BOLOGNA, Italy — Buyers were happy to be back at Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna, which ran from April 28 to May 2.
“It’s great to see a live show again,” said Shawn Whiffler, portfolio manager for personal care at Clicks, based in Cape Town, South Africa.
“We have been very hungry for innovation in the industry – and even more so in Australia, after spending so much time locked down in Melbourne, working remotely,” added Lizzy West, product development manager at Mecca Brands. “At Cosmoprof, things are so much faster, because you can experiment with textures, ask questions. You have all the sensory elements and can make decisions quite quickly.
Here’s a roundup of what retailers around the world were looking for at the show.
Shawn Whiffler, portfolio manager for personal care at Clicks, of Cape Town, South Africa, with 800 stores.
“We’re a health and beauty retailer and need to attract customers from grocery stores and other specialty stores, so we need differentiation,” Whiffler said. “You find that at a fair like Cosmoprof.
“Already on the first day we saw very good things, which we are delighted with – funny brands [with] glitter, UV and vibrant colors,” he continued. “The first customers to come out of the starting blocks are the young [ones]. They want more than they had before COVID-19 – bright colors, glitter, different hair color. So you’re looking for bigger nails and eyelashes, more color, new shades. In addition to that, we are looking for skin care. Customers hear about different formats and formulations, but all they want to know is what it’s for – what’s the main ingredient and why you should use it.
“I look at cosmetic accessories, there’s not much new there, [and] fragrances,” the executive said.
Some of the brands he mentioned include Doll Beauty for eyelashes, Marc Anthony for hair care, Bye Bye Blemish for skin care, and Eveline Cosmetics.
Lizzy West, Product Development Manager at Mecca Brands, from Melbourne, Australia, with 109 doors and an online sales platform.
West scoured the halls for products for Mecca Brands, the retailer’s private label line with four brands.
“What we are looking for varies by brand, and their brand and product philosophy which is unique to each,” she explained. “In general, we are looking for skincare technology – the cutting edge of new high-tech actives, clean and highly effective beauty formulations, etc. Component sourcing is important to us.
“And finally, in search of the weird and the wonderful,” West said. “Cosmoprof is magical enough to wander the hallways once you’ve checked everything off your list and you’re just going to wander around and find those weird little curiosities that may be the germ of an idea.”
Laura Reyes Palomo, Marketing Director of Tik Tek, from Mexico City, with a network of 30 retailers, including Costco, Walmart, Liverpool, Sally Beauty and Sears.
Laura Reyes Palomo’s Bologna scouting was multi-layered, encompassing different categories and price points. The leader focused primarily on finding accessible solutions for the Mexican market, as she recognized that the average spending capacity for beauty is limited. The primary target was skincare and haircare priced between $8 and $10.
To optimize the search, for the first time, the Tik Tek team flew to Bologna, Italy, with a buyer from one of its main retailers, Sally Beauty, which alone has more than 250 doors. in Mexico. “For us, it’s very convenient; it saves a lot of time, because if [the buyer] sees something she likes, we [import] directly,” Palomo said.
While accessible pricing was essential for a partner like Sally Beauty, Palomo found other more expensive solutions suited to retailer Liverpool, for example. These included a spray foundation from That’so, which she described as one of her favorite finds at the salon.
Palomo also sought out affordable skincare rich in hyaluronic acid and collagen.
Nyakio Grieco, co-founder of Los Angeles-based e-tailer Thirteen Moon
Nyakio Grieco, at Cosmoprof in Bologna for the first time, described Thirteen Lune as the first “truly inclusive beauty retail platform”.
“I’m thrilled to be here,” she said, adding that it was as a retailer, as well as a 20-year-old skincare brand founder eager to see new innovation and technology. .
From Thirteen Lune’s perspective, Grieco said, “It’s so exciting to be here to find out what’s next, especially when it comes to the color founders who are producing sustainable, clean products for everyone. I’m obviously very drawn to brands that really talk about inclusivity and cultural relevance. But I also really love science and innovation – this intersection of technology and beauty. I feel there is so much more to come on the scene.
Dima Matta, head of beauty product development at Apotea, a Stockholm-based e-tailer
“I’m here first and foremost to get inspired, because for two years I haven’t seen anything new, everything has stopped,” said Dima Matta, who works for Sweden’s leading online pharmacy Apotea. As the focus of her research was sustainability, she found many brands moving in this direction with natural ingredients and recyclable packaging, but “not so new” in terms of concepts. Matta’s main goal was to find solutions for skin care, hair care and intimate care. “But also innovation in cosmetics,” she said, explaining that two years of online meetings have driven Apotea customers to buy more makeup and skincare.
“They are more open to trying something new, even from unknown brands, whereas before the focus was on famous brands,” she said, adding that customers are opting for lower prices. .
Matta focused on finding European labels. “I worked with China, and with COVID-19, we didn’t receive our products, or they didn’t have recycled plastic bottles or paper packaging. Then the prices went up. We couldn’t control anything, so what we’re trying to do is work with companies that are closer to us.
Rajesh Gosalia, Managing Director of Bait Al Arab, Dubai, with two doors
Rajesh Gosalia researched new brands in perfumes, vegan cosmetics and skincare, the categories in which his retailer primarily markets. In particular, it aimed to meet the booming demand for vegan formulations in its market that “did not exist before COVID-19″. “, said Gosalia. His expectations were met at Cosmoprof, where he was impressed by the plethora of vegan and organic brands on display. Overall, the executive also had his eyes on Italian labels in particular.” Italy has something very special – unique products and different tastes,” Gosalia said.
Nader Ali Al-Abed, Executive Director at Al-Abed Cosmetics, from Saudi Arabia
“I look for novelty because if customers don’t see it, they’ll get tired of coming to our stores,” said Nader Ali Al-Abed, who has run his namesake business for nearly three decades, offering everything from products for the body and from shampoos to make-up and perfumes. At Cosmoprof, he looked for formulations that could treat specific skin conditions, such as acne, but also high-end products in all categories, as long as they contained natural ingredients, which during the pandemic have increasingly demanded by its customers.
Suzie Wokabi, Founder of SuzieBeauty and Consultant, from Nairobi
Suzie Wokabi was present as part of Cosmoprof’s international buyer program. The executive said she was always on the lookout for what’s new – in products or trends – “to see what’s changing in the industry, as it’s been three years since the last event. All the information we got are online, so only the physics of [the fair] makes a difference.
Wokabi leaned into makeup and skincare – with a focus on makeup – and accessories as well – especially brushes.
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