Innovations & trends from Paris Packaging Week 2024


BW Confidential reports on what was seen and heard at Paris Packaging Week, which took place from January 17-18, 2024

This year’s Paris Packaging Week was buzzing. Show organizers Easyfairs said that this year’s event for the packaging industry was a record edition, attracting 9,923 visitors out of a total of the 14,077 packaging professionals attending the show. This represents a 10.4% increase in attendees over last year. There were 637 exhibitors at the event.

Exhibitors were overwhelmingly positive about the show, underlining the high-quality visitors it attracts, as well as emphasizing that it is an event where business is done.

The event consists of four shows: ADF for aerosols and dispensing systems; PLD for wine, spirits and luxury drinks; Packaging Première for luxury products; and PCD for perfume, cosmetics and personal care.

In terms of the market, exhibitors at the show were for the most part optimistic about 2024. Some underlined that they had been impacted by a slight slowdown at the end of last year, largely due to overstocking at retailers, especially in the US, which in turn saw brands reduce their orders. However, many said that this problem has eased for the most part.

Other key talking points were the difficulties of the market in China, which packagers say is still far from having recovered and the consequent impact on travel retail; a certain trading down in some key European markets, namely Germany; and the overall volatility of the global market given the current geo-political situation. Companies added that geo-political issues are becoming an increasingly important factor in decision-making. Pricing was also a major subject. Many packagers indicated that their clients are increasingly reluctant to accept price increases, even though prices for the end consumer continue to rise. 

And of course, the major issue at the show was sustainability. This was the focus of most of the new products, services and processes presented at the event. Refills, materials aimed at replacing plastic and mono-material items were much in evidence.

Innovations seen in show

Cosmogen showcased a 5ml version of Paper Stick, its offer for anhydrous formulas. The new version is offered as a solution for lipstick, lip balm or solid perfume. The stick format is made from 77% paper and has a patented rotation system, whereby the rotating lower part of the tube reveals the stick formula, without contact with the fingers. Paper Stick was first launched in a 45g version. Also on show was the Baby Roller, a pocket-sized roller tool featuring a stainless-steel ball with a small handle in PP.

German glassmaker Heinz Glas presented a new range of glass caps, suitable for fragrance bottles. The caps are positioned as a luxury alternative to plastic and can be decorated in a number of ways, for example with special texturized effects and a range of colors. The company also presented Frozen Moon, which introduces a sealed air bubble within the glass bottom of a bottle for a luxury effect.

Italy’s Baralan presented a number of products representing trends uncovered in the company’s annual Beautytude project. The overall concept of the 2024 edition of Beautytude is inclusive beauty, with a focus on skincare droppers and roll-ons, as well as applicators for lips and eyes.

The 2024 collection includes a new series of capsules with different neck variants, over-pumps, and accessories.

The company’s 30ml and 50ml Inner Cups for its Maria Jars feature a new design that highlights environmental responsibility, as they enable the glass jars to be refilled and use alternative materials, such as PCR. Baralan is increasingly promoting the use of refillable packaging and alternative materials, such as PCR (used in percentages ranging from 30% to 100%) and bio-based materials. 

TNT Group presented the Skin Activator Rollerball pack, which it created for skincare brand Atelier Westman. It features a removable gold-colored stainless-steel ball applicator held in place by magnetization, coupled with a refillable and reusable device. After use, the removable ball of the applicator can be cleaned or placed in the freezer. Consumers can replace the refill by using the key provided, which was also produced by TNT Group.

Quadpack presented Shape Up, a mono-material stick format that dispenses the formula in a customized shape. The airtight stick dispenses medium-to-high viscosity formulas in any shape, such as a logo, symbol or pattern. The stick is recyclable and refillable and the cap and base are made of PCR PP.

Quadpack also showcased the Wanderer (pictured), a dropper tube created to provide precise and targeted application. The dropper is a mono-family pack, made of plastics that can be recycled together, with the option of including post-consumer recycled (PCR).

The Wanderer features a flow control disc, which disrupts the flow of the product. By applying pressure to the tube, the formula enters the pipette and ‘wanders’ around the disc’s circuit, giving the consumer better control. A slanted tip facilitates application to targeted small areas. The Wanderer is designed for low-viscosity formulations, such as oils, light serums and boosters.

Spanish aluminum specialist company Tesem highlighted its partnership with Constellium (a company that develops aluminum products) which will enable it to create a closed-loop recycling process and reduce its CO2. The process will see Constellium collect aluminum scraps from Tesem’s factory, recycle them and return them to the company.

Tesem says that the process results in high-quality, low-carbon, recycled aluminum. It adds that the recycled aluminum maintains properties that are key for luxury brands, such as shininess.

Tesem also presented two technologies at the event. Its Fuse Technology enables invisible connections between anodized aluminum parts, eliminating the need for glue or additional plastic parts. The company says that the technology is a major step in the development of mono-material aluminum products.

The second technology called Dots Technology (pictured), responds to the growing demand for no or low plastic. The technology centers on micro points on the aluminum, meaning there is no need for a plastic insert in an aluminum cap.

Albéa Tubes showed its EcoLittle top, a new flip-top closure system, which claims to respond to sustainability issues of weight reduction, recyclability, and the use of recycled materials.

Thanks to the removal of one component, EcoLittle Top offers a 47% weight reduction on the complete tube. The tube also incorporates 45% recycled material, thanks to Albéa Tubes’ PCR Max range. This PCR PE solution combined with EcoLittle Top in HDPE is mono-material, making it recyclable in HDPE streams. Clarins will use the EcoLittle Top.

Glassmaker Bormioli Luigi revealed it has recently invested in new sputtering equipment for its workshop in Parma, Italy. The company says this surface treatment combines the benefits of metallization with controlled metal application for glass that is 100% recyclable. Sputtering is similar to vacuum metallization. It offers the same shine and resistance to shock, scratches and juices. However, sputtering consists of applying the decoration in a vacuum which involves a physical process that is different to metallization. The chosen metals – for example, steel, gold, silver or copper – are transformed with gas and deposited on the surface of the bottle in the form of micro-fragments, whose thickness can be defined for minimum impact. But its main objective is to preserve the transparency of the glass, making it detectable in recycling streams and therefore guaranteeing recyclability. Sputtering can be carried out in different colors and forms of glass, including refillables. The company says it offers a more premium solution than previous recyclable materials.

After presenting its multi-usage make-up brush for the face at Makeup in LA in 2023, Texen Group is now launching a version for the eyes. The brush features the company’s patented rotative mechanism which enables the density and length of the brush to be adapated according to use (eyeliner, eyeshadow). The company also presented its Downy applicator for sparkly and metallized formulas. It replaces the flocked applicators with a micro-injected bristle technology to help spread the formula.

Texen took the opportunity of Paris Packaging Week to announce its partnership with Helsinki-based material company Sulapac to provide customized cosmetic packaging made of bio-based Sulapac materials. Texen says that Sulapac materials reduce carbon footprint and the use of fossils while making it possible to incorporate recycled content. Texen and Sulapac say they aim to encourage replacing conventional plastic with sustainable Sulapac.

Sampling Innovations presented its mono-material, lightweight doypack or pouch, which it says represents a material saving of up to 75% compared to a 250ml bottle, thereby lowering its carbon footprint. It also presented its thermoformed packaging made out of 70% recycled PET for perfume and skincare products, which can be used as discovery sets or for skincare routines. The company also offers a larger size for haircare or gels.

Berry Global showcased its CleanStream technology which recycles PP. It sorts household waste using AI into food-approved and non-approved scrap, which can then be converted to pumps or jars.

Silgan Dispensing highlighted its fragrance and fine mist solutions for alcohol-free formulas. These include the XD 11 Panache and the Melodie Forever pumps. The latter was used by Yves Rocher for Petit Bateau’s Eau Soilogne cologne mist for children aged up to three. The XD 11 Panache and Melodie Forever belong to Silgan’s Emotions of Spray Collection alongside seven other spray options. The company says the XD 11 Maximist spray and the standard Melodie pump from the ESC have also performed particularly well with some alcohol-free formulas that have been tested in its laboratories.

Meanwhile, Silgan claims its SP22 Panache Pulse produces droplets that are 33% lighter and 40% drier when tested against standard pumps, creating a longer lasting spray with each application. Kenzo uses an aluminum can and the SP22 Panache Pulse for its Aqua Water spray.

Groupe Pochet presented its refillable jar it created for Chanel’s Sublime range. The cap and inner jar are in aluminum, while the outer jar is in glass. It also showcased its refillable packaging for Prada make-up and skincare including refillable concealer and mascara made out of glass, plastic and aluminum. Finally, the company presented a lightweight jar which aims to reduce the amount of material used; it is made out of aluminum for the cap and glass for the jar. Pochet has created a cap that is 100% aluminum which makes it more recyclable.

Groupe Pochet
Groupe Pochet

Verescence showcased its refillable jar with no visible mould seams that it created for Sulwhasoo’s Ultimate S Cream. The inner jar is made out of plastic, while the outer jar is made out of glass, which can be separated for recycling. It also presented its lightweight jars made for Guerlain that it says have an improved eco-design rating.

Holmen Iggesund showcased its new Flock Box which it has developed in collaboration with Krekelberg, Inmaco Solutions and Van de Velde Packaging Group. The Flox Box is a packaging concept that combines natural fibre flocking technology with paperboard. It is a fully recyclable premium gift box made out of 100% natural fibres and Iggesund’s highly formable paperboard, called Inverform. The company says the Flock Box is a sustainable gift box solution that provides a luxury presentation and unboxing experience.

What is your outlook for the market this year?

We had a very good year in Europe in 2023. The market is resilient, and we will probably have a good first quarter, as we have seen a strong January, and February is looking good. We have less visibility for March, however. One of the reasons for this is because we have dramatically reduced our lead times, as we have invested in capacity, productivity and worked a lot on the supply chain. On certain product lines at certain sites, we have reduced lead times from 25-35 weeks to just two weeks. Clients are very happy about this, but it also means that they make orders later and so our visibility on the market is reduced.

We also implemented a major reorganization in January, and we are still in the process of executing it. The idea behind this was not to save money or cut jobs, but to change how we are structured and make our [processes] less complex. We had to modernize and change our processes, especially given all the acquisitions we made over the years; they needed to be better integrated. This meant that there were job losses in France, Italy and Germany. Now, our customer service is organized by country instead of by site. It means we are much more customer oriented than before and the feedback from our clients has been very positive.

But overall, there is less visibility in the market in general, in large part due to the geopolitical situation, which is very volatile. For example, political events in the Middle East could see a sudden rise in the price of oil, which will mean inflation.

In terms of the market, there was some over-stocking, but from what we hear from our clients, inventories are now at more of a normal level, which is good news.

What has accentuated in the market, however, are major shifts in market share among our customers. On a brand level a lot is happening right now, and it is very difficult for companies that are very exposed to skincare in Asia. Although for some companies, increases in Europe and the US are compensating for declines in China.

Will you continue to increase your prices?

The subject is more about the value that we bring than the price. Basically, we sell a pump for 20 cents or 25 cents, and so if we increase the price by 5% this only comes to one additional cent on a product that sells in stores for €120 or €150 – it is very small. In addition, we are bringing value and quality. Prices went up a few times in the past couple of years because there was runaway inflation, and we didn’t have a choice.

But to answer the question about price inflation, I don’t know. Firstly, because energy costs can fall only to rise again tomorrow, depending on the price of oil due to the geo-political situation. As well as that, we still have salary inflation again this year.

We are also investing a lot in innovation, and in innovation for sustainability. Making more environmentally products costs money – to think that we are going to end the planet’s problems without investing is a mistake. Some brands accept this, while others aren’t yet ready to invest more. However, 2025 [when new regulations will take effect] is coming, and there will be no choice. The problem is that those who have not [made a move on this] in 2024 will wake up in 2025 saying they need to change everything by tomorrow, and that doesn’t work. We are ready and we have also exchanged with our clients about this.

SNAPSHOT: The PCD Innovation Awards

The PCD Innovation Awards presented during the event rewarded technical and aesthetic innovation in fragrance, cosmetics, personal care, haircare, and skincare. A jury made up of brands and journalists, including BW Confidential Editor in Chief Oonagh Phillips, selected the winners from 220 entries. A total of 15 Awards and 10 certificates were presented in nine categories.

The PCD Innovation Awards winners were: 

Make-up Mass Market 

Award: Covergirl Lash Blast Cleantopia Mascara – Coty 

Certificate: L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Lift Mascara – L’Oréal 

Premium make-up 

Award: 31 Le Rouge – Chanel Parfums Beauté 

Award: Rouge Premier – Parfums Christian Dior 

Certificate: Artist Face Powders – Make up For Ever SA 

Personal care 

Awards: Recycled and Recyclable Ecorefill Bottle – L’Occitane en Provence 

Award: Good Coloration – L’Oréal 

Certificate: Oleor Color in shampoo-ONE PUSH – L’Oréal 

Skincare mass market 

Award: Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Booster x GREENIS® Dispenser – Dermalogica 

Certificate: Dermalogica Porescreen Mineral Sunscreen SPF40 – Dermalogica 

Premium skincare 

Award: Sublimage La Crème – Chanel Parfums Beauté 

Award: Sublimage Night Extract – Chanel Parfums Beauté 

Certificate: Dior Prestige Le Nectar Premier – Parfums Christian Dior 

Certificate: The Ultimate Cream – Amorepacific / Verescence 

Fragrance Women 

Award: La Panthère Eau de Parfum – Cartier Parfums 

Award: Burberry Her Eau de Parfum – Coty 

Certificate: Flower By Kenzo Ikebana Eau de Parfum – LVMH Fragrance Brands 

Fragrance Men 

Award: Penhaligon’s – Potions & Remedies – Penhaligon’s 

Certificate: JPG Le Male Elixir – Puig France 

New Limited Edition (> 2,000)

Award: Perfumed cases – Cartier Parfums 

Award: Martin Margiela Replica Wooden Box – L’Oréal 

Certificate: Christmas Makeup Minaudière 2023 – Parfums Christian Dior 

New Limited Edition (< 2000)

Award: L’Or de J’adore by Jean-Michel Othoniel – Parfums Christian Dior 

Award: Temyris, the beauty minaudiere – Aurore & Paul – TEMYRIS 

Certificate: Lancôme Absolue Soft Cream x Le Louvre – L’Oréal – Lancôme