Finally! The first in-person Cosmoprof Bologna show (28th April to 2nd May 2022) since the pandemic began and although the Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese contingents were almost non-existent this year (Korea was the only Asian country with a major presence at the show), the world’s biggest cosmetics trade fair started its first edition in the New Normal with 2,700+ exhibitors from 70 countries and 26 country pavilions. Over 220,000 visitors from 140 countries attended the show.
If you’re interested in what the pre-pandemic trade shows were like: here are the links to my previous articles: Cosmoprof Bologna 2019, Cosmoprof Bologna 2018, Cosmoprof Bologna 2017 and Cosmoprof Bologna 2016.
Well, the second edition of virtual trade show Cosmoprof Asia Digital Week has come and gone. First introduced in 2020 as a substitute for the cancelled Cosmoprof Asia trade show in Hong Kong, CADW 2021 had the same format as last year’s show (here’s the link to my Cosmoprof Asia Digital Week 2020 article) – the Match & Meet database for exhibitors and visitors, online exhibitor database, Cosmotalks lectures, Cosmostage product demonstrations. The whole event took place from 8th to 16th November 2021.
This year I was registered as Media/Press so I didn’t have access to Match & Meet but still found a lot of interesting beauty brands and trends, so let’s jump right in!
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!
As you can imagine, this year’s Cosmoprof Asia was massively overshadowed by the political situation in Hong Kong (#StandWithHongKong).
Many international exhibitors had cancelled their appearance at short notice, the majority of attendees from mainland China (one of the biggest visitor demographics for Cosmoprof Asia) also decided to skip the show this year; and so did quite a few international visitors.
I had booked my usual Wan Chai hotel in walking distance of HKCEC and my part of the neighbourhood remained fairly quiet this week so I felt pretty safe throughout my entire stay in Hong Kong. And I did enjoy Cosmoprof Asia 2019 despite everything!
This was my fourth 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.
Cosmoprof Bologna becomes more fun every year. This was my third visit to the world’s biggest C&T trade show (well, the fourth if you count my Cosnova-sponsored overnight visit from 2016 – and while I’m at it, here are my trade show reviews from 2017 and 2018!).
By now I know the basic layout of the halls (although I still get lost in the CS (Centro Servizio – press office, event rooms, store, pharmacy, post office etc.) every single time because the different sections are just so badly signposted!).
I know which buses go to the trade show from the city centre (an important consideration when selecting my accommodation!) and, almost more importantly, which of these bus lines are diverted on the weekends because Bologna’s historic city centre turns into a pedestrian zone on Saturdays and Sundays.
And I can rest assured that I won’t need need to get morning espresso fix in the city before heading to the trade show centre (like I would in any German city) because the cafés in Bologna Fiera serve excellent espresso for 1.20 Euro and a 1 ½ littre bottle of water retails for 3 Euro. Water and caffeine, two trade show essentials!
Click on the link below for an overview of some of my favourite brand discoveries at this year’s Cosmoprof Bologna!
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!
I just returned from Bologna in Italy where I visited the 2018 edition of Cosmoprof Bologna, the largest C&T trade show in the world. This was my third time at Cosmoprof Bologna although the first visit in 2016 was a bit of an overnighter (I still managed to post a long 2016 trade show review, check it out here!). And if you’re interested: here is my Cosmoprof Bologna 2017 trade show review.
According to organizers BolognaFiere and UBM, more than 250,000 visitors attended Cosmoprof Bologna 2018 which is an increase of 11% compared to the previous year. Exhibitor numbers grew to 2,822 companies and brands from 70 regions; this figure also includes exhibitors at Cosmopack, the packaging/manufacturing/OEM side of Cosmoprof.
The format of the trade show changed again this year. There are three parts of the show: Cosmopack, Cosmo Perfumery & Cosmetics (including Cosmoprime) and Cosmo Hair & Nail & Beauty Salon (the total of these three shows is “Cosmoprof Bologna”). Cosmo Perfumery & Cosmetics focuses on retail/finished cosmetics (anything you might see in stores) while Cosmo Hair & Nail & Beauty Salon is for professional hair and nail beauty brands.
The Cosmoprime trends hall – a trade show feature that had been introduced in 2017 – returned in 2018; as did the Extraordinary Gallery which was divided into two sections this year: Extraordinary Gallery Green Selection (for indie and newcomer brands with a green positioning) and the “normal” Extraordinary Gallery; plus a Green Prime selection for masstige and luxury green-positioned brands. Still with me? Also in Cosmoprime: the Tones of Beauty showcase, an area that is dedicated to multicultural and ethnic brands.
To make things even more confusing there were two sets of opening times this year: Cosmopack, Cosmo Perfumery & Cosmetics and Cosmoprime opened from 15th to 18th March 2018; Cosmo Hair & Nail & Beauty Salon took place from 16th to 19th March 2018.
My main focus this year was Cosmoprime (I spent 2 ½ days there; it was just so packed with interesting brands and trends!) but I also spent half a day at the Green & Natural Hall 21N and one day wandering around the “normal” Cosmo halls (including the country pavilions).
And after this rather long introduction: click on the link below to read more about my favourite brand discoveries at Cosmoprof Bologna 2018. And be warned: this is my longest trend-traveller.com trade show review yet! As always, brands are not listed in any particular order although I have added separate sections for newcomer brands and men’s brands (of which there were many!).
Well, Vivaness 2018 has come and gone. The 11th edition of the trade fair took place from 14th to 17th February 2018 together with sister show Biofach, the biggest organic food trade show worldwide. I actually had to go through my old show reports to count how many times I’ve attended this trade show; 2018 was my fifth Vivaness visit.
In total there were 3,218 exhibitors at both shows (275 of these companies and brands were Vivaness exhibitors) which is a big increase compared to 2017 – check out my show reviews for Vivaness 2014, Vivaness 2015, Vivaness 2016 and Vivaness 2017.
This year’s trade fair seemed to feature more small and newcomer brands than previous years (especially in the newcomer Breeze exhibition area) which was fabulous – after all, this is one of the main reasons why I love visiting trade shows: new brand discoveries!
Which is also why this show review will focus on international niche and start-up brands (many of which you’ll recognize from my Instagram feed). Also, with a few exceptions, these are all brands that I’ve never written about on trend-traveller, so this is quite exciting for me as well. I’ve grouped the brands by country, but in no particular order.
And now, click on the link below to read more about my favourite brand discoveries at Vivaness 2018!