Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference 2016

Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference 2016
Successful trade conference – international networking – changing beauty ideal affects purchasing decisions

The 9th edition of the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference in Berlin centered on future- oriented scenarios, best practice examples, international trends and the challenges resulting from the increasing digitalization in retail. More than 230 international guests from various segments of the entire cosmetics industry attended the industry highlight in the fall to gather information on current topics.

For two days, the enthusiastic professional audience followed the contributions from international experts and seized the opportunity for interesting discussions and conversations. The multi-faceted conference program once again provided several approaches and suggestions from a broader perspective.

At the beginning of the conference program, chairwoman Elfriede Dambacher confirmed that the demand for natural & organic cosmetics continues on a global level and that natural & organic cosmetics are still the growth segment in the cosmetics market. Meanwhile, however, the plant-based near-natural category picked up considerably due to strong concepts. For the first time, the figures, gathered by GfK for the first six months 2016 for Germany, depicted that with
6,7 %, near-natural cosmetics are showing stronger growth than natural & organic cosmetics (+4 %). The situation is paradoxical, the industry expert stated. „The natural & organic cosmetics market is far from saturated. Demand and fulfillment of demand are increasing, but rarely do consumers find attractive shopping locations that meet their expectations“, claims Elfriede Dambacher. This foremost benefits online retail, confirmed Dr. Susanne Eichholz-Klein from the retail institute IFH (Institut für Handelsforschung IFH) in her presentation. An analysis exclusively compiled for the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference clearly showed the strong growth in online-retail attributed to natural & organic cosmetics.

The presentations of future-oriented trend researchers showed the changing shopping behavior of today ́s consumers. Pascale Brousse, owner of the Trend Sourcing agency in Paris, France, as well as Inga Nandzik, Director Innovation Strategy at the Sturm & Drang agency based in Hamburg, Germany, pointed out the resulting challenges for the entire cosmetics market and the communication with customers.

This current topic – the increasing digitalization of communication and in retail – was highlighted not only by Prof. Dr. Jo Groebel´s keynote: the Director of the German Digital Institute encouraged a general transformation with a gradual approach and adapting communication accordingly. Following the keynote, Benjamin Thym (offerista group) offered a perspective of the future of retail and how apps can provide personalized approaches. Which consumer groups are entering the market for natural & organic cosmetics and how relevant they are for natural & organic cosmetics was the focus of a lively performance by ART OF CHANGE, an interactive theater group.

Several best practice examples from retailers (Prokopp – Gewußt wie Perfumeries, Reformhaus Goll and Bio Feinkost Löwenzahn, Bielefeld) proved that in these channels natural & organic cosmetics can be successful above average, if actions are based on commitment and strategic planning. The conclusion of the expert ́s discussion: in the future, natural & organic cosmetics will play a major role both in stationary retail and online. The linking of an online presence and brick and mortar retail is, however, a prerequisite.
Two preeminent messages spanned both conference days: the natural & organic cosmetics industry, mostly dominated by medium-sized companies, requires more creativity to reach the younger and more demanding consumers. The speed of digital communication demands target-oriented approaches to reach the consumer groups.

In addition, the increasing „greening“ of the entire cosmetics industry requires distinct messages. Whether natural & organic cosmetics are distinctly discernable to consumers was the topic of a lively discussion with international experts and two representatives from politics: Both Renate Künast, Chairwoman of the committee for consumer protection, and Dr. Karin Gromann of the Federal Health Ministry Austria stated the necessity to offer consumers a comprehensible label to improve distinction, but without curtailing existing labels.

On the second day of the conference, following an intense review and a comparison of the traditional distribution channels organic food specialty stores and health food stores, the attention was directed towards the US. Kora Lazarski (SPINS, USA) and Marko Kucher, founder MaKe Business Solutions USA, offered sound insights into the US-market as well as valuable tips on how European brands can access the American market.

Panel B meanwhile focused on a hot topic: Gerald A. Herrmann (Organic Services) hosted the discussion with both supporters and critics about sustainable palm oil. The unambiguous conclusion: Even for natural & organic cosmetics, palm oil is difficult to substitute.

The suspense did not cease until the end of the conference: with the latest findings from skin research, Rainer Voegeli from DSM, based in Switzerland, captured the audience, followed by Inga Nandzik from Sturm & Drang. She focused on the new authenticity, the changes in beauty culture and what role natural & organic cosmetics are playing in a digital context. Her tenor: „Beauty is no longer considered a fate, it is turning into a negotiating mass that is negotiated in the masses.“

Once again in 2016 the participants were very pleased with the event and attested to a successful conference. Danila Brunner, Executive Director VIVANESS and BIOFACH, emphasized the relevance of the event: „It is a pleasure to see how successfully the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference has established itself in the industry as a fall event alongside the VIVANESS, which is held annually in February in Nuremberg. This underlines how important the mutual and well-founded exchange is, particularly in such a dynamic segment as the natural & organic cosmetics industry!“

On the first conference day, the naturkosmetik verlag also provided important information on behalf of the company, concerning the future orientation of the naturkosmetik verlag. As of January 2017, Wolf Lüdge will take over the management of the naturkosmetik verlag. Elfriede Dambacher will continue to provide her market expertise and will once again serve as chairwoman of the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference in 2017.

Elfriede Dambacher, program chairwoman and industry expert, is pleased about the future developments: „This year, the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference showed even more distinctly how important this industry conference is in order to be equipped for the future. The continuing development of the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference will be advanced with added competence from Wolf Lüdge. And I am very pleased that I will be able to focus even more on the market developments.“ The professional audience may therefore expect a future-oriented conference program in 2017 as well. And Wolf Lüdge comments: „In its 10th edition in 2017, the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference will once more with proven competence offer current topics relevant to the industry and present interesting approaches for the future of the industry and retail.“
Once again both conference days offered ample opportunities for international networking. The first day closed with the popular get-together on the patio of the Ellington Hotel – on this balmy evening, guests networked late into the night.

The next Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference will be held September 26-27, 2017, at the Hotel Ellington in Berlin, with Elfriede Dambacher acting as program chairwoman and under new general management by Wolf Lüdge.

The next VIVANESS, international trade fair for organic cosmetics, will be held February 15-18, 2017, in Nuremberg.

Green Conference 2016

Once again in 2016, measures were undertaken for a Green Conference: The Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference was designed to be environmentally friendly.

54.000 kilos CO2 were compensated through various projects from Soil & More.

The certificate is available for download:

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