Cosmopack: A Fresh Stock of B2B Solutions

By Jamie Matusow, Editor-in-Chief | May 1, 2017

Every year, Cosmopack Bologna serves as a harbinger of Spring—and an overview of the freshest ideas in the beauty industry from ingredients to finished products—all with a special emphasis on packaging and formulations. Also popping up on the show floor are state-of-the-art machines that can customize the face of a lipstick bullet, seamlessly fill a tube in record time or provide a perfect crimp on a fragrance bottle.

This is why Cosmopack, highly populated by Italian firms, draws a multicultural global crowd with teams from some of the largest beauty brands seeking to put together the pieces that will ensure the ideal supply chain combo. Cosmopack claims a day of its own, as it opens prior to the other pavilions located on the vast fairgrounds. This year’s B2B “show within a show” ran March 16-19, with Cosmoprof in session from March 17-20.

According to show organizers, more than 250,000 visitors from 150 countries attended the event, with a 16% increase in foreign professionals compared to last year. A record 2,677 exhibiting companies represented 69 countries.

As a half-century tribute, a special gallery was created in the passageway leading to Cosmopack. The display acknowledged 50 years of beauty with posters highlighting each decade. Featured were icons of beauty, politics, entertainment and lifestyle, including Brigitte Bardot, Twiggy, Jacqueline Kennedy, Goldie Hawn and Sharon Stone.

Celebrating 50 Years with Fragrance

To also celebrate the event’s golden anniversary, the Cosmoprof Perfume Factory was “powered by Cosmopack” for a journey that led visitors to discover the creation of a fragrance from the selection and combination of raw materials to the latest technologies for filling bottles and packaging. A limited-edition fragrance was produced with the collaboration of leading companies exhibiting in Cosmopack, including ICR, Bormioli Luigi, Candiani, Aptar, Ima Group, Coven Egidio, and Pusterla 1880.

The Perfume Factory was set up inside Cosmoprime, a new area that hosted international companies with a strong focus on retail, especially on premium perfumery.

Trends at a Glance

The Halls were already packed with visitors as Beauty Packaging’s publisher, Jay Gorga, and I set out on our Cosmopack journey. Here are some of the things that caught our attention as we trawled the aisles.

Decorative Effects

Custom looks are in demand, whether in mass, professional or prestige, but simplicity and speed to market often rule decision making when it comes to packaging. We noted a number of solutions that relied on stock packaging and mix-and-match techniques to make selection decisions easy and efficient.

Japan-based manufacturer Takemoto offered a wide selection of mix-and-match packaging from more than 1,000 stock molds—bottles, caps, all types of closures that could be used interchangeably. Custom solutions are also available.

One of the packages that stood out at Takemoto—Miracle Vision—looks like a 2-color hologram. Silkscreened over vacuum metallization, there are 20-30 different designs. This is the same technology used for paper currency, and Etsuko Takemoto, managing director, says they are the first company in the world to apply bill printing technology to packaging. She explains that their strength is in custom deco over stock molds with lots of 3D effects with depth. Techniques such as laser cutting, 3D silkscreen and hot stamp gold combined with silkscreen lend luxurious and tactile touches. Two-part caps with vacuum metallization are another specialty.

HCT Group held its usual dominant position at Cosmopack in Hall 20, complete with a pizzeria and a gelato stand. In addition to displaying its vast array of color cosmetics and skin care packaging, one of this year’s focuses was stock packaging. A large area with display cases was set up to show how stock components can be completely customized.

Quadpack’s emphasis was on showcasing concepts to demonstrate next year’s trends—to show off the customization possibilities in decorating and finishing.

Unique decorative effects on nail polish bottles and caps caught our eye at PinkPac. Water transfer printing and 3D print effects give bottles beautiful texture. There is no limit on the number of colors. Thomas Hwang said PinkPac is always elevating their capabilities and “these effects cannot be achieved with silkscreen technology.”

HJS Pack, from Taiwan, presented a number of examples of striking packs enhanced with digital printing done on ABS plastic. The customer can supply any artwork.

Multi-layered deco took the spotlight at GLP Korea Packaging, on containers of various shapes and sizes, from lipsticks to portable fragrance sprayers.

Color Cosmetics

Color Cosmetics have been high on the sales ladder for quite some time now, and brands are eager to keep it going with creamier, longer-lasting formulations while suppliers are developing intriguing must-have packaging.

At MYC Packaging, Colin Philips, general manager, told Beauty Packaging that “cushion pens continue to be a big trend, and spring pens are making a comeback.” MYC featured its dual-function Kajal with a powder godet inside. The built-in applicator offers different payoffs, he explained. The patent-pending multifunctional package can be used for eye or lip products.

In what Philips called “a new gesture for lipstick,” a lipstick case with no mechanism allows the user to press the top on to lower the bullet. The clear top snaps closed when the lipstick is down.

A number of lipstick cases at Cosmopack were being offered in the current in-vogue narrow profile.

MYC Packaging displayed tall, slim cases which held triangular-shaped lipsticks, good for narrow bulk.

Among its many stock packs, HCP Packaging presented its sleek and elegant Fusion Slim Wand, a versatile pack that can be used for lips, contouring or highlighting products. HCP was also showing its broad range of mascaras, bolstered by its acquisition last Fall of Simp.

In keeping with both slim and “long-lasting” trends, Faber Castell had extended their sharpenable Slim Plastic Pencil range. According to the supplier, the airtight Slim Plastic Pencil, available in any color, is the perfect package for super long-lasting formulations. It can easily be customized with a matte or metallic finish.

Citus Kalix, part of Coesia, which specializes in filling and cartoning for cosmetics, placed an emphasis on consumer lipstick molds and what types of designs can be used to enhance the colorful bullets. The company’s special silicon mold technology allows for unique engraving and textural surface effects—even wood and leather-like finishes.

One of the packs presented at Derik Industrial was a dual-function product with a beauty tool. This is ideal for a highlighter or foundation, with a brush or tool to spread it. There are different diameters and tools to meet customer demands.

“Sweet Candy” was the theme of Geka’s new trend collection for Spring/Summer 2018. The highlight of the collection, according to Julia Kiener, marketing manager, Geka, is the PureSensation molded brush, which uses the supplier’s patented Moltrusion process for a plastic molded brush with a stiff core but soft bristles. The deco is also special, with a metallic masterbatch bottle that has a lacquered look.

Often we hear brands promoting the idea of “playing with cosmetics” and a couple of suppliers produced packages that were up to the challenge.

For instance, creative nail polish packaging was a hit at Baralan, where new bottles, with what resembles dentil molding around the cap, link together to form groups, such as two colors and a treatment product. What’s more, the caps, available in a wide array of shades, can be used interchangeably on a range of packages from lipgloss to fragrance, so a brand can even assemble a whole set.

Another puzzle-like package caught our eye at Allta International, a turnkey supplier that owns 7 factories, with sales and marketing in the U.S. and production in China. David Berkman, president and CEO, explained the merits of paper, which wrapped many of the components on display, including fragrance bottles. “With paper, the world is your oyster,” he said, because there are no mold fees and you can have any color, any texture, emboss, deboss...”

One particularly noteworthy compact-type package featured a magnetized textured paper assemblage of pieces that fit together so consumers can create customized palettes, and add, subtract or change the shape at will.

Airless and Applicators

Yonwoo released a number of new items at Cosmopack.  A powder sprayer for foundation or any type of powder drew attention. A cushion concealer twisted up to dispense, and a cooling ball pump tube entered the skin care packaging choices. Most unique, perhaps was a pump that dispenses an entire capsule without breaking it, providing the consumer with the ability to break the bead at the point of application.

One of HCT Group’s hottest items at the show was a “just-introduced” Airless Mist Pump. “It sprays 360 degrees,” explained Carley Propst, HCT West Coast, so you can even hold it upside down.” Just twist the top and the nozzle pops up; twist again and the nozzle retracts as the cap locks.

A focus on airless was top of mind at Lumson, which presented its airless pump technology. The supplier’s Envers airless jar has now been industrialized. The package provides a twist and lock feature, and works well with heavy creams. It’s also a very hygienic solution as the product never touches the user’s hands. The jar preserves the formula and maintains the potency of the product.
The DAC—or Downward Airless Compact—was one of the latest innovations from Nest-Filler. A new version of the airless compact, it helps to get more product out due to an airless piston. The compact does not include a sponge or mesh; instead, the formula comes up through holes in the plate’s base. According to the supplier, it’s also easy to fill.

Corpack showcased a variety of airless bottles, tubes and miniatures. The supplier had provided packaging for a large Birkenstock brand launch that was presented on the Cosmopack show floor. What does a leading footwear brand have in common with personal care? Aside from promoting a healthy lifestyle, the answer is Cork. The substance is beneficial when used in the footbed of the sandals as well as in the formulation of the body products, because cork contains suberin, which has a proven lifting effect. And to complete the story, cork is an integral material used in the packaging of the line. The PETG refillable system features airless bottles with real cork bottoms. (Hmm—take out the pac in Corpack—and even that leaves cork.)

Color Cosmetic Formulations

As HCT Group is a turnkey supplier, the company also highlighted a number of distinctive formulations. One that stood out in particular was their Lip Confetti, a metallic liquid powder that turns to cream.

Formulations at Alkos-Group ranged from lipstick to foundation, many of which were available in the supplier’s very popular airtight, twist-up 100% Made in France jumbo-twist chubby stick format. Allison Kieffer, communication-marketing, showed Beauty Packaging a new “luminous” lipstick available in three shades. “It’s matte with incredible payoff she explained; hydrating and comfortable.”

As far as skin care,  Alkos presented a wax cleaner in a chunky stick form, in a mini format. Apply to a wet face and it forms a milky texture—for a new gesture in cleansing. Also interesting was Peel & Reveal, a two-step face mask. Apply the mineral powder mask to draw out impurities; then spread a gel over the mask. Once dry, peel off for refreshed skin.

Glass with Class

Beautiful fragrance bottles shone at Coverpla, where some of the supplier’s newly designed ashwood caps highlighted its brand-new wood-paneled booth. It made for a seamless look of sophistication, clarity and a prestige presentation.


As the 50th edition of Cosmoprof comes to an end and we depart for the U.S., we can’t help but look forward to Cosmoprof NA, which will take place July 9-11 in Las Vegas.