Premium Beauty News - What is Aptar Beauty + Home’s global strategy based on today?
Xavier Joseph - Generally speaking, Aptar’s mission consists in transforming ideas into solutions that change people’s daily lives. As for the Beauty + Home division, we are focused on three strategic pillars to become the best partner for Prestige Beauty. These pillars are the following: perfumes, from prestige to masstige, which keep upgrading, and we support this movement; skincare, an increasingly important field for Aptar which covers prestige skincare, anti-ageing, but also dermocosmetics, for which we are a valued partner, and the mass market premiumization, with an eco-design focus to meet new consumption models with singular, responsible solutions representing significant progress.
As markets increasingly go digital, we also work on developing multiple solutions compatible with e-commerce.
Lastly, and this is something quite new, again, thanks to digitalization, we have been completing our offering with additional services related to our dispensing and airless businesses.
Premium Beauty News - Could you tell us more about these services?
Xavier Joseph - We use digital technologies either to get to know our consumers or for more technical issues. Basically, we are connected to forums via partner agencies to have access to thousands of conversations: this way, we are always at the top of knowledge for every theme and category. And we can use this knowledge to serve our customers.
Now, as regards technologies, we have been working with a startup, Monolith, a key player in the field of algorithms, AI, and predictive models, to sort of “un-risk” our customers’ new product development programmes. In the near future, by feeding algorithms and based on the rheological characteristics of formulas matched with those of the pump types in our catalogue, we will be able to predict compatibility and functionality chances. It is a huge advantage when it comes to helping our customers enter the market faster.
Ultimately, Aptar is now a shareholder in the Chinese startup YAT, which is unique in that they combine an influencer forum, on-demand product design and development, and e-commerce. We aim to offer our packaging solutions for new developments, but also to acquire more knowledge about our customers, influences, and interactions between packaging and formulas.
Premium Beauty News - How do you combine packaging innovation and ecodesign?
Xavier Joseph - There are three main priorities, per order of obviousness and relative accessibility.
The first consists in designing fully recyclable products, mainly mono-material pumps, like our latest Future pump fully based on recyclable PE, and all our airless packs. All our innovations should also satisfy eco-design criteria to be easily recyclable. The second priority has to do with providing solutions based on PCR, and the last one with offering experiences involving refills or reuses. Some of our perfume pumps can be unscrewed, we have refillable lipsticks, and our premium airless solutions Serumony Reload and Gaïa can also be refilled. Plus, we have other projects to come over the course of the year. It should be said that it is a very active field in which players test a lot of solutions. We aim to position ourselves on this value chain, depending on these experiments.
In addition, new circular economy models are not the same all around the world. For example, in Europe, bulk products in physical stores are more developed than elsewhere. People are more aware of ecoresponsible matters. On the contrary, convenience and the quality/price ratio still prevail for American consumers. In China, sustainable practices mainly concern social classes wealthy enough to take these issues into account. However, regulations can be changed overnight if the government decides they should. It is a possibility we are always ready for.
The whole industry is under pressure, but thanks to Aptar’s size, we have implemented processes that help us handle market instabilities. We have also developed quality partnerships, both with our suppliers and customers, so we can deal with these shocks the best way possible. Our history, trade expertise, and the quality of our relationships make it much easier for us to deal with volatility.
Aptar comes from the Latin word aptare, which means “to adapt”. Historically, we have acted local: we keep regional supply chains and are more resilient than our competitors who produce everything in Asia.
Premium Beauty News - You joined the group last April. What does your mission consist in?
Xavier Joseph - As the Global VP Innovation, my mission consists in helping Aptar speak consumers’ and our customers’ language. I make sure the solutions we develop remain relevant as regards people’s daily reality, today and tomorrow. I do this by injecting consumer knowledge upstream our innovation chain, so that major issues and ideas are not only technical. It helps us build up partnerships with customers based on innovation, not only on our ability to supply components. I also have to take care of the whole communication and digital marketing aspects to make this a solution destination for consumers. This CtoB - Consumer-to-Business - bond consists in speaking women consumers’ language, and creating content about life-changing solutions which can make them take interest in the technical aspect of their products.
In addition, my mission consists in “cross-fertilizing” the group’s other segments’ resources, in particular pharmaceuticals. Health and beauty are connected, so we will increasingly build bridges between them as part of the broadened design of our dispensing solutions, which go together with digital solutions meant to enhance the user experience.
For more information on the latest beauty packaging innovations, read our special issue : Beauty Packaging Innovation - February 2022