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Packaging & design

Philippe Thuvien, L’Oréal: “The year of packaging innovation!”

Like previous years, 2017 was a very rich year for L’Oréal Packaging, with more than 600 moulds created and 90 patents filed. The year of Innovation too, with many eco-designed innovations: environment being a major issue in the strategy of the L’Oréal Group. And with of course, as always, packagings that guarantee consumers the basics, namely quality and safety. Overview with Philippe Thuvien, Packaging & Development Director of L’Oréal Group.

Philippe Thuvien, L’Oréal

Philippe Thuvien, L’Oréal

Premium Beauty News - Could you please give us some examples of major Packaging Innovations?

Philippe Thuvien - Clearly, packaging innovation is strategic to boost product performance and protect the formula. And packaging has a key role to both increase the perceived value of the product and provide an additional service to the user.

Here are a few examples of some of our major innovations in 2017:

-The mascaras Lash Paradise from L’Oréal Paris and Mister Big from Lancôme with their fibre brushes delivering both volume and separation.

  • The Armani to Go Cushion Foundation with its airtight case to protect the most sensitive formulas.
  • Tatouage couture by YSL, a new liquid lipstick with a high precision applicator featuring the YSL logo upon application.
  • Lancôme’s Genefique Sensitive skincare that allows to immediately deliver in a single pressure a booster; the two formulas thus offering a dual concentrate combining a youth activator and soothing properties.
  • And also L’Oréal Paris’ first refillable jar with a refill which has on the outside a “bead” textured finish, consistent with the formula, to increase the perceived value.
  • Finally, in haircare, Power Mix, in L’Oréal Professionnel’s Expert line, which enables the hairdresser to offer his client a personalized hair treatment blended under her eyes; the hairdresser thus uses the right amount of product with the two liquids that transform into cream with a very positive environmental impact compared to a single dose kit.

Premium Beauty News - Precisely, how do you position yourself in terms of sustainable innovation?

Philippe Thuvien - At L’Oréal, Sustainable Development has been a reality for more than 10 years. As far as packaging is concerned, it is a vision and a clearly articulated commitment based on 3 principles: Respect, Reduce, Replace.

Respect our consumers, environment and biodiversity with for example, food-grade quality for materials in contact with their content, cardboards made from 100% sustainably managed and certified forests, or the total ban of PVC.

Reduce the weight and volume of our packaging, an integral part of the design phase; it is a major lever for improving the environmental profile of products.

Replace materials from non-renewable resources with recycled or biomass materials; in 2017, 7,294 tonnes of recycled materials (i.e., + 33% for plastics) enabled to save the equivalent quantity in virgin materials.

Premium Beauty News - Tell us a word about your Sharing Beauty With All Program?

Philippe Thuvien - In terms of responsible innovation, our commitment for 2020 is very clear: 100% of our new products must have an improved environmental or social impact, compared to the products they replaced. To this end, the Group has developed the Sustainable Product Optimization Tool (SPOT) to evaluate the performance of these new products compared to the ones replaced. In 2017, the SPOT tool was made available for all the brands in the Group.

Premium Beauty News - Is digital a challenge for Packaging designers?

Philippe Thuvien - In 2017, Packaging has accelerated its digital transformation by integrating in its development processes, all the 4.0 technologies, including the generalization and globalisation of 3D printing (with a 3D laboratory in New York and another one in Paris) representing 8000+ prototypes designed and the implementation of simulation tools to predict the mechanical behaviour of our new packs. These tools have already enabled to generate significant gains in development times.

But for Packaging, digital revolution does not stop there: in-mould sensors, digital printing, augmented reality and big data will transform our Trade!

Premium Beauty News - What are the prospects for 2018?

Philippe Thuvien - In a fast changing world, 2018 promises to be an exciting year for our trade. We recently grouped the Design teams within the Packaging teams to better illustrate and translate in volume our “consumer centric” approach, dedicated to perceived value, user ergonomics and consistency with brand codes; hence, more than 700 projects will be treated in product design in 2018. Innovation serving consumers, the reduction of the environmental impact of our packagings without compromising on the perceived value of products and meeting e-commerce requirements will be very exciting challenges for our teams; and with always bearing in mind the fundamentals of the Trade: a responsible Packaging, with the highest standards and guaranteeing the safety of consumers!

Interview by Jean-Yves Bourgeois

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