Mibelle Biochemistry was the pioneer in plant stem cell cosmetics when it launched its active ingredient based on apple stem cells in 2008. How do you innovate to offer such breakthrough products to the market?
Dr Fred Zülli - The cosmetics industry is a dynamic business characterized by short product cycles and a continuous need for new claims and stories. Active ingredients help to realize those needs in the final products. At Mibelle Biochemistry we have established a holistic innovation process that enables us to come up with novel products and concepts on a regular basis. This innovation process not only covers new products based on technologies and biochemical concepts, but it also extends to marketing and the supply chain.
What new innovation did you plan to launch at in-cosmetics in Barcelona?
Dr Fred Zülli - in-cosmetics Global is the biggest event during the year for us to launch new products. This year, we are planning to launch two new products in Barcelona.
The first is Poly-Fructol Plus a moisturizer for leave-on and rinse-off applications.
Meanwhile, the other product is Alpine Rose Active, which will address for the first time in cosmetics the new anti-aging concept of “Senolytics”. In this novel approach, we aim to specifically eliminate senescent cells in the skin without harming healthy cells. Senescent cells in our skin are no longer proliferating, but they are also not dead. As a result, they release harmful cytokines and infect healthy cells to make them senescent as well. Therefore, we also call these cells “Zombie cells” and we clear them from the skin.
What kind of challenges do you see in the market?
Dr Fred Zülli - We are seeing a fast fragmentation of the cosmetic market which is leading to huge numbers of products and brands. Each market or even each customer has its own regulation regarding what can be used as raw material to formulate the final cosmetics. The fast growing regulations limit innovation. In addition, it has become necessary to always prepare multiple versions of a new product to offer it to the different requirements in the market, for example the requirement regarding preservation.
Dr Fred Zülli - How is Mibelle Biochemistry working right now during the Coronavirus crisis?
Dr Fred Zülli - We have put most of the people from R&D and Marketing & Sales into ‘home office mode’. However, fortunately, we are able to keep manufacturing, shipping, and quality control running as usual in order to support our customers around the world. Our new products have been launched via webinars to our distributors and customers, and these will be supported by online and print marketing campaigns.
What are your plans for the coming weeks and months?
Dr Fred Zülli - We have cancelled all of our travel activities and our expectation is that all of the cosmetics trade shows in 2020 will either be postponed or cancelled.
We will therefore use the additional time to focus on the development of new actives that are based on new technologies or stories.
What do you expect from the future?
Dr Fred Zülli - We think that the Coronavirus crisis will have a considerable negative impact on the global economy.
However, the cosmetics industry could perhaps recover faster than other industries. Therefore, we have started a lot of new research projects and we will hire additional staff to be able to grow Mibelle Biochemistry further once the crisis is over.