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Period: October 15, 2018 to November 19, 2018
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Novel Edible Utensils Enhance Customer Experience And Help Eliminate Plastic Waste

Companies are responding to consumer concerns about plastic pollution and regulation restricting the use of plastic straws, with a range of innovative solutions. After announcing it would remove single-use straws globally by 2020, Starbucks introduced a pumpkin spice cookie straw. In the summer Diageo introduced flavored edible straws that supposedly complemented its canned cocktails. Beyond straws, British packaging startup Skipping Rocks Lab partnered with delivery service Just Eat to offer seaweed-based edible sauce sachets. Consumer awareness continues to rise as the scale of the issue becomes clear. One study found that just 9 percent of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic produced worldwide is recycled, underling the work still to be done.

"Edible utensils", J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, September 19, 2018

AlgoTek Develops An Algae-Based, Degradable Plastic For Single-Use Market

Startup AlgoTek has developed an edible and biodegradable plastic made mainly from brown algae powder. The plastic, which is created using a proprietary process, is durable and can be used for various single-use products such as capsules and bottles. The plastic, which is degraded by water, can withstand heat up to 140 degrees F and cold down to 10 degrees F. AlgoTek was established by chief executive officer David Crinnion and his college friends to help address the global plastic waste problem. AlgoTek has raised 35,000 dollars, is looking for manufacturing partners and aims to secure patents so it can license its technology to other users.

"It's Plastic. It's Edible. It Could Be A Very Big Deal.", Forbes, September 21, 2018

Beauty Tech Startup Wow How Integrates Gaming Technology Into Beauty App To Aide Color Choice

Wow How launched an app technology based on virtual and augmented reality that aims to offer women a higher level of personalization for color cosmetics applications. The advantages of the technology include real-time functionality and a Virtual MUA (Makeup Academy) function that has the ability to recognize facial features. Wow How CEO, Gaynor Matthews, claims that the app addresses a gap in the market, providing a tool that can help women save time when choosing the color of their cosmetics. Another important feature of the app is its check and correct function that is enhanced by a split screen 3D view.

"Wow How incorporates gaming technology into a beauty app", CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com, September 26, 2018

New Technologies Are Boosting Online Beauty Sales, Sometimes Bringing Disruption

Key catalysts accelerating the growth of online beauty include increasing use of artificial intelligence, smaller beauty brands' adoption of direct-to-consumer marketing, and richer online content such as instructional video. Coty launched an AI-powered Fragrance Finder at the Boots website in the UK. It uses a 7-step questionnaire then suggests fragrance products to shoppers. Falling costs mean brands with $10-$15 million in sales can now offer DDTC experiences that compare well with major brands, leveling the playing field.  And richer and educational content is engaging consumers. CEO of beauty retailer FeelUnique, Joël Palix, says the growth of online video content accelerated the shift of beauty to digital channels Online has room to grow strongly. Euromonitor estimates that just 1 in 9 dollars US shoppers spend on beauty products is transacted online, substantially less than other categories. 

"Beauty Is Finally Heading Online: Five Ways New Technologies Support The Growth Of Beauty E-Commerce", Forbes, September 27, 2018

Cosmetics Companies in China Use Technological Innovations To Attract Young Consumers

Brands are working with retailers in China to devise novel ways to engage consumers. Korean cosmetics brand, Innisfree, partnered with Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba to establish a store in Hangzhou where consumers can use Tmall’s AR-powered Magic Mirror to virtually apply makeup.  Startup 17Beauty established 12 “beauty boxes” in Beijing and Shanghai placed at busy locations. Consumers enter the self-service booth by scanning a QR code with a mobile app and once inside can get personalized makeup recommendations generated by a facial recognition system. Each booth contains a range of beauty products as well as some limited-edition makeup kits to attract new shoppers.

"Beauty tech", J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, September 27, 2018

Benefit Cosmetics Launches New Augmented Reality Tool That Greatly Increased Conversion Rate

Benefit Cosmetics launched a browser-based augmented reality tool called Brow Try-On, now live in 40 markets, which caused an 80 percent increase in conversion rate. This performance echoes a 2016 study by Poshly and Perfect365 which found that 78% of millennial women would be more inclined to purchase makeup online if they could first virtually try it on. Vice president of global digital, Cindy Shen, claims that previous augmented reality tools produced poor results which prompted the company to collaborate with facial mapping technology expert Modiface. Brows play a key role in the Benefit brand – it claims to be the #1 brow brand globally - and the company is expected to achieve $600 million in sales of brow products and services in 2018. More than one million visitors have tried the tool, which can create different brow styles on customers' faces via a live 3D option.

"Benefit Cosmetics Boosts Conversion Rate with Launch of Virtual Makeover Tool", Blush Digital, September 29, 2018

Beauty Brands Are Using Salon Tech For Personalization To Help Combat Online Competition

Beauty brands are using technology to help professionals offer clients a degree of personalization they can’t get online, and to encourage consumers to buy their products. Scanners and apps, working with data and artificial intelligence, can evaluate a customer’s precise hair or skin needs and recommend the best product for them. Schwarzkopf’s Professional SalonLab comprises a set of tools and devices that generate and evaluate data on the client’s hair, allow clients to try on products using augmented reality, and then produce personalized haircare product blends in the salon. The service is expected to be available in salons next year. Elemis SkinLab analyzes a client’s facial skin and helps the therapist recommend products and skincare regimes. Although these tools require the intervention of a professional, other devices, such as Neutrogena’s Skin360 app and SkinScanner tool works with a user’s phone for home use. The Beauty Genome Project by Proven, a skincare product company, ...  More

"Perfectly personalised: beauty products that match your needs exactly", The Guardian, October 02, 2018

Raya Khanin Highlights How Brands Use AI and Genomics To Improve Beauty Personalization

In an interview, industry expert Raya Khanin, and the founder of personalized beauty company LifeNome, explained talked about how artificial intelligence and genomics, augmented by environmental and lifestyle factors, are being used to create personalized beauty products that best meet a customer’s specific skin requirements identified in their genetic profile. She provided a number of examples of how beauty brands are employing a range of new techniques to enhance personalization. FOREO LUNA recently launched fofo, a cleansing device with skin sensors to generate data that are analyzed by AI to create personalized skincare advice. 

"‘The future of beauty is personalised’: Genomics and AI in bespoke beauty", CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com, October 03, 2018

Gillette Launches Customizable 3D-Printed Razors

Gillette has launched a new personalized platform for shaving in the US, called Dubbed Razor Maker™: powered by Gillette®. It is based on technology from Formlabs, a 3D-printing company, and offers customizable handles providing customers with flexibility over how the product looks and how much it costs. They can design their 3D-printed handle at http://razor-maker.com, selecting from 48 designs, seven colors. They can also add text. The handles can hold MACH3 or Fusion5 ProGlide blades. Delivery typically takes in 2-3 weeks, and prices start at $19. Chrome options can cost up to $45.

"Gillette Partners with Formlabs – a Boston Startup Defining the 3D-Printing Industry – to Pilot Razor Maker™ Concept, Enabling Consumers to Personalize and 3D Print Razor Handles", Gillette , October 17, 2018

Loliware Introduces Edible Straws Made From Seaweed

As pressure intensifies on single-use plastics, one bioplastics company claims to have the answer to eliminating plastic straws. Loliware has developed the LOLISTRAW, made from a bio-degradable and marine-degradable material sourced from seaweed. They come in different colors, last for a day in a beverage, become soil in around 60 days, and are edible - flavors include “citrus” and “vanilla dust”. One variant – “air” – is clear and has no flavor. The straws follow the company’s edible cups, which it pitched to the Shark Tank reality investor TV program in the US in 2015.

"LOLIWARE's Edible Straws Could Be A Solution To The Plastic Straw Problem", Bustle, October 17, 2018


Coca-Cola Upgrades Production Equipment At Fiji Plant To Support Growth Strategy

Coca-Cola Amatil has installed Krones Blowfill equipment at a manufacturing plant in Fiji that can produce 21,000 bottles an hour, bringing the Fiji facility in line with equipment used in New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia. The plant will produce carbonated and non-carbonated beverages for consumers in Fiji, including water, in sizes ranging from 500 ml to 2.25 l. Installation of the Krones equipment, which began in September 2016, triples the capacity of the line, supports future growth for the next 10 years, and enables the Coca-Cola Amatil’s Fiji business to launch an export-led growth strategy over the next five-eight years, executives said.

"Coca-Cola Amatil expands Fiji factory with Krones technology", FoodBev Media , November 05, 2018

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