CPG Companies Can Use Novelty—and the Help of ELNs—to Make Their Products Stand Out

Consumer Packaged Goods, ELN

cpg companies
CPG companies can find it difficult to distinguish themselves from competitors in the crowded toiletries market. Utilizing new and interesting ingredients might solve their problems.
Image source: Flickr CC user Su-May

We often use the phrase, “That looks good enough to eat,” to pay a compliment. Imagine if we modify that adage to instead say, “If it’s good enough to eat, then it must be good enough to use on my body.” It doesn’t sound like a far-fetched assumption, does it? In fact, I think it’s pretty reasonable. If something is safe enough to ingest, logic would dictate that the chances of it being harmful to our skin and hair are fairly low.

I’m not alone in thinking this. CPG companies are increasingly adopting this strategy when it comes to developing new and innovative formulations for their various product lines. Building upon the rising popularity of organic make-up, firms are drawing inspiration from food to attract consumer interest. After all, many foods boast health benefits when we eat them. Why can’t companies leverage those same benefits when it comes to toiletries?

The concept of adding food-based ingredients to cosmetics and other toiletries is hardly new. I’ve been a dedicated user of coconut shampoo for years. In fact, I actively seek out shampoo and conditioners that feature coconut as a prominent ingredient because I know they will moisturize my dry hair and leave it shiny. I doubt I’m hardly unique in this behavior.

CPG companies can use the unique properties and benefits of individual food ingredients to target specific demographics. For example, pomegranate has been touted as a superfood in recent years due to being rich in antioxidants. Along those lines, CPG companies can develop pomegranate-based products and specifically highlight its antioxidant benefits1—a particularly smart decision when it comes to skin products since antioxidants can protect skin and minimize the signs of aging.

CPG Companies Can Build Upon a Legacy of Food-Based Toiletries

In addition to attracting consumers, incorporating food ingredients into cosmetic and toiletry products offers other benefits to firms willing to invest in creative new formulations. Food is generally widely available and relatively easy to source. Even better, the raw crop itself isn’t necessarily required. CPG companies can make use of by-products from the food industry, which is both cost-effective and eco-friendly.2 The former is good for a company’s bottom line while the latter is another selling point for a society increasingly concerned with long-term sustainability.

The possibility of CPG companies using food by-products in their formulations also opens up doors to potential collaboration between the CPG and food industries.3 Such partnerships could draw upon the expertise of both parties, and lead to the creation of truly innovative products. Consider the case of Inneov, a cosmetic nutritional supplement that grew out of a partnership between Nestle and L’Oreal.

If the future of innovative food-based cosmetics and toiletries depends upon partnerships between CPG and food companies, then it becomes imperative that research efforts are supported by tools that foster such a collaboration. The tool most suited to this type of work would need to feature the following capabilities:

  • A cloud-based platform that allows users in different time zones and locations to access the information.
  • Data sharing tools that notify collaborators when an experiment is completed or results are ready for review.
  • Security tools that ensure that only people with the proper credentials can access the research.
  • Intellectual property protection such as timestamps and a history log that can track when edits were made and by whom.

In addition to streamlining the research and development process by transitioning from outdated paper-based systems to a digital one, the BIOVIA Notebook supports research collaboration by featuring sharing tools, access controls, and IP protection. It’s perfect for partnerships between firms coming from two different industries. If your CPG company is looking at developing new toiletry formulations and leveraging expertise from other sectors, then contact us today to learn more.

  1. “Innovation in the cosmetics & toiletries markets,” December 28, 2013, http://www.in-cosmetics.com/Online-Press-Centre/Normal–Industry-articles/InnovationCosmeticsToiletriesMarket/
  2. “‘Good enough to eat’: the trend for food ingredients in cosmetics gains pace,” June 9, 2009, http://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Market-Trends/Good-enough-to-eat-the-trend-for-food-ingredients-in-cosmetics-gains-pace
  3. “‘Food-based’ cosmetics gaining momentum as trend,” May 9, 2013, http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Market-Trends/Food-based-cosmetics-gaining-momentum-as-a-trend

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