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!
This was my third visit to Cosmobeauty Seoul and I must say, this trade fair is getting better every year. The 2019 edition took place from 9th-11th April 2019 and it was so busy; it definitely felt much more crowded than last year. Official figures confirm this: according to the organisers 52,376 visitors attended the 2019 trade fair (last year’s Cosmobeauty attracted 50,673 attendees). And, on a personal note, there were so many Westerners/foreigners amongst the visitors this year!
I remember my first Cosmobeauty in 2016: there were just a handful of foreign faces then. I guess it goes to show how K-beauty continues to influence the international beauty industry. Or something. Anyway, if you’re interested in the trade show review of my previous visits, you can check out Cosmobeauty 2016, Cosmobeauty 2017 or Cosmobeauty 2018.
And here are the official facts and figures about Cosmobeauty 2019! The exhibition space reached 11,088 m2 this year and there were around 520 exhibition booths with a total of 373 exhibitors from 13 countries – a significant increase compared to the 2018 edition of the show with its 342 exhibitors. The majority of exhibitors – 308 companies – were Korean, the remaining 65 companies came from Europe, China, South East Asia and the US.
Cosmobeauty 2019 also felt a lot more trend-driven than the previous shows – exhibitors came from the organic/natural sector and from the green/clean category; there were several young millennial-style brands and quite a few start-ups. The organisers also added some exciting features in 2019: a new section was the “Rookies of the Year” showcase which introduced interesting new exhibitors and their product innovations. Altogether a very exciting show!
And now let’s jump straight in! Click on the link below to read about some of my favourite brand discoveries.
The 23rd edition of Cosmoprof Asia was amazing and super busy. It was my fifth visit to Asia-Pacific’s largest C&T trade show and by now I know many of the exhibiting beauty brands and companies.
Cosmoprof Hong Kong is a great place to meet up with people because almost everyone in the Asia-related international beauty industry tends to be there. The trade show has become a very social event for me, with lots of meetings and coffee dates. It’s so much fun catching up with everyone!
And although this means less time to walk the floor and check out exhibitors and brands, Cosmoprof Asia – the finished cosmetics/retail beauty part of the C&T trade show – is so big that you never manage to see everything anyway. There are only three days allocated to the HKCEC trade show and even if you start at 9.30am sharp (which is when the halls open) and stay until 6pm, the days are never long enough.
Still, I managed to post a total of 30 Instagram pics/brand profiles during those three days – well done me! – and now I’ll introduce the most interesting of these brands (plus a few others that didn’t make it into my Insta coverage) in more detail.
Click on the link below for more info!
The first stop on my Asia trip this May was Seoul, for Cosmobeauty 2018 trade show (check out my trade show review here) but also to do my customary store research. This is something I do whenever I travel; even if I have visited the country/city before.
I visit as many health & beauty retailers as possible; at least one chain per distribution channel: drugstore, perfumery, department store, organic store (or equivalent) and whatever specific retail channel a particular country might have.
And then I spend hours in-store until the security staff and/or sales personnel is starting to give me suspicious looks ; ). I’m checking out the products that are displayed on the shelves: are there any interesting new beauty launches – any new key ingredients? Product types? Packaging designs?
Does the retailer have any own label brands and if so, what do they look like? Is there just one own label range or a diversified portfolio of proprietary product ranges? What is the overall percentage of domestic brands vs. international brands? And what do the retail chains look like; do they offer any in-store services, features or activities to make shopping in a bricks ´n mortar store more exciting?
I also take pictures, usually discreetly because retailers in Asia often forbid you to photograph their products or store interiors. Case in point: Chicor and Olive Young (more info in the article!); in one particular Olive Young store I was told no less than three times (by three different staff) that taking photos was not allowed! Although I am a law-abiding citizen by nature I tend to disregard these strictures and as a result I’ve become very good at clandestine photography : )
This was my fifth visit to Seoul and after the first couple of days I was struck by how rapidly the Korean beauty retail market is changing at the moment. And it all started less than two years ago.
There are three (!) new beauty retail chains on the market which offer a European-style perfumery multi-brand concept (and for the Korean beauty market this is is nothing less than revolutionary – again, more info on this in the article!) while drugstore market leader Olive Young is hastily refurbishing its stores across the capital in a scramble to keep up with all of the new competitors.
One week was barely enough to visit all of these new retailers and because so much is happening in the Korean beauty market at the moment, I think it is time for an overview article on all of the new beauty retail chains (with plenty of high-res pictures, of course).
Click on the link below!
The 2018 edition of Korean C&T trade Cosmobeauty Seoul took place from 9th-11th May in Seoul’s COEX exhibition centre. It was my third Cosmobeauty visit (for more information, check out my reviews for Cosmobeauty 2016 and Cosmobeauty 2017) and – just like last year – it was a very worthwhile trade show.
I noticed more Western faces this year (and they were not just buyers) and many international K-Beauty/Asian beauty bloggers. It was an exciting two days. And without further ado: click on the link below for a list of my favourite brand discoveries (and re-discoveries!) of Cosmobeauty 2018.
While I was in Seoul I had the opportunity to visit the marketing office of organic Korean beauty brand Yuri Pibu. Yay! I should explain that so far I had only read about Yuri Pibu’s iconic beauty products (like the famous parsley toner and artichoke serum) on various K-beauty blogs and forums.
Yuri Pibu is not retailed in Europe (yet!); in Korea the brand is sold online only and Google Translate wasn’t particularly helpful with the Korean-language website. Basically, I was intensely curious about the brand and although I’m really good at online research I was getting nowhere with Yuri Pibu.
So I was very excited when EGT Korea, the company behind Yuri Pibu, invited me to visit their office and check out the products myself. I also asked them a bunch of question about the brand, the products and Yuri Pibu’s further expansion plans. Click on the link below to read more!
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I am currently in Seoul. And I’m so happy to be back! The main event here was, of course, Cosmobeauty trade show which took place from 27th-29th April 2017. It was my second time at Cosmobeauty – you can read my show review about Cosmobeauty 2016 here – and it feels like it was a different trade show. Although I liked Cosmobeauty 2016 I almost prefer this year’s show – and not just because there were so many new organic beauty brands to discover!
And here – as promised – is the brand profile about Jath, the new organic beauty brand from Korean natural products manufacturer Jallon. I had met Jallon at Cosmoprof Asia 2016 back in November; the company has recently taken over the marketing for my all-time favourite beauty brand Whamisa. At the trade show, Jallon presented two new organic brands: Nature Belle (you can read my article about Nature Belle here) and Jath.
Jath is a premium anti-ageing face care range which was launched in the summer of 2016. Like its sister brands Whamisa and Nature Belle, Jath is manufactured by ENS Korea, certified organic by German association BDIH (Cosmos) and the entire range is completely water-free: the first ingredient in all five products is aloe vera leaf water.
The Jath line-up includes an eye cream, a face cream and three serums/elixirs which are packaged in glass bottles and jars; the outer packaging is made from stiff cardboard. All products have been scented with a similar blend of essential oils (rosewood, bergamot, geranium and lemongrass) and the fragrance is rather invigorating: zesty citrus notes, aromatic herbals and spicy wood accords.
At Cosmoprof Asia last month I also met one of my favourite organic beauty brands from Korea: Whamisa. Whamisa’s manufacturer ENS Korea was a first-time exhibitor at the trade show, together with organic manufacturer Jallon which has taken over the marketing and promotion for the Whamisa brand.
And Jallon presented two new certified organic product ranges: premium anti-ageing range Jath and children & baby care range Nature Belle. I’ll post a more detailed article on Jath soon. This brand profile is about Nature Belle. Click on the link below for more information, ingredients and pics!
Well, the 21st edition of Asia’s biggest beauty trade show has come and gone. Cosmoprof Asia 2016 took place from 15th to 18th November 2016.
This year, organisers UBM BolognaFiere had divided the trade show into two sections: Ingredients, Machinery/Equipment, Pack & OEM took place from 15th-17th November at AsiaWorld-Expo; Cosmetics & Toiletries, Salon Beauty, Hair & Nails was at Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre from 16th-18th November.
Since my focus is retail cosmetics I spent the entire trade show at HKCEC. And like Cosmoprof Asia 2014 and Cosmoprof Asia 2015, Cosmoprof Asia 2016 turned out to be a fabulous show: I discovered interesting new beauty brands and met up with many familiar faces – it was an exciting (and exhausting!) three days.
Click on the link below for some of my favourite brand discoveries!