For the ever-changing face of cosmetics and the fast-paced manufacture of these dominating trends to appeal to today’s beauty buyers, the industry needs to present compelling and sought-after items.
Consumers, cosmetics companies and commercial promoters are eager to explore the vast array of global trends appearing in experiential shopping outlets, social media feeds and large-scale marketing campaigns.
With the number and diversity of new trends entering the marketplace ever growing, companies are looking to reduce the total time it takes to research and develop, produce and market these products to meet consumer demand.
Everyone wants speed
“The key production paradigm of today is speeding up the time it takes to bring a product to market,” says Martuani Siregar, Category Director, Tetra Pak. “This is in direct contrast to production aims of recent years, which focused on mass production and increasing batch sizes.”
In fact, says Siregar: “’Faster time to market’ has been the most common response to the question: ‘What do you need to improve when it comes to production processes?’.”
Increasingly, cosmetics producers are moving to smaller batch sizes, as this enables them to produce a wider selection of variants quickly. The rising emergence of niche indie brands, which share the marketplace with long-standing multinational players, contributes to the industry’s fast-paced nature. Trends such as anti-ageing, halal cosmetics, male grooming and personalization, along with calls for multifunctional items, are also pushing producers to roll-out more launches at a rapid rate.
As a result, producers are now having to modify the manufacturing landscape to keep up with these changes. Commenting on how producers are handling this while sustaining quality, Siregar says: “To deliver personalized, high quality products while managing resources, producers use the same base material to produce multiple variants of final products, before adding additional ingredients to customise formulations.”
Using a production base and then adding personalization variants such as active ingredients and fragrances during the later stages of production, simplifies and reduces the overall cosmetics processes and production stages. “Product life cycles become shorter as a result of this approach,” says Siregar. “Now, the introduction of these new variants needs to be faster.”
As consumers resort to looking after their inner beauty as much as their external appearance, avid beauty users are also favouring products that are beneficial for their health and wellness, including anti-ageing, anti-pollution and stress-relieving items.
A fundamental shift in modern production
The arrival of new trends and evolution of existing ones shows no sign of slowing down. Yet, personalization remains a key purchasing driver for consumers.
Global market research provider Mintel states that in 2018 beauty buyers around the world are now “creating their own definitions of beauty which look beyond age, gender, and body type”, and so those producers that remain focused on appealing to the mass consumer “will miss the mark”. “Personalization is set to reach new heights as brands strive to embrace total inclusivity,” Vivienne Rudd, Director of Global Innovation and Insight, Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel comments.
The impact on production processes
As market demand continues to frequently change, cosmetics producers need to prioritize flexible production scheduling. The batch process will largely remain the same from the machinery perspective. Viscosity variations are the exception to this; as ensuring the viscosity is handled correctly is directly related to the quality of the end-product.
Production is led by consumer demand, and so research into whether consumers will purchase products containing various combinations of ingredients is the question producers need to ask.
“On the whole, it is a question of handling logistics appropriately, rather than machinery, along with numerous variants of raw materials and ingredients during the whole production process,” says Siregar. However, when dealing with smaller ingredient quantities, then careful review and planning do need to be examined in relation to the choice of machinery used.
Less is more
Sharing his insights on a considerable challenge facing cosmetics producers, Siregar continues: “The need to produce many variants in a relatively small volume is increasing more and more in response to evolving consumer demands.”
Certain machines are designed to carry out larger batch sizes and, therefore, due to these different volumes, cosmetics production machinery does not follow a “one-size-fits-all” approach. As producers cannot use a large vessel to produce a small quantity then they need to invest in a different vessel.
Smart technology including devices and app-based diagnostics are set to rise in popularity, Market intelligence publisher, Euromonitor International, states in its 2017 beauty and personal care global industry report. These are able to provide production feedback and real-time insights to manage the production process and results, answering industry calls for fast-paced personalized beauty.
Pilot units help consumers understand scaling-up capabilities and considerations prior to investing in industrial-scale equipment and associated technologies and resources. Producers can analyse raw materials, collect data on heating and cooling times and examine the effects on the product before producing the formulation in industrial-scale quantities.
Creating a marketing launchpad
Producers of today are exploring omnichannel marketing strategies that combine a strong e-commerce and digital presence with an offline experiential brand experience.
Digital technology and opportunities are strengthening how we communicate with our target audiences and the speed at which we receive customer feedback. Utilizing social media channels, celebrity endorsements and brand influencers are embraced by companies striving to grab market share through achieving customer satisfaction and gaining consumer loyalty.
Multinational names are acquiring marketing agencies to best equip them with the skills and outreach opportunities necessary. “L’Oreal, for example, has acquired NYX in a bid to appeal to millennials with proactive social media communications who will support the rising product launches,” Siregar says. “As household heavyweights in APAC deliver personalized skin care options, consumers are met with sophisticated and diverse product choice online,” he adds.
Flexibility is key
Prevention is better than cure when it comes to preparing for future trends, production process changes and technological developments. Above all, says Siregar: “Companies need to ensure high production flexibility is available in their production setup in order to capture rapidly changing consumer demands.” More and more producers will need to move to small batches or late product differentiation to keep up with market pace.
Future changes are likely to continue to revolve around “this need to keep up with the momentum of cosmetics trends” and this is primarily achieved by using “small-scale production facilities or late product differentiation,” Siregar concludes.