BW Confidential reports on what was seen and heard at the Luxe Pack Monaco show, which took place from October 2-4
There was generally an optimistic mood at the Luxe Pack Monaco show this year. Most players predicted a positive end to the year, especially in the premium segment, despite the lack of visibility and atmosphere of uncertainty, as well as problems of overstock and inflation.
At the show, there was a strong uptick in attendance this year, with the number of visitors up 10.5% on last year to 10,420. Organizers said that footfall at the show this year was at its highest since the event was created 35 years ago.
The main theme was once again sustainability. In addition to requiring more sustainable materials, brands are also said to be looking for less packaging and items that are made in Europe. As for refills, while these formats have become more common (and there were a number on display at the show), especially in fragrance, they still represent a small segment of the market.
Brands continue to underscore the impact of the increased costs from suppliers; however, packagers complain that they have been hit hard by inflation, and that although energy prices have come down, they will likely rise again.
Another topic of discussion was labor shortages in the sector and rising salaries. The luxury packaging industry is facing a lack of talent in several fields, such as packaging development experts and moulding technicians, says William Hitchon, Senior Partner at Human Value Search. These shortages are only set to drive salaries up further, putting more pressure on costs and margins.
Innovations on show
Heinz-Glas showcased glass bottles for mascara and lip gloss boasting a sleek design with a widened base for standing the product. The design also interacts with light for creating effects. The company offers a range of decorating techniques, from spraying to metallization and printing.
The brushes come from Geka and are made using its exclusive and patented fiber filaments. Also at the show, Heinz Glas presented the Resisdance hardened glass collection featuring a double resistance using a smart process. The innovation is said to stabilize the glass’ surface against impact and scratches, and can be used with thin glass walls (thicknesses of less than 4mm).
Fragrance diffusion specialist Scentys exhibited at the show’s new Luxe Home space, where it highlighted its new cartridge diffuser based on bio-sourced materials, including minerals and plants. The company also presented an innovation for testing scents in a pod format that does not require spraying. Scentys’ products use a patented dry diffusion technology where pure fragrance concentrates free of alcohol or solvents, are encapsulated in polymer beads. The fragrance diffusion technology can also be controlled via a connected platform that uses artificial intelligence.
Spanish dropper company Virospack showed a number of items in the dropper category, including a plant-based dropper using PEFC certified Forewood material, in collaboration with Rezemo GMBH. The bulb is made with bio-based TPE (thermoplastic elastomers) and and a pipette with a Tenite bio-based plastic. The company also showcased a line with new blown injectable bulbs in different personalized shapes and designs, and a new duo dose precision system offering two fixed dosage options.
Packaging supplier Berlin Packaging | Premi Industries presented its Infusion Refill collection featuring the FEA 15 bottle with screw neck and twist pump, which is aimed at the premium fragrance market.
It also showed refillable Double Glass bottles, which house an inner glass compartment and target the prestige skincare and make-up market. Airglass Slim Refill & Go was also on show; it is designed for easy separation of the PP airless bottle from the glass bottle via a safety clip.
Italy-based Lumson presented Xpaper, a paper bottle that provides a lighter packaging for a lower environmental impact. The FSC certified paper bottle encloses a multi-layered pouch to protect the contents and can be used with Lumson’s airless plastic pump in PP and overcap in PP or PCR PP. Representing 50% less in weight than a PET bottle of the same size, the paper bottle reduces carbon emissions by 34% and plastic use by 47%, Lumson says.
Cosmogen showcased a number of new items at the show. They included a range of 100% PET or RPET round and square sticks for wax and anhydrous formulas, such as lipstick tubes, concealers and sun creams; the Removable Squeez’n Fresh, a new eye applicator, which has a removable tip for easy sorting and recycling and a patented on/off closing system; and a collection of stainless steel massage accessories, including a guasha, mini-massagers and a roller. Also on show were three brush sets – for nails, eyebrows and eyes. Each set was designed to meet a specific need and each brush – fiber, silicone or metal has a specific use. The sets come in a cylindrical FSC paper box
Dispensing company Aptar Beauty and packaging manufacturer Quadpack presented a new version of their sustainably positioned wooden refillable lipstick, which first launched last year. The new version, dubbed Iconic Woodacity 2.0, claims to have refined the mono-material wooden casing by providing more types of wood and finishes, while the item features a new patented closure system called Solo Snap. The interior structure of the click closure works without inserts or plastic – consumers pull the cap off and push it back on until it clicks.
Aptar Beauty also revealed its new generation of droppers. Called NeoDropper, the line claims to offer better protection of the formula, dispense a precise dose and provide a high restitution rate. The line has been designed for concentred formulas, such as serums. It comes in two versions: NeoDropper Classic, with the traditional bulb, and NeoDropper Autoload, which has push-button loading system that enables the dropper to prepare a precise pre-determined dose of formula when pressed.
Meanwhile, Quadpack presented the ShapeUp Stick, which it describes as the ultimate interaction between pack, formula and consumer. The patent-pending refillable stick features a custom design plate for dispensing the formula in different shapes, such as a logo. The 12.5ml stick is made with mono-material PP and the cap and base can be made of PCR PP.
The product can also be used for a variety of formulas, including gloss, sunscreen, moisturizer or foundation and the formula can be applied like a stamp or by swiping.
Albea Tubes put the focus on its sustainable offer. This includes its Metamorphosis range, which has lowered its plastic weight by replacing plastic with Kraft and white paper (the range also has a flip-top cap); (Re)Flex 2, which aims to convey a shiny or brushed metallic effect without aluminum foil; and Greenleaf, which claims to be recycling-ready in the HDPE bottle stream, a and have a reduced carbon footprint and high barrier properties for formula protection. In terms of decoration, the company presented the 3D Touch tube, which combines graphic and varnish layers to provide a textured look.
Italian glass maker Bormioli Luigi highlighted recent projects, including new 50ml and 100ml refillable bottles with a screw neck for L’Oréal’s Armani Si Intense fragrance. Decoration-wise the bottle features an engraving in the mold with the motif running two sides of the bottle. Other recent projects include the ecoLine, which is a lightweight glass bottle range, aimed at reducing the impact on the environment by using fewer raw materials and lighter shipping weight. The production of ecoLine packaging saves up to 60% to 80% of emissions compared to current standard technologies.
Stoelzle Masnières Parfumerie presented a water-based inner lacquering technique, which it claims is the only water-based inner spray solution available in the market. The process is positioned as being eco-friendly. In addition to being water-based, the lacqueris free from CMRs (Carcinogenic, Mutagenic, or Toxic to Reproduction), SVHCs (Substances of Very High Concern), and migrating pigments, which ensures product integrity.
The solution coats the bottle’s interior thereby ensuring shape, depth and the perception of thickness, which provides a distinct visual effect the company says. Despite direct contact with the liquid product inside, the formulation of the lacquer prevents any fragrance transference, even with products containing alcohol; this eliminates the need for an internal pocket. Inner Lacquering offers a range of tones, from translucent to opaque.
Italian aluminum manufacturer Inca hosted a press conference highlighting its strategy following a management restructure in 2022. Last year, the company embarked on a seven-year investment plan of €9m, which kicked off with an initial €4.5m investment in the first four years focused on plant reconfiguration and automation, the purchase of new assembly lines to increase production capacity and investments in water treatment facilities at the manufacturer’s site in north Italy, reveals CEO Stefano Parodi.
The company will also divest its cosmetics formulation and filling business to focus on metal manufacturing and specialize in aluminum for the prestige market. The company expects to generate over €21m in sales 2023 and is targeting €23m in sales by 2024. In addition to a 26,000m2 (280,000ft2) factory in Italy, Inca owns a plant near Angers in France.
Inca has put particular focus on sustainability initiatives. According to Parodi, its new water treatment system will reduce energy consumption at least by 50% and cut chemical use by more than 20%. It is also overhauling other processes, such as using vegetable oils to replace mineral oils, using energy from renewable sources and water-based lacquers instead of chemical-based and working with recycled aluminum (RE-AL) and recycled plastics.
At the show, Inca unveiled new mono-material caps for fragrance and skincare jars, which use between 50% to 75% recycled aluminum, as well as a refillable lipstick case (pictured).
France-based Coverpla showed its refillable fragrance bottle collection in lighter glass, which can be mixed and matched with the company’s catalog of 130 caps. Coverpla CEO Bruno Diépois says that the company’s recent growth is from premiumization in the sector. Coverpla also underlined that it has invested €1.2m in the past three years in upgrading and reducing energy consumption at its site in Nice in the south of France. This has included installing LED lighting and plans for solar panels.
Key trends from the show
Reduce, Reuse, Refill and Recycle were omnipresent at the show, with innovations centering on using lighter-weight materials, multi-functional products and refillable packs. In terms of multi-functional items, Texen presented the Rainbow Collection, which features fewer products based on duo-formats and targeting all parts of the face.
Sustainable materials such as using recycled materials, bio-plastics and bio-sourced materials were also much in evidence. For example, start-up Myca Nova showcased what it calls high-quality bio-materials with upcycled mycelium.
Light-weight glass and single-walled packs are increasingly in demand. There were also a number of innovations in paper packaging.
Sustainable decoration techniques were highlighted, as companies seek to couple a luxury look with an environmentally friendly product. Quadpack for example displayed new environmentally conscious decorative finishes for its wood packaging, while Stoelzle showcased a water-based lacquering for fragrance bottles (see above).
Luxe Pack Monaco – Factfile
- October 2-4, 2023
- Grimaldi Forum, Monaco
- Exhibitors: +450
- Visitors: 10,420, +10.5% versus 2022