With a drop in demand for samples in some categories such as make-up and perfume, and on the other hand, a huge success for doypacks, especially for refill and home hair care solutions, the year 2020 was a mixed bag for Arcade Beauty, as it was for many beauty packaging manufacturers. "While the pandemic had a significant impact on our sampling activity, our sales activity, launched five years ago, continued to grow in 2020, thanks in particular to the dynamism of mass retailing," underlines Carl Allain, Senior Vice-President, Head of Europe, General Manager, at Arcade Beauty.
Beyond the economic situation, where demand for skincare samples is taking off again strongly, driven by Asian and especially Chinese demand, the market is changing profoundly. "Behaviours are changing too: in-store testing is no longer done in the same way, self-service testers are under threat. We are working hand in hand with POS manufacturers to create touch-free solutions. And we are also addressing the boom in e-commerce and home delivery, with 3D solutions that are easy to fit into parcels and suiting this mode of consumption," continues Carl Allain.
To carry out this transformation, the group relies in particular on its digital platform Abeo, which supports brands in their e-sampling campaigns, by managing the entire supply chain, from the request for a sample via social networks to its final delivery at home.
An enhanced full-service offer
But Arcade Beauty is also adapting its business model by reinforcing its ready-to-sell retail offer in Europe and North America, in line with the global demand for turnkey solutions allowing to accelerate the time to market of products in line with rapidly changing expectations.
"We are complementing our offer by adding an extra brick to the value chain, thanks to ready-to-use formulas produced with an international network of partners in Asia (Korea and China), but also in France," explains Candice Jagut, Global Business Development Retail Market Director at Arcade Beauty.
The group already offers a range of ready-to-sell products, including skincare masks packaged in Poland with vegan formulas made in France with 96% ingredients of natural origin, on a 100% biodegradable cotton base. And to meet sustainability expectations, the secondary pack can consist either of single plastic material or of more than 50% paper (making it recyclable in the paper sector).
The group also has a range of biocidal hydro-alcoholic gels with a neutral formula that can be perfumed according to the customer’s wishes.
"We aim to develop our lines of ready-to-sell skincare products with innovative solutions, in terms of dosage forms and packaging, as well as temporary promotions meeting the various needs of historic or independent brands, but also of retailers looking for private label solutions," continues Candice Jagut.
Hence, Arcade is responding to the evolution of dosage forms, in particular, the rise of waterless formulations, with the creation in Poland of a workshop dedicated to the conditioning of powders. With increasingly trendy products that fit perfectly with the various types of flexible packaging solutions proposed by the group. And also with flexible packagings which are in line with the demand for weight reduction and recyclability, a domain in which Arcade has multiplied innovations, particularly in terms of sustainability, and decoration options.
A globalised CSR approach
Finally, on the CSR side, the policy rolled out in Europe since 2019 has been extended to the group’s activities in the United States. The aim is to disseminate eco-design practices that are already widespread in the company by integrating CSR criteria into each new project, evaluated with the same life cycle assessment tool in Europe and North America (even if the reference databases necessarily vary).
"For each technology, we review the possible evolutions, to offer an optimised product, around the four key criteria of material reduction, namely, recycling, the use of renewable materials and the reuse or refill possibilities," explains Claudie Guérin, CSR Director at Arcade Beauty.
This approach also includes the ethical selection of suppliers at every stage of the value chain (which has led, for example, to the generalisation of the purchase of certified paper), the reduction of the impact of operations, with quantified objectives including the certification of sites for the main indicators, and the awareness-raising of all employees.
In the end, a company in full transformation, closely aligned with the evolution of its customer markets.