Beauty and Business Converge at HBA Global Expo & Conference
The 19th edition of the HBA Global Expo & Conference united all components of the beauty industry at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City from June 28-30. HBA Global, a leading event for industry members, allows attendees to discover up-to-the-minute product innovations, attend exclusive education seminars and connect with associates to drive the industry forward.
HBA Global kicked off with a keynote address from Dan Brestle, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and retired from over 30 years in top leadership positions at The Estée Lauder Companies. He presented a look into the past, present and future of the personal care industry—which generated $59 billion in the U.S. market in 2010. Mr. Brestle drew parallels with the obstacles that the founders of the industry faced and the challenges that are met today. “From wars and economic crises to struggles with evolving distribution channels and international expansion, we can take guidance from our predecessors’ spirit and the way they addressed difficulties and converted them into opportunities.”
Mr. Brestle stated that “the future of our growth will come from outside of our borders. Globally, the fastest growing region is Latin America, led by Brazil, while Russia and Eastern Europe continue to expand. Within 10 years, experts predict the size of the Asian beauty business will be the same as the Western Hemisphere. It’s incredible to think that half a century ago, cosmetics were virtually banned in China.” He affirmed that there will be a large opportunity for innovation resulting from this expansion. “It is evident in the enthusiasm and success of the new generation of entrepreneurs.”
With the expansion of international markets, Mr. Brestle emphasized the importance of collaborating with regulators, trade officials and sister organizations “to maximize growth and minimize risk.” Mr. Brestle urged attendees to involve themselves in industry organizations—such as PCPC, ICMAD, CCTF and JCIA—that work “to facilitate solutions to reinforce our common commitment for product safety and to keep regulations sensitive and sound.”
After the keynote address, HBA Global’s 3rd annual Positively Beautiful Award was presented to Television Personality and Food Journalist Kelly Choi. The award is given to a celebrity who uses their name and influence to help further a cause that benefits the lives of others. This year’s award recognized Ms. Choi for her support of Angelwish, helping chronically ill children, as well as Citymeals-on-Wheels, providing meals to homebound elderly. “Ms. Choi’s philanthropic works with these two worthy organizations are examples of true beauty that transcend the physical,” said Jill Birkett, Brand Director, Beauty & Wellness for UBM Live, the producer of HBA Global. In addition to her work with those two charities, Ms. Choi also supports and hosts various charity events for diabetes research, New York Cares and Animal Care and Control in New York City.
The education program at the HBA Global Conference offered attendees an exclusive look inside the industry. 227 speakers in 63 conference sessions addressed all components of the beauty and personal care market organized around five categories: marketing, green products and sustainability, international business, technical advancements, and new to this year, skincare innovations.
HBA Global’s marketing conference sessions commenced with the “Marketing Innovation with Mike Indursky” session moderated by Mike Indursky, President of Bliss World and featured Ty Montague, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Co Collective, and Kevin Kells, National Industry Director, Consumer Packaged Goods Division of Google. “True newness is waning,” Mr. Indursky declared. “The way to succeed is by doing things differently and the smaller the company is, the more different the products must be.” Mr. Kells wisely added that innovation must be embedded into a company’s culture. It is imperative for companies to recognize the difference between a new product versus one that is truly innovative. Mr. Indursky encouraged the audience to create products that polarize consumer opinion. If at first a product isn’t widely well received, Mr. Indursky sees this as the optimal opportunity for companies to win over a customer. A product that is fairly well-liked is one that is often forgettable. Mr. Indursky asserted, “A brand must have a strategy for the product to be a ‘must-have.’”
Addressing declining sales of prestige products through the recession in “The Prestige Market: Where Are We Now?” discussion, Howard Kreitzman, Vice President, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Bloomingdale’s, identified three distinct consumer segments that have emerged from the financial crisis: the consumer that continued to buy, if only more inconspicuously than they had been; the consumer who purchased only the key products from a collection and the aspirational shopper, who discontinued purchasing prestige products as they weren’t able to afford them. Mr. Kreitzman saw sales drop as a result from changing consumer habits, but noted customers are returning. “The average American consumer likes to spend money on the brands they feel connected to and can only hold themselves back from shopping for so long.” He acknowledged that though business is coming back, things have changed since the recession. Consumers have become savvier with the increasing use of the Internet, searching Web sites for the best values, creating what he calls a “channel blur. The consumer no longer views shopping as limited to one type of store. The consumer is now shopping everywhere from department stores and drug stores to the Internet,” a new obstacle that, Mr. Kreitzman admitted, keeps him up at night.
The “Changing Face of Beauty Distribution: Virtual Beauty Retail” session concentrated on cross-channel shopping with a focus on e-Commerce. As the fastest growing channel for the future of beauty sales, e-Commerce growth can now be attributed to purchasing through Facebook and mobile apps. Karen Doskow, Associate Project Manager, Consumer Products, Kline & Co., stated “As consumers are becoming more acclimated to alternative shopping channels, a multi-channel approach is more important than ever. We see a lot of synergy with products introduced in one channel and seeing sales driven in another.” The panelists, who included Allen Burke, Senior Advisor, QVC; Paula Scandone, Vice President of Beauty, Hautelook and David Olsen, Vice President of Business Development, Dermstore LLC, all agreed that developing partnerships with their brands while offering the right assortment at the appropriate price point for their particular customers were the keys to success. But as companies experience growth in sales, expansion may not be as simple. Mr. Olsen noted, “Global expansion is the next step for every company, but there are many obstacles with regulations for packaging and ingredients to overcome.”
The exhibit floor, a complement to HBA Global’s educational conference, provided close to 16,000 attendees the opportunity to discover the latest product developments. It featured more than 600 exhibitors representing services that included private label, contract manufacturing, prestige and mass market packaging components, delivery systems as well as raw material and ingredient suppliers. The exhibition hall featured vendors along with the Finished Goods Pavilion, VIP Lounge, Trend Zone as well as the International Business Center created by the U.S. Department of Commerce. HBA Global was also co-located with the Spa & Resort/Medical Aesthetics Expo & Conference, held from June 28-29, which gave attendees a complete view of the product development cycle as well as access to unique skincare lines and treatments.
HBA Global Expo & Conference 2012 is scheduled for June 19-21 at the Jacob K. Javits Center. Plans include a new pavilion in the exhibit hall centered on “Innovations in Retail Distribution.” The Spa & Resort/Medical Aesthetics Expo & Conference 2012 will be held from
June 19-20. BF