Sign in

London Glam: Companies Eye Innovation and Growing Markets

Jane Evison

Following the launch of 11 new seaweed and coastal plant derivatives at this year’s in-cosmetics exhibition, marine ingredient supplier Biotechmarine invited GCI magazine to visit its headquarters in Brittany, France. Biotechmarine international sales manager, Eric Lefevre, and CEO, Xavier Briand, hosted a tour of the area where the seaweed is harvested, and presented a history of seaweed cultivation and use, including thalassotherapy (the medical use of seawater), followed by a walkthrough of Biotechmarine’s production site and laboratories, where the seaweed is transformed into the latest cosmetic active ingredients. The company’s new Bioplant line consists of two ranges focused on skin and hair care, and ingredients include extracts from rock samphire, sea kale and sea lavender.

At its creative headquarters in Paris, fragrance company Symrise continually hosts exhibitions exploring different aspects of the fragrance industry. Over the summer, it hosted “A Taste of Russia,” allowing GCI magazine and other visitors to experience Russia “in all its extremes and paradoxes.” A multimedia display explored Russia’s fundamental cultural trends and market prospects, providing insight into consumer trends, market products, fragrance potential and a showcase of up-and-coming Russian designers.

The exhibit, at Symrise’s Scent & Care location in Clichy-la-Garenne, France, further seeks to provide insights into Russia’s resurgent market and fragrance’s future in it. Russian consumers are swayed by pride in Russian goods, such as scents from classic house Novaya Zarya, yet are also receptive to Western brands. Among scent notes of particular popularity in Russia are apple, peach, fresh, woody, fruity and floral. Furthermore, the exhibit asserts that seasonal, aromatherapy, luxury and natural/organic products will increase in popularity.

Of the top 30 fine fragrance brands on the Russian market, 25 are European, including 16 French scents and seven Italian fragrances. For women, floral fruity scents are traditionally popular, while chypre and floriental fragrances are just emerging. Consumers tend to prefer citrus notes for the freshness they impart, while fruity notes are a “must.” Conversely, women tend to dislike rich, opulent, classical and excessively heavy scents. Russian men, meanwhile, are open to many scents. The top fragrance types in this segment are fougere, woody and citrus. There is virtually no demand for oriental or chypre scents, though there is interest in jasmine and orange blossom fragrances.

Russia represents 14% of the European beauty market (excluding cosmetics), led by fragrance and personal care, according to Euromonitor International, and annual growth of 12% is expected.

Marketing and Beauty

Marketing Week magazine held its annual Future Beauty and Body Visions conference on Sept. 17–18. The conference, held in conjunction with London Fashion Week, focused on the major trends in organic, ethical and green product development. Furthermore, the conference explored whether natural claims are sufficient in themselves, niche brands, the upsurge in male grooming and the growth of cosmeceuticals.

During day one, speakers covered the top-line trends in hair care and fragrance, the challenges and successes of niche brand entry, the burgeoning mass-market demand for green products, effective sampling, and developing and launching a new skin care brand in the high-end naturals market. Speakers also explored whether “doctor” brands and cosmeceuticals are the future of mass-market skin care. A roundtable discussion examined the outlook for prestige, mass-market and masstige, and the day ended with a study on how to determine sustainable trends in order to create products with healthy long-term outlooks and sales potential.
Day two began with a look at achieving brand loyalty in an increasingly “shop around” culture (with a focus on brand communication through the Internet), the importance of packaging in establishing a strong brand identity and the launch of a totally new mass-market natural grooming range for men. A panel discussion covered capturing the attention of the “capricious male shopper” and how to communicate simply and directly to men.

After lunch, a panel of six beauty consumers answered questions from the floor, providing insight into consumer attitudes and preferences. The final lectures addressed the teen market and how to connect with today’s fickle but increasingly wealthy youth market, and how to use brand equity and identity to effectively drive consumers to the brand. The conference concluded with a workshop on predicting the next big thing in the beauty sector.

Old Meets New in Unique Garden

Greek natural cosmetic company APIVITA has helped create the Hippocrates Garden, which functions as an open museum and source for the creation of a new line of products. The garden of 256 therapeutic plants used by Hippocrates, “the father of medicine,” includes dittany (origanum dictamnus) for detoxifying, and ivy (hedera helix) and monks pepper (vitex agnus castus) for calming.
Founded 30 years ago on a passion for natural products and respect for classical Greek philosophy, APIVITA has applied ancient knowledge and the pillars of the Hippocratic philosophy toward health, harmony, well-being and beauty to modern day cosmetology.
A combination of bee products (honey, propolis, royal jelly), titrated Greek plant extracts (mastic, dittany, sea fennel, olive oil) and pure essential oils is used to create the company’s products. By supporting the reconstitution of the Hippocrates Garden, APIVITA has attempted to rescue and protect the sensitive Greek and Mediterranean flora.