The 13th edition of the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference was held in Berlin, September 29 & 30, 2020.
The natural and organic cosmetics industry once again met at the end of September to take part in the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference – though due to the coronavirus with appropriate distancing measures.
The 13the edition of the international Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference was held with the tagline “sustainability is the new luxury“. The effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the industry and the changing consumer behavior were a guiding theme that spanned all presentations and discussion groups.
At the beginning of the conference, Organic Beauty and Trend-Expert Julia Keith showcased not only global beauty trends and international trend products, but also explained how the consumer´s perspective on cosmetics has been changed by the coronavirus. Post-corona consumption and beauty trends were also the focus of the following discussion group. Natural and organic cosmetics have been gaining new customers – the corona pandemic acts as a catalyst for the industry.
“Retail and brands have been significantly affected by the pandemic and its restrictions, and an easing of the situation will not happen any time soon“, states Wolf Lüdge, Program Chairman and Managing Director of the naturkosmetik verlag, which in cooperation with the VIVANESS hosts the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference. “But several of the presentations also depicted how flexibly and innovatively the industry reacted to the crisis to mitigate the effects of the shutdown.“
The necessity for innovative action was confirmed by Professor Dr. Thomas Rudolph in his keynote “Reinventing Retail“. The Director of the Institute of Retail Management, University St.Gallen, presented strategies of action for companies in disruptive times. His recommendation: clear performance promises for customers, but also for staff members, as well as a distinct and simple communication of the added value both online and offline. In addition, the mega trend sustainability needs to be applied and sustainability increasingly communicated on both the product and service level.
Melanie Schriever, Owner mixed greens, and Ali Luna, Grocery Associate Coordinator Wholefoods Market USA, who joined via video conference, showcased the differences at the POS in Germany and the US in their presentation “Point of Sale – the definitive guide“. A distinct statement from both experts: sales associates in German retail are gaining increased appreciation, from retail itself and the consumers, and more investments are made in the US as well towards training and competence.
The 1st conference day ended with the discussion group “Natural & organic cosmetics in perfumeries“. The participants were in agreement that competent sales associates are a key factor for the success of a perfumery store and that in particular perfumeries can demonstrate competence through qualified consultations. Another conclusion: sustainability is a strong purchase driver for the natural and organic cosmetics assortment in perfumeries. But the natural and organic cosmetics cosmetics industry needs to communicate this aspect – that has been self-evident for natural and organic cosmetics since the beginning – more clearly to customers. Also stated was the wish that stationary retail could sometimes be a little more courageous.
The 2nd conference day once again focused on securing raw materials and packaging concepts – with presentations about regenerative agriculture, renewable resources and a discussion group that provided insights into “ensuring the future availability of raw materials – but how?“ Michael Carus, Managing Director nova Institute, explained how renewable raw materials can be utilized for the new and old chemistry and which fine chemicals can be made from biomass. The subsequent discussion hosted by Dr. Wilfried Petersen, Managing Director EVONIK Dr. Straetmans, implemented the discussed issues into the context of the natural and organic cosmetic standards and concluded that natural and organic cosmetics can uphold and expand its strategic pioneering role in accordance with green chemistry through innovative raw materials and extraction methods.
The discussion group “Post-Corona logistics trends“ hosted by Carolina Schweig, packaging engineer and owner of the company of the same name, emphasized that the strategic focus is, aside from innovatively secured raw materials, aimed at packaging, and in particular on social responsibility, globally and locally, along the entire value chain.
The keynote by Prof. Dr. Dr. Franz-Josef Radermacher, Professor for Computer Science and CEO Research Institute for Applied Knowledge Processing at the University of Ulm, looked at the “World with a Future“. He raised the question whether the “Green Deal“ can be realized and which measures are able to curb global warming. The expert referred to nature-based solutions and recommended green energy and green hydrogen, but also supported alliances between the first and third world. The effort to combat climate change cannot be won on European ground, but in the densely populated countries on this earth that will continue to emit the absolute majority of CO2 in the future.
“The Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference has once again shown that the natural and organic cosmetics industry with its traditional values of authenticity and practiced sustainability has a good standing and benefits from the mega trend of sustainability. At the same time, the natural and organic cosmetics industry has to seize the opportunities that, against all odds, the corona crisis has provided“, concludes Wolf Lüdge.
The 14th NATURAL & ORGANIC COSMETICS CONFERENCE
will be held September 21 & 22, 2021, in Berlin.