By Andy Harris, CEO, Vantage Speciality Chemicals
Naturals are a huge trend in the cosmetics and personal care industries, driven by consumer demand for greater visibility of the ingredients and provenance of the products they use. in-cosmetics Global 2019 shone a light on this key consideration at its best-ever attended show in Paris in April, which welcomed more than 12,000 visitors. Among its 843 exhibitors was Vantage Speciality Chemicals, a leading provider of naturally-derived ingredients, which has just appointed new CEO Andy Harris. We caught up with Andy for his take on the naturals market, its future, and how Vantage fits in.
“The backbone and strategy of Vantage is naturally-derived ingredients,” said Harris. “Our ethos is ‘making life better through natural chemistry’. Sustainability is important, and equally key for us. We are working to develop and acquire technologies that meet these needs.”
Vantage Speciality Chemicals has recently acquired Spanish company Textron, which specialises in natural oils; Leuna, a German company that works in the surfactants space; and US company Amarna, which works in food-related water-release agents. The recent M&A activity is part of a pipeline of growth in both the personal care and food industries, complemented by equal organic growth, as it looks to expand its global footprint.
Harris continued: “We are looking to share our technology across these industries and bring our expertise and innovation to broaden and complete our portfolio. The trend for ‘natural’ is big and across the board.”
The synergies between the cosmetics and food industries are becoming ever more apparent as brands in both markets play up to naturally-derived, known provenance stories to fit in with consumer demand. Likewise, superfoods, such as berries and algae, are making their way into both spaces, lauded for the natural nutritional benefits they bring – both when ingested and when topically applied.
Sustainability is also high on the consumer agenda and cosmetics and personal care companies are exploring technologies that reduce the water used in – or in the application of – products. Harris discussed the rise of materials that are water active when they come into contact with skin – a key element that drove the acquisition of Amarna – whereas, elsewhere at in-cosmetics, discussion around the evolution of dry conditioners posed the possibility of eliminating the need for a wash-in and rinse-out conditioner, thereby also reducing the volume of water used. The knock-on benefit of this type of innovation is a reduction in the packaging necessary to house the products, thereby also reducing packaging waste and harmful environmental impacts related to its disposal.
Vantage currently holds a silver rating on the ECOVADIS scale and is actively working towards gold level. As part of its expansion plan, it is looking at manufacturing options in Asia, India and Latin America, having current representation in North America and Europe, with the personal care market remaining at its core.
For more on Vantage, their products and company offers, please refer to the in-cosmetics Global Exhibitor Directory.