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In-Cosmetics Highlights Eco-responsible Cosmetics
By: Katie Schaefer, Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine
Posted: April 20, 2011
In-Cosmetics 2011 was highly focused on the development of sustainable personal care products. This trend was found not only in the ingredients launched or highlighted there, but also in the featured seminars and special zones.
SiCC: Myths on the Internet
Before the event began, however, it was prefaced by the Italian SCC's (SiCC) seminar, "Myths and Truths in the Internet Era." Elio Mignini, SiCC president, opened with his observation that "product quality is not an absolute entity," meaning that quality is subject to interpretation. He added, "consumers aren't willing to pay for quality that's not measurable." Next, Livia Biardi of Euroconsumer spoke on safety in cosmetics. She stated, "Safety should not depend upon the claims [that are] desired to be made." Biardi added that the industry needs to strive for consumer-friendlier labels and concluded, "We must think about the target consumers and work to not communicate to them in a specialized language."
Vincenzo Rialdi and Marco Vassallo of the Italian Ingredients Association presented a proactive rather than reactive approach to spreading good information instead of misinformation. Dene Godfrey then followed with a discussion of the consumer myth that preservatives are "bad." Godfrey noted that while a preservative-free product may be technically possible, it is not morally possible. He concluded with the plea for R&D to stop using the preservative-free claim. Next, manufacturer Just Italia presented its firsthand experience with alarmist information. According to the company, the most problematic channels for misinformation are forums and blogs; it also noted receiving requests from consumers with news clippings attached asking for clarification on points of consumer alarm. The company's efforts to dispel myths involve providing its sales force with the proper tools to respond, and to present consumers with clear communications, such as through the frequently asked questions page on its website. Finally, Luigi Rigano's presentation covered the exaggeration of natural products as a myth of certified safety, after which Mignini wrapped up the session with the comment, "The future is in communicating."
The SiCC session closed with audience comments. One attendee noted how the same consumer alarmist claims and concerns discussed were also prevalent in Poland. Another noted how bloggers of the world are the new media, and that informing them is perhaps the key. Godfrey suggested on potentially accrediting certain bloggers so they have credentials behind them, to build trust. He furthered that groups such as the Environmental Working Group and the Skin Deep ingredient database are examples of sources propagating misinformation. Mignini added that many activist bloggers don't think rationally, so identifying a means to communicate with them is crucial.
On the opening day of In-Cosmetics, Anna Ibbotson, industry manager at Kline, gave the first of the Marketing Trends Theater presentations on ingredient trends in personal care. According to Ibbotson, 2008–2009 was a challenging year for personal care. She noted that the personal care market was valued in 2010 at US $300 billion and that Europe continues to be the dominant region in personal care; however, China and Brazil are gaining ground. According to Ibbotson, skin care is the largest and fastest-growing market segment in personal care. This segment is benefitting from innovation, and anti-aging and anti-acne products are drivers within the market. Other segments innovating in personal care included naturals, home devices, nutraceuticals and men's care. In fact, she noted the men’s care market has grown 5% globally, with the large players being P&G and Unilever. Ibbotson added that men’s grooming is a growing market in Asia.