Staying Fresh: Using a Digital Lab Notebook to Spur CPG Innovation in the Personal Care Space

digital lab notebook
New perfume research may lead to innovative types of deodorants. Personal care companies can make use of a digital lab notebook to create this and other related products.
Image source: Flickr CC Victor

Although often overshadowed by other personal care products, such as those for hair and skin, deodorants make up a prime market. In addition to the US and Europe, expected growth earnings in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East are contributing to a projected $13 billion global market by 2017. There’s no denying the sales potential in this consumer packaged good (CPG) space.

Responsible Packaging and Natural Products

Given consumer trends in the food industry, it comes as no surprise that buyers are also seeking deodorants made from natural and organic products. Even though there remains some uncertainty regarding whether the traditional aluminum compounds used in deodorants actually do cause cancer, the perceived association is enough to encourage consumers to seek alternatives. CPG companies can use this shift to develop more products geared toward this growing demographic.

Consumers aren’t just interested in natural ingredients. We’ve previously discussed how packaging can make the difference between a sale and apathy. When it comes to deodorants, displaying an eco-friendly slant pays off. Two out of five consumers say they look for an alternative if a product has too much packaging. CPG firms can use a digital lab notebook to address these areas. Researchers can work on finding natural alternatives for aluminum-based ingredients, which are used to prevent perspiration. The notebook’s data tools make it simple to find promising replacements. It also can be used to determine whether those natural components have other effects on the final product such as color and smell. As for packaging, less is more. Given today’s on-the-go world, consumers like their personal care products compact and portable. Nothing irritates me more than having to buy a travel-sized item simply because its regular version is too big to bring in carry-on luggage. Research and development (R&D) firms can create containers with this in mind.

Convenience and Dependability

Streamlined packaging isn’t the only thing on consumers’ minds. They want convenience, too. Aerosol antiperspirants are known for their strong sprays and tendency to clog. Unilever, however, addresses those concerns with new technology set to launch later this year. It’s developed a new valve mechanism designed for minimal clogging, with the added benefit of spraying more smoothly. Combined with a faster-drying formulation, the revamped antiperspirant appeals to a public that’s become used to staying dry and fresh. I personally don’t use aerosol deodorants because it seemed the products I’ve tried sprayed everywhere except where I wanted, so I sympathize with consumers looking for consistency. And anyone will appreciate faster-drying antiperspirants. No one likes waiting for an application to dry when they have busy lives.

Tracking the time it takes for an antiperspirant to dry or the smoothness of a spray application are all things that can be tracked via a digital lab notebook. The notebook’s versatility allows it to be used in a variety of ways. Determining how long it takes for a formulation to dry falls into a more traditional experiment while ascertaining smoothness may require outside testers not part of the R&D team. A digital notebook comes with built-in collaborative features that let users input data that can be shared instantly.

Managing New Discoveries and Integration with Digital Lab Notebooks

The biggest innovation in deodorants, however, may come from Ireland. Scientists recently designed a new perfume system that can release a sweet scent when it comes into contact with sweat. This means that the more you sweat, the better you smell. Even better, the delivery system binds to compounds found in our sweat that, when they combine with the bacteria found in our armpits, give off that distinct overripe smell. By binding the compounds, it decreases their potency. Sounds like a win all around, right?

While the new perfume system can be incorporated into products like lotions, it’s especially ideal for deodorants. A digital lab notebook can aid in highlighting the advantages of such a system. How long does the system’s sweet-smelling effect last? Is reapplication necessary on those especially hot, humid days? Can it counter even the strongest natural body odor? Running trials and keeping track of the results in a digital notebook can answer these questions and, if positive, be used in the products marketing efforts.

While the deodorant market is relatively stable, that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas where personal companies can’t innovate. By focusing on addressing consumer desires such as natural ingredients, eco-friendly packaging, and convenience, CPG firms can create products tailored toward the buying public. Is your R&D laboratory looking for a digital tool to aid your efforts in developing new and exciting products for a stable, crowded market? Visit our website today to learn more about the BIOVIA Notebook.

4 thoughts on “Staying Fresh: Using a Digital Lab Notebook to Spur CPG Innovation in the Personal Care Space

  1. The deodorant that smells better when it comes in contact with sweat would be very nice, I would use it

  2. I definitely find myself swayed by greener products with less packaging. And if I could get my hands on the deodorant that smelled good when you sweat, I would definitely use it.

  3. Nate, I’m fond of less bulky packaging too. And it sounds like a deodorant that smells good when you sweat would be a winner. Here’s to hoping something hits the market within the next few years.

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