Vivaness 2020: [Show Report]

I began writing this trade show review just after Vivaness 2020, the world’s biggest organic beauty trade show, had ended. That was in late February and just a few weeks before Corona arrived in Europe.

Then came the lockdown and cancelled travel plans and all the rest of it, and other things in my life took priority – like tidying up my collection of cooking spices, cleaning out various cupboards and watching a lot of 1980s and 1990s TV series on DVD.

However, now that things in Germany have started to inch towards a precarious kind of (new) normality I decided that it was high time to finish this article. Which I did. Yay me. So if you detect a certain patchiness to this text that’s why: parts of it were written pre-Corona, the rest post-Corona. Or PreC and PostC. February and Vivaness seem like a very long time ago. Anyway.

This year’s Vivaness took place from 12th to 15th February in Nuremberg, a pretty medium-sized historic city in the Frankonia region of Germany. Vivaness and its sister trade fair Biofach (the biggest organic food products expo in the world) are an annual fixture on the European organic industry trade fair circuit.

The first Biofach show took place back in 1990 so this expo’s been around for 30 years. In 1999 the trade fair moved to Nuremberg and in 2007 Biofach’s organic beauty section was spun off into a separate trade show, Vivaness. The two trade fairs always take place in February and, incidentally, pretty much always in rain and snow. February in Nuremberg can be cold!

Organiser Messe Nürnberg operate a very strict quality control procedure: exhibitors must submit the complete INCI listing for every single beauty product they intend to present at their booths. Only certified organic products or products with ingredients clean enough that they could be certified – Vivaness’ ingredients criteria are very close to what the major European certifiers require – can be shown in the exhibition halls. For more info on the Vivaness concept check out my 2019 trade show review.

This thorough screening process weeds out any green-washed or fake eco brands and gives Vivaness a unique USP. The beauty brands you see at the trade show are legit: genuine organic cosmetics as defined by the highest European organic quality standards.

Vivaness is one of my favourite beauty trade shows although I have to admit that I’ve never met a trade fair I didn’t like ; )
Otherwise I simply wouldn’t attend it – the joys of being a freelancer who pays for her own travels means that I can decide which trade fairs I want to visit.

Anyway, this was my sixth Vivaness visit (here are the links to my previous trade fair reports: Vivaness 2018, Vivaness 2017, Vivaness 2016, Vivaness 2015 and Vivaness 2014) and as always I enjoyed the fair tremendously. By now I know a lot of people in the industry, beauty brands, fellow journalists, bloggers and so on, and trade shows have become very social events indeed.

But it’s not all just fun and games: I was also there to check out the latest trends in the European and international organic beauty industry! Spoiler alert: this year’s Vivaness was all about solid cosmetics (especially shampoo bars), oral hygiene (new toothpaste formats – tablets, powders, creams packaged in jars rather than tubes but also new flavours beyond the classic mint/spearmint palette) and, of course, CBD/hemp beauty.

At Vivaness 2020, some 270-odd cosmetics brands presented their new launches; the number of visitors for both trade fairs reached some 47.000 visitors (there is no individual visitor count for Vivaness alone).

The international Corona/Covid-19 situation also left its mark this year (more so on Biofach than on Vivaness): most of the Chinese Biofach exhibitors cancelled their appearance, many Chinese visitors also stayed away and there were even some European exhibitors across both shows that decided to skip the trade fair this year.

Other than that everything was really chill – very few visitors even wore face masks – and there was the usual good Vivaness vibe in Hall 3C. Which reminds me: Hall 3C is the latest addition to Nuremberg’s trade fair centre (it was inaugurated in 2019) and it’s a beauty!

Designed by the late Zaha Hadid (R.I.P.), 3C is big and airy, with soaring ceilings (or at least that’s the impression) and so much natural light: there are huge window fronts on two sides of the hall; a first-floor gallery across the width of the hall with escalators and even a lift (!) – when did you last visit a European trade expo centre that features an actual passenger lift?! – plus a café which ran out of food by 1pm on the first day but offers beautiful views of the hall. See pics above. And of course 3C is much bigger than Vivaness’ previous Hall 7A so the trade fair also seems to be larger, with an oblong layout that was quite confusing initially but you get used to it : )

Anyway, it’s a beautiful trade fair hall and a fitting showcase for the world’s largest organic beauty expo.

Vivaness 2020: Beauty from Germany

GRN SHADES OF NATURE (Germany)

German beauty brand GRN Shades of Nature was launched in August 2019; it belongs to the brand stable of German manufacturer Cosmondial (Cosmondial’s biggest name is budget makeup brand Benecos). GRN looks very different from Benecos: streamlined colour-coded packaging and a bigger selection of face, bath and body care.

The brand offers 90-odd sku across most major product categories: face care, body care, hair care, men’s cosmetics and oral care as well as colour cosmetics. More than half of the product line-up is makeup (there are some 50+ sku) including loose powders, blushers, foundation sticks, foundation powders, eye makeup and lip colours.

The distinctive packaging colours make it easy to navigate the skin and body care line-up: The products in the Essential Elements range – for normal and combination skin – are formulated with hemp extract and packaged in light green. Rich Elements (dark red) contains antioxidant olive extract for mature and demanding skin while Pure Elements (blue packaging) was created for sensitive skin: the key active in this range is sea salt.

The men’s range is clad in dark green (key ingredients: hemp and hops). I’m a huge fan of pouch cosmetics so I particularly liked GRN’s pouch-packaged cream masks (see pic below).

GRN Shades of Natures has a slightly higher price point than Benecos; skin and body care is priced at around 8 Euro while the makeup starts at around 9 Euro and goes up to 15 Euro. Distribution channels: authorised organic speciality retailers only, products are available in Germany, with France as the brand’s first international market. I was told that the company is looking to expand into Austria and Switzerland as the next step, followed by further European countries.

I+M NATURKOSMETIK (Germany)

Berlin-based I+M Naturkosmetik (the name combines the initials of the brand’s two founders, Inge Stamm and Monika Berg) was founded in 1978. Today the company is still independently owned and operated, with a solid distribution in virtually all organic retail channels – most DM drugstores carry I+M’s products, as do all of Germany’s big organic supermarket chains, health food stores and speciality beauty retailers.

In 2000 the company relaunched its entire portfolio with vegan formulations and has remained fully vegan ever since. The line-up offers some 60 sku, including face care, bath and body care, hair care, men’s products and sun care. At Vivaness, I+M introduced a whole bunch of novelties, including three sun care products – an Aftersun Lotion which has a lovely scent, a Sun Milk for Sensitive Skin in SPF30 and a Waterproof Sun Milk with SPF20).

Also new are Hydro Perform Hyaluron Serum (see pic above), a fresh face serum with aloe vera juice, lactobacillus ferment and pomegranate and rosehip oils and an intriguing-looking peel off alginate mask. The alginate mask was so new, in fact, that the brand didn’t even have a packaging mock-up at Vivaness, just the POS info leaf and the mask powder in a jar.

BEN & ANNA (Germany)

This really cool German beauty brand started out with a 6-sku range of baking soda-based deodorant sticks back in 2016 (my favourite is Nordic Timber which is scented with a divine blend of woods, rosemary and ylang ylang).

Last year Ben & Anna branched out into stylishly packaged oral care with three toothpaste creams packaged in little jars, a mouth wash and two tooth cleansing powders (check out my Vivaness 2019 review for more info and pics) – the company was one of the first beauty brands to bring some innovation to the staid domestic oral care market. A quick side-bar for my international readers: German cosmetics consumers tend to be rather conservative in their purchasing decisions and as far as oral hygiene is concerned, we like our peppermint-flavoured toothpastes! It doesn’t matter whether you look at the conventional oral hygiene market or at its organic equivalent: the classics always include toothpastes and mint flavours!

I was curious to see what Ben & Anna would present at Vivaness 2020 and wasn’t disappointed: the company has just launched a whole range of solid beauty products or rather, tablet beauty!

On the pics above you can see Ben & Anna’s new Shower Tablets (available in two scents), Shampoo Tablets (there was only one variant to try but I was told that there’ll be more varieties for different hair types soon), Mouth Wash Tablets and Toothpaste Tablets. The compressed tablets are based on sodium bicarbonate and start fizzing once you add water. It needs several minutes for one of these larger tablets to completely dissolve in your hand (it’s easier if you crumble it into little pieces) but watching the tremendous fizzy action is so much fun!

I tried out the shampoo tablet and it didn’t really work for my hair type – then again, I haven’t met a solid hair cleanser yet that does; solid shampoo simply isn’t my thing. I like liquid textures and proper foam : ). The shower tablet worked better and I do like the convenience factor but I felt like I needed at least three tablets to generate enough foam to cleanse the entire body. For travelling I guess I still prefer German indie brand Plaine’s Power Wonder sachets.

Anway, Ben & Anna’s tablet cosmetics, especially the shampoo and shower tablets, are very interesting – there are so many solid bar cleansers for hair and body these days (hair soaps especially have become very mainstream) but tablet cleansers: not so much.

DENTTABS (Germany)

I first met Berlin-based oral hygiene start-up Denttabs at Vivaness 2016 (I think) and the product they presented at that trade show was a true innovation: micro cellulose-based compressed tooth cleansing tablets. Unlike classic creamy toothpastes, the cellulose granules gently polish the teeth (it’s most effective if you use it with a very soft tooth brush). I have some Denttabs at home and use them pretty much every day. Also love to take them with me when I travel!

Using toothpaste tablets takes a bit of practice: you carefully bite up the tablet with your front teeth, leave the fragments on the tongue for a bit until they dissolve and then use the resultant foam to brush your teeth like you normally would. Anyway, it took a couple of years for the brand to hit the mainstream but now Denttabs’ products are sold in Germany’s leading drugstore chains and pharmacies as well as the big organic supermarket retailers and speciality retailers. And online of course.

At Vivaness 2020 the company’s founder Axel Kaiser presented several new flavours (including spearmint, orange and strawberry) as well as a rather interesting cross-over product: toothpaste tablets formulated with vitamin B12.

Denttabs is a vegan brand (they are also completely plastic-free) and so is most of the company’s target demographic. I was told that vegans often have a B12 insufficiency so the company decided o launch a variant that would address this issue.

AFROLOCKE (Germany)

Afrolocke (the name translates as “afro curl”) is the cutest little hair care brand from Stuttgart in Southern Germany. The start-up company offers certified organic shampoo and conditioner for textured, ethnic and ultra curly hair and that alone is a novelty: the German C&T market tends to focus on the requirements of Caucasian skin tones and hair types. As a consequence, domestic drugstores and perfumeries carry very few products that are suitable for POC (People of Colour).

If your skin is darker than a medium beige or olive and you’re looking for a matching foundation things are already getting tricky. And if you have textured hair, you might have to visit a speciality store – in Germany, they are usually called Afro Shops or Afro Hair Shops – to find products that are suitable for your hair type. And if you’re looking for certified organic afro hair care you’re really out of luck! Until now, that is.

Afrolocke’s founder Anna Baltruschat has textured hair herself and she was fed up with the lack of choice on the market so she launched her own hair care range. The Afrolocke shampoo and conditioner are suitable for textured, brittle and curly hair and carry the Cosmos Natural seal. Priced at around 15 Euro each, the products are primarily available online, for example in German drugstore leader DM’s online store (DM was the first retailer to pick up Afrolocke), in perfumery retailer Douglas’ online shop and through Amazon.

I don’t have curly hair but my hair tends to be dry so I bought the conditioner. It has a lovely scent and I like the ingredients (the formula includes shea butter, coconut oil, broccoli seed oil and argan oil).

Vivaness 2020: Beauty from Western Europe

EAU THERMALE JONZAC (France)

Thermal water brand Eau Thermale Jonzac belongs to French organic beauty manufacturer Léa Nature. I like the brand’s cosmetics very much, the textures are light (and perfect for layering) and the scent combines sophisticated powdery and floral notes. My favourite Jonzac product is the Rehydrate Crème Legère facial moisturiser (I’m using up my last tube at the moment and will have to restock soon).

Manufacturer Léa Nature was launched 26 years ago. With some 1600 employees and an annual turnover of 450 million Euro, the company is one of the biggest organic beauty manufacturers in France. In addition to Jonzac, Léa Nature owns several other retail beauty and health/well-being brands (such as So’Bio étic and Natessance which were also present at the company’s Vivaness booth). The beauty group’s total product portfolio comprises a staggering 2500 sku (including health and well-being products such as nutritional supplements ) that are sold in some 55 countries. Impressive!

Anyway, I was eager to check out Jonzac’s novelties and in the picture above you can see the brand’s newest launch, the Rich Moisturizing Body Cream – it’s a lush and super soft formula; absorbs quickly into the skin and features the classic Jonzac fragrance. Love it! And So’Bio étic presented Pur Bamboo, a new 4-sku cleansing range formulated with bamboo extract. The line-up offers a micellar water, a face scrub with bamboo particles, a rinse-off clay mask and a konjac sponge.

AKANE (France)

The booth of French brand Akane made me feel rather sentimental; the last time I’d seen this organic beauty range was in 2014 (!) at my very first Cosmoprof Hong Kong. Back then Akane was still quite new on the market (founder Aline Foulet had launched her brand in 2013) and the line-up at their Cosmoprof booth included maybe half a dozen face care sku.

Today the company is much bigger and the brand’s portfolio now offers 23 products (all face care) including five new cream masks that extend Akane’s already existing 3-sku mask range. Great news for multi-masking fans: now there are eight different textures and ingredient blends to play with! Check out the range of textures in the picture below; it was so much fun trying them out!

The brand name reflects the key ingredient in Akane’s beauty products, by the way: the cosmetics are based on Japanese Akane apple fruit and leaf extracts. The company works with a French farmer who grows and harvests Akane apples; the extract is said to be particularly rich in polyphenols.

In its domestic market, Akane is sold in parapharmacies (like the Parashop chain), in regular pharmacies and organic grocery stores (such as Naturalia) and of course online. The products are also available in Belgium and in Germany – and check out Austrian online perfumery Ecco Verde’s store.

SÓLEY ORGANICS (Iceland)

Icelandic brand Sóley Organics was one of the exhibitors in the Breeze section (the special Vivaness showcase for newcomer and emerging beauty brands and first-time exhibitors). I knew I had seen this beauty brand at a trade show before but couldn’t remember where, so I went through my old articles and here we are: Natural & Organic Products Europe 2016.

Launched in 2007 by actress Sóley Elíasdóttir (her first product was the Graedir Healing Balm you can see in the pic below!), the brand’s formulations are inspired by the herbal recipes of Sóley’s grandmother.

Sóley Organic’s products are based on Icelandic spring water rather than the more commonly used distilled water, with key ingredients including locally harvested plant extracts, such as yarrow, birch, bearberry and willow. The textures are rich and protective, with soothing herbal scents. I was given a few products to try out and what can I say; the Graedir hand cream is great – it really saved my hands in the initial weeks of the lockdown (when we all started to constantly wash our hands).

Sóley’s line-up comprises some 38 sku of face care, body care and hand care. In Iceland, the products are sold in spas and hotels as well as various health and beauty stores and online; you can also buy Sóley in eight other international markets including Germany (for example at Ecco Verde).

Vivaness 2020: Beauty from Korea

The next three brands are kind of my holy trinity of organic Korean beauty : )

WHAMISA (Korea)

Whamisa needs little introduction; the brand is doing really well in Europe (less so in its home market judging by how difficult it was to find Whamisa in Seoul the last time I was there!). I’ve been a fan of Whamisa ever since I met the brand at my very first Asian beauty trade show (Cosme Tokyo in October 2014).

Whamisa’s German distributor One Wave had its own booth at Vivaness 2020 (the company also distributes two other fabulous organic Korean brands, Urang Natural and Chobs; more about these product ranges further down) and the big news in 2020 was, of course, Whamisa’s brand relaunch – in fact, when I first approached the One Wave booth I thought they had a new beauty brand on the shelf, the new pack design is so different!

The entire portfolio was overhauled – new packaging materials (glass instead of plastic), new pack sizes; new formulas, textures and scents which’ll take some getting used to for a die-hard Whamisa fan like me. But I dare say I’ll get used to it eventually. The new design does look sleek and very stylish. I haven’t tried out any of the new products yet but I’m glad that I still have a couple of bottles of the original Deep Rich Toner stashed away at home : )

There are also several new products, including two new dual-phase face sprays – Deep Rich Mist and Refresh Mist, see pic above – to match the brand’s iconic toners, and a new face oil. I was told that Whamisa is also starting to explore the colour cosmetics category, starting with three lipsticks. Exciting stuff!

URANG NATURAL (Korea)

If you read my blog/Instagram regularly you’ll have seen me rhapsodise about organic K-Beauty brand Urang Natural. I first met Urang and its founder Jina Lee at Cosmobeauty Seoul 2017 – Jina launched her brand in late 2016, so I think it was probably Urang’s very first trade fair – and immediately liked the beautifully formulated organic skin care products. And I still do: my absolute favourite is the True Rose Repair Serum (an ultra fresh rose water-based gel essence), closely followed by the Rose Ceramide Cream and the Brightening Blue Oil.

Anyway, Urang is doing very well over here in Europe, especially in Germany – I just googled the brand and besides well-known organic beauty online retailers like Savue, Blanda Beauty, Ecco Verde, Bio Naturel etc., Urang’s products are now also listed in the online stores of perfumery market leader Douglas and on www.flaconi.de (Flaconi’s the second-biggest online perfumery in Germany).

At the trade show, Urang presented its new sheet mask which looks striking: rather than going for the usual rectangular mask pack, Jina designed a dual sachet (one sachet contains the essence liquid, the other the dry sheet mask) which looks rather like a heart.

Storing the essence separately means that there is less chance of it accidentally being contaminated by, say, bacteria in the sheet mask material. When you want to use the mask you combine both sachets so the liquid soaks into the sheet mask, and then apply it to the face.

CHOBS (Korea)

The third Korean brand at the One Wave booth was CH Harmony’s Chobs. I’ve been a fan of Chobs (the acronym stands for CH Organic Beauty Store) for years – I think the first time I saw the brand was also at one of the Cosmobeauty fairs; must have been 2016, or 2017 maybe? Chobs itself was launched in 2014. Parent company CH Harmony has been around since 2006, they run their own organic farm near Anyang city in Gyeonggi-do province.

The product portfolio of Chobs comprises face care, body care and baby products and while the packaging might not look terribly exciting the product quality is fabulous: like Whamisa and Urang Chobs’ products are based on hydrosols and plant extracts rather than distilled water so you get a formula that is chock-full of plant actives. One my favourites is the Organic Centella Asiatica Serum.

Anyway, it was good to see the brand again and even more exciting to check out Chobs’ latest beauty launch: the 6-sku Organic Ginseng range (the packaging was difficult to photograph, excuse the sub-par quality!). The line-up offers a cleanser, face cream, serum, face mist, sheet mask and under-eye masks all based on organic ginseng water. Medium-strong ginseng scent and lovely textures.

I was told that most ginseng beauty brands use only the root of the plant; Chobs, however, uses extracts from the entire ginseng plant, from root over stems to the ginseng flower. I’m not going to go into detail about why ginseng is such a popular ingredient in Korean (and Asian) beauty and as a health food (otherwise this would turn into a really long sidebar!). Suffice it to say I received several product samples and the Ginseng Energy Serum, my goodness!

I absolutely love it (and so does my skin); I am using up the remains of the sample bottle very carefully so it’ll last last as long as possible. The Ginseng range will be launched in April/May (at least that was the status at Vivaness in February, but what with the international Corona situation – who knows…) and I can’t wait to order it. In Germany Chobs is available through various beauty online stores, including Ecco Verde, online shopping community Najoba, Flaconi and Bio Naturel.

Vivaness 2020: Beauty brands from Northern and Eastern Europe

YOU & OIL (Latvia)

You might have seen the products of Latvian beauty brand You & Oil in your country – the brand has managed to achieve an impressive international distribution in Europe and Asia over the last five years or so. They’re even sold in Japan (which is not an easy market to crack!) and I’m always obscurely proud when I see the You & Oil logo in a Cosmekitchen or Biople store.

At Vivaness 2020 the company presented a whole range of new launches. Let’s begin with Restart Skin & Hair (see pic below), a 3-sku range designed especially for people switching from conventional cosmetics (which frequently contain silicones, parabens and so on) to organic cosmetics (which don’t). It can take up to 4-6 weeks for skin and hair to adapt to the new products and this really is true; when I switched from conventional shampoos to organic shampoos – oof, it took several weeks for my hair to get over the awful-looking stage.

Anyway, this is real thing and not just a marketing claim. It also applies to skin care. So You & Oil now offers three cleansing products for skin and hair that help to deeply cleanse your skin and hair from silicones and parabens. Restart Hair is a Cleansing Hair Mask while Restart Skin is a Cleansing Oil; the third product is a Body Lotion.

Another recent You & Oil launch were the Food Shots (see pic above), a range of supplements that can be taken internally or mixed into your skin care/hair care routine. The Food Shots were created in cooperation with renowned Lithuanian chef Alfas Ivanauskas.

The line-up offers Pepper & Black Caraway (Passion and Immunity Essence, recommended as a massage oil for feet or skin or blended with jams, honey or fruit preservatives). Caffeine (Antioxidants & Energy) can be used on cleansed skin before applying serums or cream or dripped into coffee or tea, Cherry & Fig (antioxidants, use on moist skin before your cream or blend with porridge, smoothies or yoghurts), Rose Hibiscus and Pomegranate (hydration – apply on clean skin or blend with juice or smoothies) and Hemp & Broccoli (vitamin and omega acids; massage it into clean, wet hair or blend it into salad dressings or soups.

The company presented yet another unusual launch: Aphrodisiac, a 2-sku toothpaste range (pic above). There are two products, one for women (Jasmine & Mint) and one for men (Cardamon & Mint) and while these are regular toothpastes (offering a whitening effect thanks to activated charcoal, pineapple extract and mineral water) there is an interesting twist: the active essential oils used in the two variants are claimed to act as a natural libido booster if they’re mixed together : )

You & Oil is also launching three sheet masks with liposomes which look really interesting but when I got to the booth there were only two left. This happens a lot at Vivaness, unfortunately, especially on the last day (when the general public can enter the fair). Unless you glue your products down (and even then…) chances are they’ll develop legs and walk away. Well-known Vivaness problem.

HEMPTOUCH (Slovenia)

Hemptouch has been manufacturing CBD and hemp beauty and supplements long before the current CBD hype. The Slovenian brand was launched in – let me check in my Cosmoprof Bologna reviews because that is where I first met the company…ok, it was Cosmoprof Bologna 2017 and Hemptouch was one of the small group of organic beauty companies in the trends-focused Cosmoprime exhibition section that was inaugurated that year. Hemptouch itself was founded in 2014. The company is based in the South West of Slovenia which is also where they cultivate and harvest the hemp that is used in their products.

Anyway, Hemptouch has been exhibiting at Vivaness a couple of times (I think I wrote about them last year?) and they also attend other European and international trade shows. At this year’s Vivaness, Hemptouch presented two new CBD products.

Luminising Deep Moisture Face Lotion is a Korean-style essence which is based on bitter orange water and hemp hydrosol plus cannabidiol and has a lovely texture while Pristine Forest Body Lotion is a body moisturiser formulated with hemp extract, silver fir extract, hemp oil and hemp hydrosol.

At the trade show Hemptouch founder Katarina told me that she is currently preparing to enter the Japanese market which is very exciting! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the brand’s expansion will go ahead as planned despite the international Corona situation.

MÁDARA (Latvia)

No introduction necessary: Latvian beauty brand Mádara is very well-known indeed and of course I made a bee-line for the makeup counter to finally test out all of those awesome shimmer colours on actual skin rather than just admiring them on Instagram. Mádara always presents a whole range of new products at Vivaness and the makeup collection – beautiful as it is – was only one many several new launches.

Let’s start with the new Fake it! Healthy Glow Serum, a light self-tan serum. After trying out the fabulous texture at Vivaness I ordered this product last month and it really is amazing: lovely scent, feels hydrating but leaves the skin matte-looking and, of course, by the next morning – the brand recommends that you apply the serum at night – you wake up with a subtle, well, glow : ) I’ll definitely repurchase this once the current pump dispenser is empty.

The Time Miracle anti-ageing face care range was extended with the Hydra Firm Jelly Serum (again, such a great texture!) and there are brought out two new cleansing products, a bi-phase makeup remover liquid and the Melting Cleansing Oil (see pic below).

In addition Mádara has introduced two new products for acne-prone skin: the Intense Blemish & Pore Treatment cream formulated with argan oil and hemp seed oil and the Acne Akut Roll-On with salicylic acid.

LEVRANA (Russia)

It was interesting to meet Russian natural cosmetics brand Levrana at the show. If you’re wondering why there’s sticky tape and carrier bags covering the brand’s name and logo at their Vivaness booth – well, that’s rather bizarre and complicated story!

I was told that German organic brand Lavera had recently started legal action against Levrana because they believe that the two brand names are too similar and German consumers might get confused if they saw both brands at the same store.

A bit of context: Lavera is a very well-established and widely distributed organic mass market brand; the company’s products are sold in drug stores, organic supermarkets and speciality retailers across the country and in various international countries. Levrana was launched in 2014 and while they are pretty well known in the Russian organic beauty market, the brand is all but unknown in Western Europe – that was one of the reasons why the company decided to exhibit at Vivaness, of course. Prior to their first German trade show appearance Levrana registered its brand name as a trade mark in the EU territory.

Still, apparently Lavera believes that German consumers might mistake Levrana for Lavera and vice versa – never mind that the two brands’ logos are very different in colour, font and style and so is the packaging, of course. Check out the two respective brand websites if you don’t believe me!).

I was told that on the first morning of the trade show police showed up at the Levrana booth, demanding that the company withdraw from the trade fair or, at the very least, not exhibit under their brand name. Levrana reacted quickly: they had paid for their booth and all the marketing material and of course the brand was listed in all of the official show guides and maps. Packing up and leaving was not an option.

Instead, the booth staff spent a hectic couple of hours covering up the Levrana name on packaging, products and booth with sticky tape – you can see the tape on the packaging, neatly affixed over each individual Levrana brand logo. And in the picture above, you see the cotton bags up on the wall? They cover the brand’s booth logo.

I knew Levrana by name (I think I saw them mentioned on Lookbio a few years ago) so I used the opportunity to check out the brand’s products in more detail! As I mentioned above, Levrana’s line-up comprises some 300-400 sku across all product categories (face care, body care, hair care, bath and shower, men’s, babies etc).

Around 150 of the Levrana products are certified organic (Cosmos Natural); their bestseller if the Chamomile Micellar Water and soon there’ll be a makeup range, too. I particularly liked the Liquid Eye Patches eye serum range. Such pretty packaging! And very pleasant textures.

UOGA UOGA (Lithuania)

Lithuanian beauty brand Uoga Uoga has been a Vivaness fixture ever since their first appearance at the 2016 edition of the trade show. Uoga Uoga (the name translates as “berry, berry”) was launched in 2010 as a mineral makeup brand.

Although colour cosmetics remain the core focus of the company’s product portfolio, Uoga Uoga is now also expanding into skin care – in the pictures below you can see the brand’s new 6-sku face care range which will be launched in late spring/early summer. The products are formulated with quince extract and the line-up offers a facial spray toner, a sleeping cream, two moisturising emulsions (one for dry/normal skin and one for oily/combination skin), a face serum and an eye-roll on.

I tried out most of the new products at the company’s Vivaness booth and really liked the fresh textures and the light zesty product fragrance. On the makeup side of things, Uoga Uoga’s latest launches include the illuminating highlighter Comet Tail (which offers a subtle shimmer rather than full-on glow) and Over the Clouds, a hydrating facial serum primer. See pics above.

ZOYA GOES PRETTY (Bulgaria)

Bulgarian brand Zoya goes Pretty is another Vivaness stalwart. The company behind this beauty brand also runs three fabulous organic beauty/food stores in the country’s capital city Sofia (check out my retail profile on Zoya here; if you’re ever in Sofia the Zoya stores are so worth a visit!).

Zoya’s own label brand Zoya goes Pretty offers a wide range of skin and body care – body butters, milks add lotions; face balms and creams; cold-pressed oils, shea butter blends and essential oils and as you would expect from a Bulgarian beauty brand, a full range of rose water toners and other floral and plant hydrosols.

At Vivaness 2020, Zoya presented two new products: a fresh Cleansing Face Foam which is based on rose water and promises to cleanse skin without drying it out, and the creamy Mojito Body Lotion (I was impressed by the texture which is sort of buttery and liquid at the same time) which is scented with notes of lime and mint and really does smell like the eponymous drink.

AYAN (Bulgaria)

Next to Alteya Organics (who were also at Vivaness but I already wrote about their most recent launches in my Cosmoprof Hong Kong 2019 report, so I decided to skip their Vivaness booth) my favourite Bulgarian beauty brand is Ayan. Founder Yana Moravska owns a lavender field a bit outside of Sofia where she grows several different types of lavender.

Ayan specialises in lavender cosmetics and I especially love the brand’s Multi Lavender Butter which is just about the only shea butter blend that my skin likes (and the lavender fragrance *insert emoji with starry eyes here* is just divine!) . The product line-up offers stylishly packaged face care and body care as well children’s and baby care and a range of SPF sun care products.

Yana told me that her next product launch two deodorant sticks (Lavender and Lime & Mint) packaged in push-up cardboard sleeves. The sticks will be based on magnesium as the key active (rather than the more common baking soda) and should be available sometime this spring/summer.

Vivaness Best New Product Awards 2020

The idea of the trade show’s annual New Product Awards is excellent: exhibitors can register their most exciting new products in a showcase and the trade show visitors then get to vote for their favourite launches.

However, every single year the majority of the awards go to the same four or five big German mainstream brands (who usually turn up with a shed-load of new products launches that are then entered in multiple categories). Predictable and pretty boring.

I do wish there was an additional awards show that is dedicated solely to the many amazing organic niche and indie brands that I see at Vivaness every year. Or that each brand can only enter one category. Anything to level the playing field.

Anyway, these were the winners of the 2020 awards. At least Ben & Anna (who are the most indie-oriented of the domestic lot) received one of this year’s awards, and most deservedly so!

Face care: German brand Speick with the “White Soap, Red Soap & Green Soap”.
Hair care: Speick again with the Pure Shampoo.
Special care: German brand Primavera with its new Hemp Seed Oil.
Wellness products: Primavera again with its new range of Wellbeing essential oil blends and sprays.
Body care: German brand Ben & Anna with their Natural Care Shower & Shampoo Tablets.
Makeup: German brand Sante (Logocos) with Fresh Cucumber Volume Mascara Black.
Drugstore beauty: Eliah Sahil Organic Care with Organic Tooth Powder Ginger and Organic Tooth Oil Turmeric.

Well, that was Vivaness. Strange to think that this might have been the last German cosmetics trade show to actually (physically) take place in 2020…

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this article, take care and stay safe. Vivaness 2021 will take place from 17th to 20th February 2020 (fingers crossed!). I’ll leave you with some more images from the trade fair!

Leave a comment

Filed under Exhibitions, Industry News, Retail, Show Reports, Trade Shows, Travel, Trends

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.