VariBlend: European Start Ups Want Premium Packaging

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(Left to right) Jennifer Cargill, Alfa International Sales; Caroline Recardo, Alfra Product Manager - Personal Care; Nicola Bowyer, Alfra Marketing Communications - Personal Care; and VariBlend Key Account Manager, Christine Horgan.

When it comes to packaging, more entrepreneurial personal care product companies are going premium in Europe. According to a report by VariBlend executives, these burgeoning companies are aiming to differentiate themselves while offering high value, efficacy and personalization to European consumers.

Start-ups Shaking Status Quo

In particular, a new generation of start-ups is shaking up the status quo, according to Christine Horgan, VariBlend’s UK-based agent. She also sees contract fillers very busy, and salons being more aggressive in the product area as well, due to a confluence of factors.

“First, recent corporate takeovers in Britain have freed top executives to split off and start exciting new brands,” Horgan said. “Secondly, the rise of new sophisticated formulations and regimen-based products requires a new generation of dispenser."

She continued: “In addition, these new brand owners want to engage consumers – always seeking innovative new platforms that deliver real value-added – and build brand loyalty. These consumers are feeling more optimistic and will spend a bit more, but they want a personalized experience, a custom product just for them."

Premium Reaches Masstige, Mass Market

Horgan also noted that premium packaging – once found only in up-market brands – has now found its way to masstige and mass market products as well.

“Further, companies find that advanced dispensing platforms help retain younger customers, as the earning power of these consumers increases over time,” Horgan said. “It’s yet another way to build brand loyalty.”

Dispensing Options

VariBlend offers custom-blending, variable-dispensing technology and notes its patented technology that frees such innovative brand owners to develop regimen products, such as those in the hair care, self-tanning, and skin area categories.

Further reading: VariBlend Launches 50/50 Dispenser for Custom Mixing 

Robert Brands, VariBlend's president and CEO, explained: “A perfect example is the UK’s Alfa Chemicals Ltd, a top performer in the VariBlend Formulation Challenge, and also the recent winner of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists’ (SCS) innovative product award. The Alfa Duo-Pump All-in-one Travel Kit contains a hydric and lipidic gel. These are stored separately and designed to work together to produce a range of different skin care products depending on the proportions of each used," he said. 

Alfa’s new product Duo-Pump All-in-one Travel Kit allows consumers to choose the dosage of each gel and thus formulate custom-made products on-the-go. The company said a key added benefit of the VariBlend dispensing system is that the amount of each phase delivered from the pump can be altered easily using the dial. The desired product can be selected by the user depending on personal preference.

The VariBlend system, which can also be fixed at specific settings, allows for precise delivery of two formulas of varying viscosities and flow rates. Simply rotating the dispenser head allows the consumer to select multiple formula strengths. As the dispenser head is rotated, it changes the position of the actuating disc, which interacts with the pump pistons. When actuated, this disc pushes each pump piston at different angles depending upon the selected mixing ratio.

Read more in Global Cosmetics Industry (GCI) about the 3 Keys to Brand and Packaging Success.