Innovation Abounds at Luxe Pack Conference
NEW YORK — Attendees at this year’s Luxe Pack New York packaging show have developed a new attitude — toward innovations and marketing concepts.

“What’s new?” was overheard as the prevailing theme among the 1,503 visitors to the show at the Metropolitan Pavilion here, which included 75 exhibitors featuring the newest innovations in cosmetics and fragrance packaging.

“This is one of the most interesting groups of people,” said Marc Gobé, chairman and chief executive officer of the design and branding consultancy firm Desgrippes Gobé. “It’s a hotbed of innovation.”

Now in its fourth year, Luxe Pack New York is put on by Indice Monaco, the organizer of Luxe Pack Monaco and Luxe Pack Brazil.

“Luxe Pack is becoming more and more the place to be for luxury packaging [suppliers],” said Luxe Pack president Christophe Czajka. “We are always looking for people with innovative ideas.”

From a faux-diamond-encrusted bottle of the fragrance Fantasy by pop star Britney Spears, to the light-up bottles of nail polish, mascara and lipstick of Robert Du Grenier, innovations in packaging design abounded at the conference.

But is new always good for the fragrance and packaging industry?

This concept was explored in a panel discussion entitled “What’s New: Is It Cutting Edge or Cannibalizing Brands?” and moderated by Marc Rosen, president of Marc Rosen and Associates. The four-person panel included Betsy Schmalz, executive vice president of creative and technological innovation for Beauty Avenues at Limited Brands, and Joe Faranda, vice president of marketing for International Flavors & Fragrances. Also on the panel were Pat Saxby, vice president and divisional merchandise manager of cosmetics and fragrance at Bergdorf Goodman, and François Sabaté, president of Pochet of America.

“The obsession for newness has created an environment of creativity,” Schmalz said. “The [beauty] industry is in a frenzy to find the newest innovations and ingredients. Package suppliers are encouraged to come up with new ways to decorate bottles.”

Noting that now is the “age of the consumer,” Schmalz said that creativity and flexibility are required to win.

This story first appeared in the May 23, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Cosmetics lines can’t just rely simply on new color palettes anymore,” she said.

Faranda echoed Schmalz, saying that the life cycles for products are getting shorter and shorter every year.

“We must create excitement for the consumers,” he said. “We must make sure that the products are truly innovative and differentiated. We really need to understand the consumer and what drives her passion. This will help us as marketers to create enduring desire.”

Creating emotions for the consumer via new products and ideas was discussed on the second day of the conference in a seminar entitled “Emotional Branding,” conducted by Gobé.

“It’s an important manifestation to create emotion in people,” Gobé said. “At the end of the day, it’s really our emotions that are driving the purchase.”

Next year’s Luxe Pack New York will be held May 23 and 24. A Luxe Pack Shanghai event is being planned for next year, Czajka said.
Andrea Arterbery

Parfums d’Image Sees Large Sales Rise
PARIS — Parfums d’Image, the French beauty manufacturer, has reported a 145 percent jump in first-half sales to 6.6 million euros, or $7.9 million at average exchange, for the period ended March 31, year-on-year. The Levallois-Perret, France-based firm, which was floated on the Paris stock exchange in February, said organic growth, excluding its acquisition of Groupe Lys, stood at 66 percent. Parfums d’Image acquired Groupe Lys, a French manufacturer of promotional gifts and cosmetics, in 2005.

On the back of that strong performance, Parfums d’Image raised its current fiscal-year sales forecast to 20 million euros, or $25.6 million at current exchange, up from 18.5 million euros, or $23.7 million. That would mean a 53 percent spike year-on-year. The firm said in a statement that its revenue was spurred by development in Asia, notably in China, plus its car fragrances business.

Parfums d’Image produces private-label beauty products for clients including Wal-Mart-owned Asda in the U.K. and French perfumery chain Nocibé. It also makes fragrances for companies such as car manufacturer Citroën and fashion label Laura Ashley.
Ellen Groves