ross Reback, executive vice president, Vogue International. “As we’ve expanded the portfolio of products, we researched a variety of ingredients that would allow us to remain consistent with this philosophy. We undertook the opportunity of creating an exclusive flavor of shampoo and conditioner for Walgreens and remained committed to thinking outside the box for ingredients that would provide benefits to the consumer and at the same time would be unique and distinctive to the hair care category. Our research of ingredients led us to grape seed oil, as it fit with not only our overall philosophy, but also in our desire to create a reviving segment of shampoo and conditioner.

“We use a combination of oil from red and green grape seeds, which we found provided the benefits that we were seeking,” Reback continues. “Although we researched grape seed oil from many regions, we elected to use grape seed oil from Italy. Because of their abundance of production, it provided better source pricing for our product. We had also considered sources from Spain, Italy, France and Argentina, as well. We combined grape seed oil with white tea, because in addition to the regenerative and restructuring qualities of grape seed oil, we desired a natural ingredient that was a potent antioxidant and had antibacterial and antiviral qualities. We also added whipped yogurt proteins to help smooth and nourish the hair.”