Organic trade show Vivaness usually takes place in February which means that I’ve only ever experienced Nuremberg in winter, at icy temperatures, in pouring rain and occasionally even in hail and snow.
This year, however, Vivaness and its partner show Biofach took place from 26th to 29th July – organisers Messe Nürnberg had postponed the trade fair duo for pandemic reasons. Nuremberg during a heatwave – also exhausting, but altogether so much more attractive than Nuremberg in late winter : )
2022 was my eight Vivaness visit altogether. If you’re interested check out my trade show reviews of Vivaness 2014, Vivaness 2015, Vivaness 2016, Vivaness 2017, Vivaness 2018, Vivaness 2019, Vivaness 2020 and Vivaness 2021 (which took place digitally).
There are several huge advantages to a summer fair: No massive winter coats to check at the expo centre cloakroom when you arrive in the morning so it really cuts down on waiting times.
Also, the inner courtyard area of Nürnberg’s expo centre is rather nice in summer; with trestle tables outside, sun umbrellas; you can eat your lunch underneath the trees sitting on only slightly yellowed grass (climate change=it hasn’t rained enough in Germany for the last few years so everything is much too dry). I guess the lawns in the expo centre are watered regularly.
The major drawback this year: The postponed dates were right in the middle of German summer holidays so visitor and exhibitor numbers across both shows were down; for this and numerous other reasons, including (but not limited to) war and pandemic restrictions.
Vivaness 2022 – A showcase of indie brands
Vivaness 2022 was very much a trade show of niche/indie brands and first-time exhibitors. None of the big names were at the fair and in addition, the show was squeezed into two of the Biofach halls which made things really difficult to navigate as a Vivaness visitor because you keep getting side-tracked by Biofach exhibitors.
Usually Vivaness and its different expo sections – like the Breeze area for emerging brands and the Novelties section – are in the same hall. Having everything in one place obviously creates a better atmosphere, more cohesion and generates a hell of a lot more foot traffic than this year’s trade fair layout which was sort of dribbled across halls 8 and 9. I felt quite bad for the first-time exhibitors because in this respect, Vivaness 2022 could have been improved quite a bit.
On the other hand, this was the first in-person Vivaness/Biofach since February 2020 (Vivaness 2021 took place digitally, you can check out my trade show report here) and despite the absence of practically all the big C&T exhibitors this year, it was fantastic being at the show IRL again.
Vivaness 2022 – Sustainability rules
Considering that this is an organic beauty trade show it isn’t surprising that sustainability and its numerous sub-trends played a key role at Vivaness 2022. The majority of exhibitors were comparatively young brands so there was a heavy emphasis on zero-waste, water-conscious and plastic-free/less-plastic beauty.
I’m not going to list all the first-time exhibitors that presented solid face cleansers, shampoo bars, body cleansers, solid hand creams, solid SPF sticks and so on, because then we’d be here all night. Obviously quite a few recently launched brands feel that the market for solid bath & body care is not saturated yet, and good luck to them.
Oral care was another very prominent product category at Vivanes 2022; scroll to the end of this article for more info. A similar situation applied here: A lot of first-time exhibitors were new brands focusing on plastic-free/zero-waste/water-conscious products.
I also saw several Vivaness exhibitors that I’d already met at Cosmoprof Bologna this March – Lithuanian solid beauty brand Solidu Cosmetics, for example, Danish company Unique Beauty’s new prestige brand Beau::Heit or German zero-waste bathroom brand Ben & Anna. You can find the respective brand profiles, pics and new launches in my Cosmoprof Bologna 2022 report.
Vivaness 2022 – Favourite brand discoveries
And now let’s dive into my favourite brand discoveries at Vivaness 2022! I think I’m going to start out with the new launches of the bigger companies – most of these are returning brands that I particularly like – and then highlight some of my favourite first-time exhibitors at the trade show.
Budget beauty brand Benecos presented a whole bunch of new launches at the show, the most striking of which were the travel-themed refillable Beauty ID makeup palettes you can see in the picture below. Now, there are not many German makeup brands that offer refillable palettes, and certainly not in the organic sector.
Artdeco (conventional masstige colour cosmetics brand) is probably the most famous German label to offer this kind of pick `n mix concept; and Manhattan (conventional drugstore makeup brand) had something like this maybe around ten years ago?
However, I can’t think of any organic German brand in the Benecos price range to offer refillable palettes. Consumers can chose between a large and a small palette with neutral designs or one of four city-themed palettes that can be filled with different powder products: eyeshadows, blushers, highlighters and so on.
Also new from Benecos is an extended range of face care products (the brand first showed bath care products a few years ago; it might even have been at the last in-person Vivaness?) Anyway, the line-up includes different face lotions, serums and face oils.
Naveen is one of my favourite Taiwanese beauty brands and it’s always lovely to see the brand and its founder Karen at a trade show. This time, Naveen presented its latest launch, a sachet-free eye mask which is a companion product to the brand’s zero-waste face mask.
The eye masks are dry and the serum is packaged in a glass bottle; to use it you saturate the dry mask material with the serum. Another new launch are a body lotion and hand cream formulated with soothing oat extract, for skin that is stressed out by constant hand washing and disinfecting.
LÉA NATURE (France)
French organic beauty manufacturer Léa Nature is the company behind one of my favourite French skin care brands Eau Thermale Jonzac. The company also has several other personal care brands, including So’Bio Étic (skin and body care), Boho Green Makeup (colour cosmetics) and Natessance (bath and body care).
Amongst this year’s new launches are the 4-sku Clean‘Yuzu range in the So’Bio Étic brand – it’s a product line for young, acne-prone skin and offers a foaming facial cleanser, an exfoliating gel, a purifying wash-off mask with charcoal and a light facial moisturiser. All products feature yuzu extract as key botanicals.
And in the Jonzac brand, the latest launches are the 3-sku Pure Age range which will be rolled out in October (these are three products for acne-prone/oily mature skin).
ZOYA GOES PRETTY (Bulgaria)
Sadly, neither Ayan nor Alteya Organics (two of my all-time favourite Bulgarian organic brands) were at the show this year but Zoya goes Pretty was there and their products are pretty cool, too. Also, the company behind Zoya operates several organic/healthfood beauty stores/cafés in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia; if you are ever visiting Sofia go and check out one of the Zoya.bg outlets, you won’t regret it!
The latest Zoya goes Pretty launches include two new rose-water based products: a rose water & hyaluronic acid facial spray and a matching serum. Both products are based on rose water and sea water; with lovely scents and textures.
The only Korean brand to attend this year’s Vivaness was Chobs (one of my favourites). I remember that at the last in-person Vivaness Chobs presented their new Ginseng range (see ic below) which, sadly, is still not available in Germany yet. The price point of this line is high but then ginseng (especially the high quality organic mature ginseng that Chobs uses in its products) is an expensive raw ingredient.
Anyway, amongst Chobs‘ latest launches is an baby sun care stick which you can see in the picture above; it’s a line extension in the brand’s children’s sun care range.
UOGA UOGA (Latvia)
Uoga Uoga doesn’t really need much of an introduction any more: this Latvian beauty brand has become very well known in Germany and Europe in the decade since it was first launched. They are a regular exhibitor at Vivaness – I went back to my previous reports to double-check and 2016 was Uoga Uoga’s first Vivaness appearance.
In 2021 Uoga Uoga relaunched its pack design and logo; you can see their new look in the picture above. The brand also presented a few new launches, including the 6-sku Quince range and compostable refill packs for their mineral makeup powder foundation.
It’s such an obviously brilliant idea for loose powder products which I haven’t seen in the German market yet. I use mineral powder myself from a different brand and have to repurchase plastic containers every time I finish a jar.
AFRO LOCKE (Germany)
Indie brand Afro Locke from Germany was a returning exhibitor at Vivaness (their first appearance was at Vivaness 2020; you can read more about the brand in my trade show review from that year). Afro Locke manufactures organic hair care for textured hair types (I particularly like the vanilla-scented conditioner) and this year the founders presented two new products, a solid shampoo and a moisturising hair oil.
Since the brand was first launched in 2019 they’ve really expanded their distribution: starting out with a presence at DM drugstore’s online shop two years ago the Afro Locke products are now sold in around 200 offliner POS, including drugstore chain Budni and organic supermarket retailers Basic and LPG.
VAN TOEN REMEDIES (Netherlands)
Van Toen Remedies was at the Breeze section of Vivaness 2022 – Breeze is the expo area for first-time exhibitors and indie/niche brands – and the brand caught my eye because of its interesting product concept.
Van Toen was launched last year and offers 7 sku of traditional European healing remedies. The line-up includes a self-warming Hot Balm for sore muscles which is based on almond oil and castor oil and blended with essential oils such as wintergreen, camphor, pine needles, cajeput and eucalyptus).
Adem Vrij (free breath) is a type of vapor rub balm that you apply to your chest when you have a cold (this balm contains camphor, menthol, eucalytpts, thyme and mint) but the range also offers a plant-derived vaseline which is based on castor oil, Japan wax (Rhus Succedanea Fruit Cera) and macadamia seed oil.
Spier- & Gewrichtsbalsem (muscle and joint balm) is based on castor oil and various plant waxes and blended with essential oils and extracts that help improve circulation, warm the tissues and relieve pain and Arnica+ which is a liquid lotion for stiff muscles with arnica extract, comfrey, wild rosemary, Devil’s Claw and Rhus Toxicodendron.
The products are formulated according to classic apothecary recipes and priced at a very reasonable 10-20 Euro. Only available in the Netherlands at the moment but the company behind Van Toen, Suit Matters, is looking for distributors for Van Toen and I hope they’ll find one soon because I really liked the products.
EVERYDAY FOR FUTURE (Italy)
This brand was launched in 2020 by Italian manufacturer CosMyFy and caught my eye because of their solid face care serums. CosMyFy itself was founded in 2018/2019, they do influencer beauty (i.e. help influencer develop and launch their own beauty ranges); Everyday for Future, however, is a retail range with pouch- and sachet-packaged products. Certified organic and vegan; in Italy the brand is sold in OVS stores and online through Douglas Italy but the products are also available in Monoprix department stores in France, I was told.
I particularly liked the four solid face care products in the line-up; two undereye serums and two facial serums. Light and cooling textures, very nice indeed. The most recent launch in the brand is a line of makeup, see pic below. The products are prices at a mass market compatible 5-11 Euro for face care and 8-15 Euro for makeup.
INKUTO ORGANICS (Finland)
African-Finnish brand Inkuto Organics was launched in 2007 and specialises in African black soap (a traditional type of soap originating from West Africa. Usually based on coconut or other plant oils or shea butter, the black colour comes from plant ash) and shea butter-based hair, body and face care with a Finnish twist.
Brand founder Edem Agbekey-Taylor is originally from Ghana and sources her shea butter from female-run cooperatives in the more rural areas of the country, and especially from cooperatives run by widows and orphans as these women tend to be amongst the most economically deprived people in Ghana.
At the trade show, Inkuto presented some of its black soap-based bestsellers, like the liquid and solid body, face and hair soaps – these products contain only three basic ingredients (coconut oil, cocoa husk ashes and water) which are available unscented or blended with various essential oils. In its home market of Finland the line-up is much bigger and includes some interesting-sounding shea butter products blended with typically Scandinavian plant extracts like birch sap or berries.
In Finland, Inkuto is retailed in around 100 offline POS, mostly organic and healthfood supermarkets and department stores.
At first glance I thought that Babyduft manufactured baby fragrances (yes, baby and childrens’ perfumes is a thing in some regional markets!) but no, the Swiss brand develops aromatherapy scent products for babies and children (and anyone who needs better sleep).
Babyduft was launched in 2020 and offers six aromatherapy sku: the Sweet Dream Body & Pillow Spray and a matching body oil and bath powder, a soothing thyme-scented balm for chesty colds, a relaxing herbal tea and a sheep wool pillow filled with dried herbs that can be placed on achy baby tummies to warm them. Products are priced from 18-35 Euro and in Switzerland the brand is already pretty successful. They have a few POS in Germany but nothing major so they were at the show to find a German distributor.
SKIN’S RESTAURANT (Spain)
Skin’s Restaurant caught my eye because of the really striking packaging design. I can’t tell you much about the brand as the person at the booth wasn’t really that helpful, but the brand is from Spain and was recently launched so it’s only available online right now.
The 8-skuproducts are vegan and the key botanical ingredients are featured on the front of the packaging in a restaurant-style menu design. Very attractive.
Vivaness 2022 – Small batch and hand-made
As many of the first-time exhibitors at this year’s Vivaness were small brands the artisan factor was high – think small-batch oil blends, balms and hydrosols made with local ingredients. Regionality is obviously a very big trend right now – hashtag #glocal ! – so these brands were very much on point with their product concepts.
RAW NATURKOSMETIK (Germany)
Raw Naturkosmetik, for example, comes from the Odenwald region of Baden-Württemberg and was launched in early 2022.
The brand offers a 9-sku range of locally-produced, hand-made and cold pressed oil beauty products, including several facial oil blends based on one key plant oil each, a light facial emulsion and an oil roll-on. The most recent launch are three pregnancy/anti-stretchmark body oils.
ROSE AND ANN (Germany)
Rose and Ann is an indie brand from Bavaria which offers upcycled rosehip kernel oil-based beauty products. Founded in early 2022, the brand sources its rosehip kernels from the food waste generated by local jam manufacturer Maintal Konfitüren.
The line-up comprises six oil products. Five of these are oil blends in which the rosehip kernel oil is combined with different plant stem cell complexes – Age Well, for example, contains white tuberose and red grape stem cells, Minus Redness (an anti-redness blend) is formulated with apple stem cells – while the sixth product is the pure rosehip oil. The pack design of this brand is striking, it looks much more stylish than a lot of organic beauty brands, and the addition of the plant stem cells is an interesting twist.
The oil blends are priced at around 30 Euro for 30ml and the Rose and Ann products are primarily available online right now.
SPIRIT OF RÜGEN (Germany)
Another very regional newcomer, Spirit of Rügen was founded in 2021 and is based on the North German island of Rügen. Rügen is famous for its white chalk cliffs (Rügen healing chalk or „Rügener Kreide“ is used in different beauty and medicinal treatments) and Spirit of Rügen uses this healing chalk in many of its hand-made products, like in the toothpaste which is based on 40% sage hydrosol and 20% chalk and comes packaged in a glass flacon with pump dispenser.
The line-up comprises some 50-odd products: Solid shampoo and soaps, hand-distilled plant hydrosols from locally sourced botanicals, matching facial oils and powder face masks. My favourites were the Algae hydrosol (a pure laminaria distillate with a wonderful scent) and a coffee hydrosol distilled from locally roasted robusta beans.
Prices range from 7-11 Euro for the soaps over 12 Euro for the hydrosols and 20-25 Euro for facial oils and the products are mostly available online right now.
Another new brand, this time from the unpackaged/packaging-free retail sector: Fabel was launched in May 2021 after a successful crowd-funding campaign. There’s no brand website, just an Instagram account.
They manufacture multipurpose makeup sticks that can be used on lips, cheeks or eyes: There are currently 9 different shades which are all hand-produced in Berlin; the paper/cardboard packaging is also sourced locally. Priced at around 10 Euro the Fabel sticks are at the moment only available in unpackaged/packaging-free stores; I was told that they currently have around 20-30 offline POS in Germany (with a couple of stores in Austria and Switzerland).
Vivaness 2022 – Oral care everywhere
Oral care was very strongly represented at Vivaness, both amongst first-time exhibitors and new product launches. The German oral care market – traditionally a staid and boring category – has been seeing a lot of innovation over the past few years, primarily from indie and organic brands.
A bit of background info for any international readers: The classic teeth cleaning format in Germany is paste (packaged in a tube) and while some of the organic brands offer herbal flavours around 95% of classic toothpastes in Germany are flavoured with some kind of mint aroma. You only find sweet/fruity flavours in products formulated for children. Basically, any person 40 years and older in Germany grew up with minty toothpaste.
Then German toothpaste tablet manufacturer Denttabs presented its innovative toothpaste tablets at Vivaness 2016 – garnering one of the coveted New Product Awards that year – and, as it turned out, kickstarted an entirely new tooth cleaning format trend. Denttabs was first retailed in organic supermarkets only. Eventually the brand was picked up by drugstore market leader DM and now the Denttabs tablets are widely available in Germany; and numerous other indie oral care brand have launched toothpaste tablets since then, often experimenting with different flavours (fruity, herbal and so on.)
Tooth cleaning powders, on the other hand, are a comparatively recent phenomenon and have only been around for a couple of years at the most. Like all major solid and powder beauty trends of the last five years (I’m looking at you, shampoo bars!), this format appeared in the organic beauty industry first.
You won‘t find powder oral care in Germany’s drugstores or supermarkets yet; this format is mostly available in unpackaged/packaging-free stores as of now. As the toothpaste tablet market is niche and likely to remain so – most Germans still prefer pastes as this is what they’re familiar with – it is pretty much saturated already. Not that this is stopping the many recently launched zero-waste and plastic-free oral care brands that is still flooding the market, all claiming to be the first to revolutionise the oral care category with their sustainable and water-conscious products : )
Anyway, tooth powders were definitely the break-out oral care format at Vivaness 2022 – I saw at least half dozen tooth cleaning powder launches on the floor, for example from German brands Apeiron and Birkengold and Italian brand Bio Happy (Gala Cosmetici).
My favourite tooth powder brand was probably Teethlovers, a German start-up launched in 2021. The brand offers its vegan and fluoride-free tooth powders in four different flavours blends, Peppermint-Lemon, Lemon-Turmeric-Ginger, Lemongrass-Rosemary-Thyme and Mandarine-Vanilla-Camomile.
The powders are based on birch sugar, white clay from Rügen island and baking soda and retail for 8 Euro per 30 grams (said to be enough for 100 brushings, i.e. 2 months). There are also larger refill jars available. Teethlovers is sold online and in unpackaged/packaging-free stores (which also offer powder refill stations).
And this was Vivaness 2022! I look forward to next year’s show with its usual trade fair dates in February 2023 – and hopefully with all of the usual big exhibitors.