Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Thinking Outside the Box of Chocolates

I spent a few short but interesting hours today walking the show floor at Foodsmarts, the annual meeting and expo of the Institute of Food Technologists. You’re asking yourself, “A food show, Karen?” But it was in my own front yard, on Chicago’s lakefront, and it had a compelling theme – Health, Wellness and Foods. Just substitute the word beauty for foods in the title and it echoes the theme of so many recent beauty industry events. General sessions sounded a lot like beauty events, too, including risk assessment, regulatory challenges, trends and sustainability. Of course, I am not the first to understand that we can learn new things by occasionally stepping outside the lines that define our jobs and areas of expertise!

At the show, I chatted with Michael Overstreet, a GCI Magazine contributor, and met Mike Efting, president of Viachem, whose business model was outlined in the magazine's first Supply Chain feature some months ago. Jarchem Industries and Cognis were just two of the beauty industry suppliers who sent their food business teams to the event.

And as if I needed another reason to enjoy the IFT show -- there's all kinds of food there -- including chocolate, which has been shown to be good for you.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Is That a Lightbulb Over Your Head?

Roger Von Oech is still looking for a replacement for the incandescent lightbulb as a symbol of creative inspiration. He worried in an earlier post that the ILB could be politicized in the global warming debate. So c'mon all you creative and inspired people of the beauty industry, what'll it be? What do you want popping over your head the next time you get a big idea? What symbolizes 21st century inspiration?

Nanotech Update

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s Nanotechnology Task Force on Wednesday released a report recommending the agency consider developing guidance and taking other steps to address the benefits and risks of drugs and medical devices using nanotechnology, according to a press release.

In endorsing the report, Commissioner of Food and Drugs Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D. said "Recognizing the emerging nature of this technology and its potential for rapid development, this report fosters the continued development of innovative, safe and effective FDA-regulated products that use nanotechnology materials."

Monday, July 23, 2007

Funding Up for Cosmetics & Colors

Late last week the U.S. House Committe on Appropriations approved a $2 million increase for the U.S. FDA's Office of Cosmetics and Colors, a move praised by the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA). CTFA president and CEO Pamela Bailey said in a statement "Our strong partnership with FDA has been put at risk because the Office of Cosmetics and Colors has shrunk to an insufficient level. This increase will enhance consumer protections and provide the cosmetics office with much needed inspectors and compliance officers." Bailey said the increase will allow strong regulatory oversight that will maintain high consumer confidence in product safety. Can't argue with that.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Beauty Discovered

Discover Beauty was launched this week at Cosmoprof North America. The program was designed to introduce "fashion forward retailers" to new brands from around the world. I had the opportunity to speak with representatives from all the "discovered" brands and from their comments I'd say the inaugural Discover Beauty was a success!

Exhibiting at Discover Beauty: Dalton Beaute de la Mer has focused its attention on Asia and are now well established there, so are turning their attention to the U.S. and plan to launch a men's line this autumn; Rilastil, claiming the spot as Italy's number one doctor-recommended skin care line, has been in the U.S. for two years; Alo-Cell-Gel, conceived by a breast cancer survivor undergoing radiation treatment, is designed to address the problems associated with radiation -- redness, itching, etc. The organic product is said to be good for all skin types and can be used after shaving and sun exposure; Bettina Garber, president of Just Good For You, said the Discover Beauty event was well organized and successful. Her upscale skin care line features ruby crystals for exfoliation, plus pearl protein and rose fragrance in beautiful deep rose boxes; Fresh Line, from Greece, is a skin, body and hair care line that is free from animal ingredients and preservatives. More later.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Beauty in the Desert

Cosmoprof North America opened yesterday in Las Vegas, Nevada, and organizers are predicting a record-breaking show with registrations up 30%. Thirty-three different countries are represented and 30% of exhibitors are headquartered outside the U.S. The show's International Buyer program sponsors buyers from emerging nations to have one-on-one meetings with exhibitors, and organizers suggest that this exposure to outside markets may be one way for the maturing U.S. market to find renewed growth.

The Professional Beauty Association partners with Sogecos to put on the North American show. The group reports growing membership and a potential record year in 2007; it has stepped up its government relations efforts in recent months and is monitoring more issues for its manufacturer and distributor members.

More to come...