Elizabeth Arden’s Scott Beattie with Lezlee Westine of PCPC.

The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) held their 118th annual meeting this year in Naples, Florida from February 22-24. More than 470 industry leaders gathered at The Ritz-Carlton to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the global cosmetic and personal care products industry in the coming year, and to highlight recent accomplishments.

The first general session included a welcome presentation from Council president and CEO Lezlee Westine, and an overview of consumer behavior and industry insight from retiring PCPC chairman, Dan Brestle.

“Consumer behavior has changed more in the past five years than in the last 50,” said Brestle. “In my last year as chairman, we saw growth in luxury, an uptick in mass and the emergence of a growing men’s personal grooming business, which is predicted to be a $33 billion category globally by 2015. Product innovation has been the lifeblood of our industry, and technology is leading the path to the future. You need to master new mediums, or the consumer won’t take you seriously, and collaborations between traditional and non-traditional media are crucial—think outside the box and form new alliances.”

One of the meeting’s keynote speakers, TrendHunter.com founder Jeremy Gutsche, took the stage to provide tips on how to spot new trends and use them to spark innovation.

“The old way of thinking [is] product, and the new way of thinking [is] experience,” said Gutsche. “Brands need to create a cultural connection with consumers, and observe the consumers in their zone to get feedback for developing breakthrough innovation.”

A trends and innovation panel including Chris Elshaw, EVP/COO of Revlon; Kevin Gallagher, president of Croda; Emrah Kovacoglu, CEO of Total Beauty Media Group; Cosimo Policastro, executive vice president of fine fragrance for Givaudan; and moderator Bonnie Fuller, media executive and editor of HollywoodLife.com, examined how new creative processes and technologies contribute to innovative product development.

“Innovation needs to come bottom-up today, not just top-down,” said Kovacoglu. “Teenagers are affecting billion dollar brands, and as consumers, they are helping companies make innovative decisions.”

Elshaw discussed his thoughts on how new technologies affect product development.

“We are getting real-time input all the time with digital and social media, and it is changing old school quantitative research,” said Elshaw. “There is a deluge of qualitative data out there now, every single day.”

Policastro stressed the importance of management in aiding employees throughout the creative process to
further innovation.

“We need to give our perfumers the resources to understand the consumers and be able to create,” said Policastro. “It is important to allow creative thinkers the time to follow their muse, and it’s not always about
success or failure, but evolution.”

The second general session opened with an address from newly elected Council chairman Scott Beattie, who thanked his predecessor Dan Brestle and acknowledged the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.

“Moving forward, we need to focus on regulatory policy, strengthen our Cosmetic Ingredient Review and build and defend our reputation as an industry,” said Beattie. “We need to arm ourselves as one voice, one organization, as much as possible, and leverage combined resources to create stronger cross-country collaborations. There is much to do.”

Keynote speakers and political analysts Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg followed Beattie, and shared their predictions for the November elections and what they could mean for the personal care industry.

A new media panel featuring Corynne Corbett, beauty director of Essence; Graciela Eleta, senior vice president of the Client Development Group for Univision; Brett Fahlgren, executive merchandising stylist for GQ; and moderator Art Spiro, executive vice president of fragrance innovation for Elizabeth Arden, discussed the consumer mindset for each of their particular categories.

“The African American consumer spends 20% more than the general market on personal care products, and two times as much on skin care alone,” said Corbett. “It’s all about her mindset, and what she and her community think is beautiful, and this makes her a powerful consumer.”

Eleta agreed, saying that Latina women are also beauty junkies, and that the face of America as changed.

“Hispanics will account for 100% of the growth of women 18-49 until 2020 in the U.S., which is a growth engine for the beauty and personal care market,” said Eleta. “Latinas also over index in the prestige category; brands are like a badge of honor for her.”

Fahlgren gave a men’s perspective, saying that the “new guy” is one that wants to pay closer attention to the way he looks, and puts emphasis on products’ convenience and price.

“Brands need to create products to cater to this ‘new guy,’ and create retail environments that are ‘masculine-friendly,’” said Fahlgren.

Scott Beattie with Gina Drosos of P&G. Coty Beauty’s George Cleary and Derek Bowen. Condé Nast’s Charles Townsend and PCPC’s Louanne Roark with Jonathan Zrihen of Clarins.
L’Oréal USA’s Karen Fondu and Frederic Rozé. LVMH’s Pamela Baxter and Jean-Marc Plisson with Didi Gluck and Sally Preston of Real Simple. The Estée Lauder Companies’ Thia Breen
with Melissa Beattie.
Marie Claire’s Nancy Berger Cardone and
Diane DePaul (r.) with PhD Media’s Allison Howald and Elizabeth Park of Elizabeth Arden.
Firmenich’s Joy Atkinson and Jerry Vittoria
with his wife Francesca (c.).
C.O. Bigelow’s Ian Ginsberg and ICMAD’s
Pam Busiek with Dan Brestle of The Estée
Lauder Companies.
Hearst Magazines’ Michael Clinton and
Donna Kalajian Lagani.
Univision’s Julie Pinkwater with Johnson & Johnson’s Stefano Curti and Linda Marshall
of Elysée Scientific Cosmetics.
Condé Nast’s Lou Cona and Larry Aiken.
Us Weekly’s Victoria Lasdon Rose with
Christine Dagousset of Chanel.
Revlon’s Chris Elshaw and Clarecastle Group’s Bob Philips with Susan Arnot Heaney of Avon. Total Beauty Media Group’s Emrah Kovacoglu and Mandy Hjellming.
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