As the cosmetics industry grows, so do the challenges it faces. And there is no escape for the manufacturers and distributors of cosmetic ingredients as well. Professional Beauty delves into the current trials faced by manufacturers and distributors of cosmetics and makeup products.
Kajal Anand, Owner, Debon Herbals, says, “Consumers have become more concerned about health, wellness, and issues such as natural resource depletion and environmental degradation; the environmental performance of products and its processes have become key considerations that have led to sustainability including eco-friendly packaging, green formulations, transparency and traceability, climate change, greenwashing, social impacts and water management. Many consumers are now turning to ‘greener’ alternatives when it comes to beauty and personal care products. They are demanding products that do not harm their skin, nor the environment or society; as well as products that are natural, traceable and free from modified ingredients.” This naturally means that product manufacturers have to innovate, grow and change to keep up to consumer demands.
Anand furthers adds, “Distributors are also facing challenges of digital marketing. Online selling has seriously deprived off-line sales. Consumers today group their food, clothing, cleaning, and cosmetic essentials together in a single online purchase for convenience. Thus, online shopping has gained visibility as well as affords good discounts. The online space has less off spend and fixed overheads enabling the manufacturer to pass on better discounts to the consumer, which are not possible off-line.”
Deepti Jaiswal, Founder & Owner, Nulyf India, shares, “Some of the important challenges faced by manufacturers are eco-friendly packaging, green formulations, licensing of unique conceptual products and trained staff for factory operations. Distributors have challenges of recovery of payment and registration of imported products. Trained and loyal staff is an issue for both manufacturers and distributors.”
Dr Renuka Thergaonkar, Director, R & D Global Consultants, lists,“First are thesupply chain issues: with COVID-19, the complete supply chain of ingredients has been affected and has raised serious questions about the usage of raw materials being imported for use in finished products. Our industry is currently heavily dependent on imported raw materials due to the quality and efficacy parameters as few companies in India have been able to provide ingredients with the similar quality and efficacy. Similarly, large lead times for the raw materials is also another challenge. Second is the economic criteria: the cost of ingredients has increased exponentially leading to changes in the costing of finished products, but the companies cannot increase the cost as consumers are not ready for it and hence the companies compromise on the profit percentage. This has led to several issues with the existing products. Even companies are rethinking their strategies and debating whether to sell the products or not. Third is unreasonable consumer demands: this has led to companies re-assessing products – consumers are asking for products with 20 per cent vitamin C, or, 50 per cent vitamin C. Such demands are good but from a cosmetic perspective, it is not always feasible, as we have limited skin topical absorbance. Hence, ethical companies are yet not sure whether to ride the bandwagon or go with what they believe is technically correct. And fourth and finally are, new age bloggers: The internet is full of bloggers who are trolling companies, with their half-baked knowledge. The number of such bloggers have increased dramatically in the last year with several people having suddenly become experts of cosmetics – these ‘experts’ are harassing companies and leading them to remove the products from the market without understanding and thinking about whether the product is really good or bad.
Challenges ranging from demands for sustainable products, to sales switching to entirely online, to consumers and bloggers making unreasonable demands, are keeping manufacturers and distributors of the cosmetic industry on their toes, and yet they seem to be pushing forward and sustaining the beauty industry. Kudos to the band!
- Text by SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN