Like the many construction workers engaged in new projects around the elegant principality of Monaco, suppliers inside the Grimaldi Forum were also focused on the future, displaying products and packages meant to engage visitors and earn them approval and loyalty.
Many exhibitors on the show floor were celebrating big anniversaries of their own—both for their individual longevity as well as for their years with Luxe Pack Monaco, with a couple that had started with the event back when the luxury packaging show launched in tents close to its current site beside the Mediterranean Sea. Nine exhibitors at this year’s Luxe Pack were recognized for their participation during the last 30 years: Albea, Pochet, RPC Bramlage, VPI, Ileos, Clas, Kurz, Verrerries Brosse and Doro.
Beauty Packaging spoke to Natalie Grosdidier about the impressive 30th anniversary of Luxe Pack Monaco—as well as her impressive 23 years with the event. What have been her impressions over this time period? She spoke with pride about what she calls the DNA of the show, and said it has “always been modern” in its approach, focusing on all of the luxury markets, from Cosmetics & Fragrance to Spirits, Fine Food to Jewelry. This, she explained, provides the “cross-pollination” necessary for clever details and open innovation. In addition, she said, Luxe Pack has always been selective regarding its exhibitors. “From the beginning,” said Grosdidier, “one of the intents of Luxe Pack was to find new ways to collaborate and open innovation to all—to think beyond the products and the packaging.”
Another area of pride for Grosdidier is the show’s continuing emphasis on sustainability, which started in 2010 when they launched Luxe Pack in Green, an awards program that highlights new materials and changes that benefit society and the planet. And always looking to the future, Grosdidier said Luxe Pack is expanding its focus on connected packaging and the digital world, so that “brands can transform a product into a service.”
First impressions of this year’s multi-level show floor revealed lots of paper, cartons and spirits packaging in addition to fragrance and color cosmetics—in the spirit of Luxe Pack’s cross pollination of innovation across the categories. High-end booths, some in different locations from previous years, added to the luxe flavor of the event and drew visitors in for a closer look at offerings.
The rapid pulse of the show defined the industry, with new projects and packages waiting to be discovered. Some of the buzzwords Beauty Packaging’s publisher Jay Gorga and I heard regarded deco, new shapes and sizes, ultra-luxe, connected, light weighting and U.S. manufacturing sites. Ways to quickly customize a package and make it new—for seasonal launches, quick to market or special collections—just by changing the color of the top plate, for instance, was a popular topic at some suppliers’ stands. Similar to fragrance flankers, these “change-ups” offer the same benefits for color cosmetics. An increase in magnetic closures for packages from fragrance to lipsticks was an attraction for brands. Making things easy for the brand customer was a high priority. Representative of the epitome of luxe packaging, the new Tiffany fragrance, from Coty, appeared around the show floor with its ideal of a super luxe package, both the bottle, with its intricate diamond cut, and the carton, which duplicates the jeweler’s iconic setup boxes.
With one of its focuses this year on “connected packaging and digital solutions,” Luxe Pack set up a “Digital Village” in the Atrium Hall, where exhibitors featured digital tools and demonstrated interactive processes. Many of the tools shown were designed to encourage a brand to interact more frequently and more directly with consumers. Visitors had the opportunity to interact with all types of digital tools, and apps, RFID chips, NFC tags, POS, connected boxes, traceability and authentication features and holograms.
At Seram, for instance, an NFC tag can be placed behind an image on a carton, so a consumer can access a brand’s website for additional information. The same image with the code can be printed on the sampling blotter or on a ribbon.
Cartons & Boards
Billerudkorsnas, the 150-year-old materials company based in Sweden, has been expanding its supply around the world, including in the U.S., where it has a stock warehouse in Baltimore to satisfy short timelines. Henrik Asp showed Beauty Packaging examples of their deep embossing methods, glitter effects, cutouts and digital printing. A number of techniques can be used on any of three grades of paper. To ensure projects turn out as envisioned, Billerudkorsnas guides their customers from engineering to print. Asp also spoke about light-weighting, saying their SBS board is less expensive and stronger than most boards on the market, due to longer fibers, longer growth time and colder climates.
Neenah’s booth had a whole new look this year, with a handmade floral mural fabricated from Neenah substrates. The supplier’s emphasis was on the premium and luxury side of the business, as well as a focus on global brands: Tiffany, Arden and Lauder are all brands Neenah said they have grown this year—including the paper used for the carton for the Tiffany fragrance launch from Coty.
In addition to supplying paperboard and materials, Metsä Board has been developing its own packaging sources and innovations to show its capabilities. In line with a focus on sustainability and “naturals,” the supplier featured a skincare gift box design and insert they had developed. The advanced carton’s inner tray and outer packaging were developed using molded fresh fiber pulp, made from Metsä Fibre. Metsä Board design and innovation director Cyril Drouet said: “Our target for the new and improved cartons was to keep all the appreciated benefits: light-weight materials, elimination of the plastic wrap and the unique opening experience for each box. In addition, the new cartons are now designed to be easier to run on packing lines as well as adding the possibility to reclose each box after opening.” The new carton structures offer a 20% to 30% weight reduction when compared to traditional cartons.
Autajon is a 50-year old family owned company based in France, with two plants in the U.S.—NJ and NH—and three in China. They specialize in cartons, rigid boxes and labels and according to Romain Bonneau, sales director Autajon-Cultech, Shiseido-Nars is their largest client. Gilles Poncato, senior VP sales & marketing, told Beauty Packaging, “We can always do new things with old recipes—that’s where the innovation is.”
Autajon provided the carton used for Coty’s new launch of the first fragrance for its Tiffany license. In line with the high-end jewelry and giftware retailer’s reputation for the finest quality, the namesake perfume is housed in a rigid setup box, which is highly unusual, according to Bonneau—and the first time Autajon has provided such a carton for a fragrance.
One of the highlights at Storaenso’s stand was the 50th anniversary celebration of its Ensocoat paper, which is now “much whiter, in line with the luxury market. What’s more, it’s easily “foldable” and keeps its shape and color. To emphasize these attributes, Storaenso featured a paper artist at their stand, who attracted attendees with her impressive fluted paper sculptures.
Applicators & Brushes
Cosmogen always has a wide range of applicators on hand, with new launches at every show. A family of silicone brushes stood out at Luxe Pack Monaco. Modern-looking and attractive, they are also very soft and hygienic as they can be easily washed and dried. A soft-head applicator in TPE was attached to a hard handle; small holes in the applicator are ideal for picking up formulas such as loose powder.
Attract and Attract One have been bestsellers for Cosmogen, and the supplier has added to the line with the special applicator ball now available for use with airless tubes, a launch reserved for Luxe Pack Monaco. This applicator offers the same benefits as its predecessors: The sphere can be removed for easy cleaning, or even warmed or cooled for certain treatment uses. An airless pump with the removable ball was another launch specific to Luxe Pack Monaco. The tubes are also available with other heads such as spatulas and brushes, with benefits that include providing the same micro-dosage every time.
With its purchases of SIMP and Rusi Cosmetic GmbH & Co. KG, HCP Packaging was focused on mascara packages at Luxe Pack Monaco. With a plethora of stock and custom packs, twisted wire and plastic molded brushes on display, HCP is able to offer a complete mascara packaging solution. The Pacific mascara, a new stock pack, features a click closure system, a tapered profile and a chic teardrop-shaped surface to the cap. The Pacific pack can be paired with either a twisted-wire or micro-precision molded plastic brush, and decorative effects including 3D Droplet, Fireworks and Drizzle.
Albéa exhibited a number of products at their stand. The global supplier’s tips studio in Morristown, Tennessee, is providing an assortment of applicators for the U.S. market. Among brushes including those for mascara to brow, the Hypnotic brush features 100% cotton for lash care treatment, to be used prior to applying mascara. The MyFlash mold allows a brand to add “baby molds” for different textures and effects on the caps—for mascara and lipgloss products. These are ideal for special limited launches. In line with Albea’s Let’s Go collections, which are full service lines available in just 4 weeks with limited decoration, the supplier now offers a collection for face, which includes kabuki, sponge, concealer, foundation, and compact—all filled by Albea.
Geka presented its new collection “midnightSEDUCTION,” which consists of a mascara, an eyeliner, a 2-in-1 top coat and eyebrow unit and a liquid lipstick. One of the highlights of the collection is the new 1K brush burlesqueBEAUTY, which models a womanly shape for creating “provocative night-life lashes.” According to the supplier, the brush’s special tip design guarantees a smudge-free application with major volume of upper and lower lashes. The packaging features gradual lacquering from black to “seductive” red and an elegant lace pattern. The eyeliner applicator is made of 19 delicately tapered micro bristles to execute exact, defined lines, and its packaging is slim and classic, but with a flocked pattern over the metallic cap. An integrated weight in the cap is an added feature. As far as the 2-in-1 product, shiny blue metallization decorates the packaging and the heavy-walled four-edged bottle with its brand-new metal cap is highlighted with a gold and elegant lace pattern, again with a weighted cap. The entire collection is presented in a shiny clutch.
At this year’s Luxe Pack Monaco, DuPont emphasized its growing portfolio for the cosmetics and personal care sectors, especially in light of the launch of DuPont Crastin polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resin and DuPont Hytrel (which offers the flexibility of rubber in combination with the strength and “processability” of thermoplastics), which can come in direct contact with cosmetic formulations and be used with mascara brushes and dispensing systems. Helene LeBrun emphasized Surlyn’s high-transparency, glass-like appeal. She said, “In general, there is a growing market trend toward the use of polyester for cosmetics packaging. We help our customers respond to this trend by working closely together to find tailored solutions to their challenges. We use our mold design expertise and state-of-the-art technology to identify the most appropriate resins for a wide range of products.”
Caps & Closures
LeBrun showed Beauty Packaging the beautiful cap they had achieved in collaboration with Coverpla, the French manufacturer of standardized bottles and caps for perfumes and cosmetics. She described it as “the first overmolded standard cap using Surlyn;” it’s a double Surlyn cap, with the material used on both the inside and outside. The cap exhibits outstanding tactile and optical qualities, and due to the Surlyn, offers a number of functional benefits; it is robust and unbreakable, it does not chip and has excellent chemical resistance.
Bruno Diepois, CEO at Coverpla, said: “We constantly have to innovate and bring new products to our customers. Leading brands expect flexibility, and Surlyn gives us an incredible capacity for innovation and agility. This new cap enables brands to differentiate easily by playing with a rich palette of unique colors, decorative effects and tailored packaging styles.”
This 2-in-1 concept can be produced in multiple colors, shapes and decorative styles for the internal part of the cap, protected and accentuated by the depth and surface finish of the over-molding. The standard size of the cap allows it to fit on the many different bottles and jars of Coverpla’s range.
Technicaps, known for its self-orienting magnetic caps for bottles and jars, uses Bakelite, once used mostly for Art Deco jewelry and radios. The material offers a number of advantages, including being able to engrave very fine details directly from the mold. It is also 40% “bio-sourced” from cellulose, and is “cold touch.” (See additional info in sidebar “Packaging Discoveries from Glass to Caps”)
Glass Beyond Boundaries
One look at the Verescence stand and it was easy to see the supplier was all about glass bottles—in particular, colored glass bottles which adorned the entire back wall. They presented a number of innovations, which they said met consumer needs and market trends for “premiumization.”
In one display of high-end bottles, called High-Jewelry Glass, gems and various stones had been inserted inside the glass to accent its premiumization. In Sculpt n’ Shape flacons, the supplier showed how they can create shapes inside bottles with standard size opening necks. Color’in presented specks of color inside the color coating, with a look “like the Milky Way,” said Sheherazade Chamlou, vice president sales & marketing.
Alternatively, the inside of a jar can be engraved to add a touch of sophistication, according to Chamlou. In the sustainability vein, Verescence offered 60g lightweight and recycled glass jars as replacements for 100g jars.
News at glassmaker Piramal centered on two new glass lines, one featuring metallization and the other, hand polishing and grinding. A new decorative technique that uses hot foil stamping was also displayed.
Zhejiang B.I. Industrial, the newly created luxury division of B.I., manufactures glass, plastic and aluminum packaging and owns more than 100 injection molding machines. As evidenced with components from other suppliers at the show, Bi-Industrial is incorporating more and more Surlyn material into their designs. David Chen, managing director, told Beauty Packaging they used 300 tons of Surlyn this year, alone.
A new innovation at Bi-Industrial featured what Chen said is “a new concept for perfume,” with the outside being acrylic and the inside, glass. The layers are crimped together and the bottle can be coated or decorated in a wide variety of ways. New droppers for premium glass skincare bottles were designed in a flattened teardrop shape, and available in three sizes.
Looking playfully at upcoming trends, Pujolasos presented a preview of new trends for 2018, featuring a focus on innovation and mixed materials through prototyped Him/Her fragrances. The Barcelona-based supplier presented bottles that combine resin with wood, which can both be produced on the same type of machinery. The glass can be sprayed in any color—and “anything can be imagined,” said sales manager Sergi Gonzales.
Stölzle Glass Group emphasized sustainability, caps, deco and digital printing. A bottle for Mademoiselle Rochas, with ribbing on the side, captured a feminine vibe. Pure XS was topped with an interesting closure in which the cap lifts up. According to Ulrike Pichler, marketing manager, their digital printing techniques for decorating fragrance bottles “are unavailable from most glass manufacturers.”
A new launch for fragrance at Albéa targeted the retail on-the-go market, with a mini bottle that’s similar to the branding image of the original flacon. Available in 10-, 30-, 50-, and 100ml, the “very secure” snap-on pump also offers the same spray quality.
At Silgan, Sandy Gregory, associate marketing director, global fragrance & EU beauty, introduced us to Melodie Pirouette, a screw ferrule fragrance pump designed by Silgan Dispensing Systems to facilitate the creation of sustainable packaging concepts such as refilling or recycling. Gregory explained that a recent consumer study, commissioned by Silgan Dispensing Systems in five countries, demonstrated that there is “a sincere interest among fragrance users to be able to refill their fragrance bottle or recycle it.”
With Melodie Pirouette, Silgan Dispensing Systems intends to remove some of the barriers brand owners may face, such as the traditional elevated cost of a metal screw ferrule, by replacing it with a plastic component injected in-house, and by assembling it on high-speed automatic lines with a decorative outer metal collar, thereby also allowing the pump to maintain the luxury look expected. “Refilling and recycling have now become a commonly accepted practice among modern luxury consumers who desire to care for their environment and seek more meaningful, genuine and authentic experiences in their lives,” said Gregory.
A couple of the standout packages at HCT Group included the Sephora x Moschino collection, and the supplier’s airless compact with deco plate, featuring two different types of deco.
In line with their vibrant decoration techniques, luxury compacts and lipsticks, HCP has extended their aluminum Magnum stock range, adding a full-size slim lipstick with an elegant profile, weighted for a premium feel. The Fusion Magnetic Paintbox is an ultra-slim and contemporary new palette that holds eight rectangular wells and a full mirror.
HCP also showcased their latest trends for Autumn Winter 18/19, demonstrating their versatile decoration capabilities with a range of creative top-plate designs and on-trend finishes.
Next Up: Luxe Pack LA
The next edition of Luxe Pack will take place February 7-8 as it premieres in Santa Monica, CA, co-located with MakeUp in LosAngeles, which it acquired this past May. “This will be two different shows with different interests,” says Luxe Pack’s Grosdidier, but there will be one badge to enter both shows. The total show will be three times the size of last year’s MakeUp in LosAngeles event, said Grosdidier, with the MakeUp in… show doubling this year over last.
Packaging designer Marc Rosen and Beauty Packaging’s editor-in-chief Jamie Matusow make a point of touring the Luxe Pack Monaco show floor every year for a glimpse of stand-out packaging. Here are a few things that caught their eye at this year’s event.
Qualipac was presenting new standard lines based on agility and speed to market. Makeup products were highly customizable, by very “simply” changing a slightly recessed plaque in a lid on a compact, for instance, enabling the customer to insert top plaques, fabric, or other materials and allowing for deco. Showcasing the trend toward simplicity and clean lines, Eric Vanin showed us Givenchy’s Hydra Sparkling plastic jar, which used “extremely clear plastic material” for a crisp, clean, glass-like look. An insert inside the jar “is completely compatible with the formulation.”
Rosen was drawn to the innovations in glass at Verescence (described in main article). He said it was “the first time I’ve seen an interior mold used to create a random pattern internally.” He also appreciated the capability of inserting objects into the glass, as with the gems.
LED printing on fragrance bottles was a proposal at Heinz Glas, in which a battery source in the base of a carton, for instance, works as a power source to light up the glass flacon via a pattern of decorative precious metal conductors. Emoji shaped bottles were designed to appeal to younger consumers and feature a smile-shaped “hole” in the glass. A small LED was used to light them.
Technicaps, known for its self-orienting magnetic caps for bottles and jars, uses Bakelite plastic, once used mostly for Art Deco jewelry and radios. The material offers a number of advantages according to Lucie Trocherie, marketing and key accounts, including being able to engrave very fine details directly from the mold. Trocherie said additional perks include higher quality, increased weight, cold touch and no injection point. A new selection of cap forms includes rounds and a square, which can all be used interchangeably on a range of bottles. The deepness of the tone is due to pigment rather than masterbatch. On a sustainability front, Trocherie said 40% of the material is bio-sourced/cellulose. “Retail is detail,” emphasized Technicaps chairman and managing director Jean-Louis Revel.
The Luxe Pack in Green Awards recognize environmentally friendly packaging solutions and initiatives. In honor of the 30th anniversary of Luxe Pack Monaco, this year’s Luxe Pack in Green award ceremony was held jointly with Prince Albert II of Monaco’s Foundation. A jury of industry experts made the decisions.
The Luxe Pack in Green trophy was awarded in the packaging solution category, to Finland-based Sulapac, for its premium eco-packaging product, described as “a brand-new, entirely biodegradable packaging material composed of wood and natural binders.” Groupe Pochet was the jury’s choice in the category “CSR approach,” for a corporate initiative titled “Ambition 2023.” The plan is structured around four pillars encompassing inventiveness, the excellence of its multi-materials know-how, the commitment of its teams and its corporate social responsibility.
According to the show’s organizers, “The presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco demonstrates the strong commitment of the Principality to these environmentally-friendly solutions, as part of a dynamic to raise awareness of these issues internationally, therefore offering a choice platform to the manufacturers present at Luxe Pack Monaco.”
The trophies were created and produced by Tech Design.