Bioprospecting, Metaverse Commerce, New Leadership, Ingredient ScaleUp, Impact Labeling
Beauty ingredient maker Apoena Biotech explores the Blue Amazon, KAO bolsters global leadership strategy, L'Oréal expands impact labeling program, Laura Mercier bets on retail in the metaverse, $25m in series B funding for Renee Cosmetics, Global Bioenergies scaleup of skincare ingredient isododecane.
“I see a lot of opportunities in bringing our strong global cosmetics brands together to further grow our footprint in the market. I am looking forward to working with the Molton Brown, Kanebo and E'quipe leadership teams to shape the future of our amazing cosmetics brands.” ~ Mark Johnson, in-coming President Cosmetics Business AEMEA at KAO.
The Japan-based chemicals and cosmetics maker announced several forthcoming leadership changes this month. Most notably, the changes ensure that KAO business sectors across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa regions have full board representation in the company's Tokyo offices.
Johnson, who assumes his new role at the start of 2023, is now serving as Global President of the luxury bath brand Molton Brown. In the New Year, he will become President Cosmetics Business AEMEA as well as an Executive Officer on the board.
Other leadership changes coming to KAO in 2023 include Yosuke Maezawa taking on the role of President, Cosmetics Business Global, and Yoshihiro Murakami becoming the company’s Senior Vice President, DX Strategy, Global—that’s DX as in digital expansion.
These changes, “acknowledge the important role of the Kao businesses in the Americas and EMEA regions for the future globalization of the Kao Group while at the same time strengthening the international representation and diversity of the management board,” according to this month’s company press release.
Environmental Impact Labeling
For 2 years, L’Oréal has been including planetary impact data on product pages in the French market. Now, that ‘labeling’ is being rolled out across the beauty maker’s brands here in the US.
“This comes at a time when sustainability is increasingly becoming a focus for more American consumers,” notes Marissa Pagnani McGowan, Chief Sustainability Officer for North America, in her comments to the press.
“Using principles of environmental science,” she says, “this…will empower consumers, support more informed purchasing decisions and foster a culture of greater brand transparency.”
For each product online, the environmental impact data will follow the ingredients list. What L’Oréal is calling its Product Impact Labeling system will rank or rate concerns (like water scarcity, impact on biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions) in comparison to other L’Oréal products in the same category.
For the beauty maker, it’s an important step toward transparency along the supply chain and through to the consumer. By partnering with independent experts, undergoing auditing from Bureau Veritas, and gathering meaningful impact data behind the scenes L’Oréal is making further progress toward environmental sustainability.
“By 2030, our goal is for 100% of our products to incorporate into their design improvements in formulas, production, packaging and other aspects that help reduce their impact compared to previous generations of products,” says Sanford Browne, President, Research & Innovation for North America.
And L’Oréal has a reputation for making its research available for industry-wide improvements: “The company has committed to sharing the learnings of the impact labeling initiative with the 60 members of the EcoBeautyScore Consortium, aiming to develop an industry-wide environmental impact assessment and scoring system for cosmetics products. L'Oréal has committed to transitioning from its own product impact labeling to the EcoBeautyScore once it becomes available in late 2023,” explains this week’s media release. Click here to learn more about the EcoBeautyScore Consortium.
Experiential Online Shopping
“This is an important and innovative milestone for not only Laura Mercier, but the full Orveon brand portfolio as we continue to digitalize, grow revenue, and drive foot traffic to e-commerce, all while reaching existing and new consumers,” Pascal Houdayer, CEO at Orveon, the beauty company owned by US-based investment firm Advent International.
The milestone Houdayer mentioned in this week’s press release, is a partnership between the company’s Laura Mercier cosmetics and skincare brand and the experiential e-commerce platform called Obsess. Together they’re creating a branded shopping destination in the Metaverse.
World of Beauty, now live, is a 3-room e-commerce experience. “We are thrilled to partner with Laura Mercier to launch an immersive virtual beauty experience that gives consumers a delightful new way to discover, learn about and be inspired by the brand's iconic products and aesthetic,” says Neha Singh, Founder and CEO of Obsess.
“Visitors,” she explains, “can do everything from virtually trying on products to find the shades that are their own personal 'perfect match' to discovering great gift ideas for everyone on their list in the interactive holiday gifting room.”
Advent International is no stranger to beauty. The investment firm owned a majority stake in Douglas (Europe’s leading premium beauty and health retailer) from 2013 to 2015. And acquired the renowned hair care brand Olaplex at the start of 2020. That brand has, of course, since gone public.
The firm created Orveon after acquiring bareMinerals, Laura Mercier, and Buxom from Shiseido at the end of 2021. Tricia Glynn, a Managing Director at Advent International, sits on the board Orveon Global and told Forbes Senior Contributor Sharon Edelson late last year that the beauty company intends to acquire further brands and is “quite serious about this opportunity to be the future of the face and to own face care. Color cosmetics is a component of that, but it’s not all of that.”
In this week’s press release, Orveon CEO Pascal Houdayer made similarly lofty messaging, emphasizing that, “Orveon does not ‘sell products,’ but rather ‘offers experiences’ to serve our consumers. They crave digital experiences that also provides them with resources to learn more about our heritage.” click here to visit Laura Mercier's World of Beauty.