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By: Sara Mason
Posted: February 23, 2010, from the March 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.
page 3 of 4
How can companies demonstrate responsibility in the marketplace, with regard to ingredient innovation?
Again, we can work to develop greener ways to produce finished and raw material ingredients and products. We can examine ingredients in packaging and packing products to minimize negative environmental impact.
What can the industry do differently in preparation for meeting the needs of tomorrow's consumers?
The industry can evolve its development and introduction process to be more interactive – something we’ve seen in the auto industry as executives engage with customers using social media. The upcoming generation has a need for instant gratification, and expects corporate responsibility and responsiveness. Participating in the conversation through blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets can help the industry understand preferences, concerns, complaints and highlights – from actual products to packaging to marketing.
How does innovation keep brands connected with younger and younger generations of consumers?
Innovation with many products today seems to be tied more the marketing, tying the product to celebrities or popular characters, rather than promoting its benefits. Again though, engaging through social media allows brands to understand preferences for product performance and ingredients, and respond accordingly. The company marketing sunblock needs to know if the Lycus UV Maxgard benzophenone effectively provide the stated UV protection.
What role does the need for sustainability have in ingredient development?
In terms of raw materials, it’s essential to fully examine the sustainability of any natural ingredient as a source. For example, if we found an exotic plant that had great medicinal purposes, we cannot use this ingredient commercially until we have fully determined its sustainability in its natural or a simulated environment. One key area affecting how products are perceived, believe it or not, is in the packaging. Expect to see more bio-plastics, which are more environmentally friendly as opposed to carbon-based plastics. Smaller packaging, and the marketing of it, speaks volumes to consumers about what’s “inside.” In addition, endorsement of healthy or natural claims by regulated agencies or associations create a credible perception, allowing perception to avoid the “snake oil” factor.
How can cosmetics products merge high-tech and natural ingredients?
Natural cosmetics can easily reap the rewards of high-tech ingredients. For example, we’ve seen an increase in sales of Lycus’ UV Maxgard benzophenones based on the incorporation of sunscreens into cosmetics and lotions that would not have contained such ingredients a decade ago. The more demanding consumer expects fewer products to do more, and they expect us to “put it together” for them, similar to the natural multi-vitamin and high-tech acne treatment.