The Naturally Good Expo in review: esprit editor's notes

Consumers are asking for ethical brands

Sitting back for a chinwag, over a macadamia chai latte, post The Naturally Good Expo, it is heartening to see how the natural beauty and wellness indie brands’ feather-like tickle is affecting the retail beauty landscape. Retailers were out in force at the expo because their customers are asking for brands with a myriad of ethical components. It might be natural, organic, specific ingredients or general, sustainability and with-purpose, as a growth industry new concerns and interests come up all the time. The other heartening element of the ‘tickle’ we refer to is how it’s shaping the development of the big boys who dominate the shop floors: L’Oréal, Lauder, Coty, LVHM…in our editorial department we weekly receive press releases on new ‘green and/or clean’ initiatives by these conglomerates that are evolving our retail beauty offer to being more wholly-consciously put together, from formulas to packaging and even distribution/transportation. This all adds up to a beauty world that is more consciously created than in the previous few decades.

The burgeoning kitchen-sink companies with beautiful brands have worked tirelessly to grow from just being one dimensionally ‘natural’ to ‘natural WITH results’ and that’s what’s driving growth. And it’s across the whole gamut of beauty. What we saw at The Naturally Good Expo could totally transform our bathroom. From handcrafted soaps from the Mornington Peninsular – The White Pigeon Said, to Tints of Nature natural hair colour, Amacyn natural perfume with Proudly Australian Made certification to “ultimate natural skincare” from New Zealand’s 3 Bee. Using “scratching the surface” to describe that last sentence is inadequate. It’s the teeny tip of the iceberg of what we discovered in this hot bed. But one element that resounded loud and clear is…every one had a strength and intrigue of the founder’s back story. Which all the big boys in the industry also have but with time has slipped from the outward presentation of the brand. We hold Mrs Estee Lauder’s work dear to our heart as we do Francois Coty and Coco Chanel, but today’s cohort has a place in the beauty landscape whose importance lies in its greater good proposition.

The Speaker program delighted the audiences who packed the auditoriums. Commentator, Julie Mathers of Flora and Fauna, who was part of the panel in the discussion – What some of Australia’s Best Independent Retailers Do Differently, talked about this importance of a brand having a strong back story. “It’s so important for retailers to convey their passion for an industry such as beauty because it’s a very personal purchase,” she said. “People will gravitate to a product more if there is intent behind it that they can connect with.”

Andrea x

Naturally Good Expo 2019

Post Events Stats

Thousands of people including retailers, suppliers and media attended the two-day trade show over June 2-3 which attracted more than 360 exhibitors from across the nation and around the world.

In particular, the beauty and living zone saw the number of exhibitors grow this year by 10 per cent in comparison to the previous year. Key beauty exhibitors and interesting products included Weleda with their salt toothpaste, Clover Field’s shampoo bars, and moisturisers made of camel milk at The Camel Milk Co.

Clement Hery from analytics group IRI Australia pointed out in his Expo talk on Health Trends Driving Growth in Australian FMCG that Australians make beautycare a priority with each of us now spending around 45 minutes a day on grooming – which is more time spent per day on food preparation (40 minutes) or exercise (20 minutes).

On the floor, retail beauty industry magazine – your very own esprit Magazine Australia – hosted a popular VIP beauty networking event featuring Lük Beautifood’s Cindy Lüken, whose innovative range includes lipsticks made from fruit. Cindy delivered powerful insights and highlighted recent research from IBE Group which found that 75 per cent of all women aged 18-34 say buying all-natural skincare products is important.

Additionally, one in three women don’t want beauty products with sulfates which can cause skin irritations. The Conscious Consumer was a topic of conversation among the retailer guests who are seeing footfall and spend voting for authentic natural beauty…“with results” they add.

Visitors were thrilled with the high quality content in the jam-packed speaker program. Apart from invaluable topics such as 7 Powerful Ways to Increase Retail Profits, How to Rank Number 1 on Google and Making Sense of New Retail, there were highly informative speaker sessions especially tailored to the beauty industry.

The threat to independent retailers by Amazon, eco-friendly packaging and the need to educate kids about natural beauty versus surgical enhancement was one hot topic in the session Indie Beauty Trends Impacting Australian Retail. Meanwhile Catherine Cervasio of Aluxe and founder of Aromababy Natural Skincare, covered intellectual property, flexibility in a changing retail landscape and brand reinvention.

The expo will return to Sydney next year on Monday 1st to Tuesday 2nd June 2020.

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