Neal’s Yard says texture is a natural/organic hot topic as there are limits on ingredients

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Neal’s Yard says texture is a natural/organic hot topic as there are limits on ingredients

Related tags: In-cosmetics formulation summit, Organic food, Organic certification

Within the naturals and organic arena, texture is a hot topic, according to Neal’s Yard Remedies, as there are big limitations on the range of sensorial ingredients it can use.

Speaking ahead of his presentation on ‘Reinventing the wheel: what is driving reformulation?’, that takes place on 24 November 2015 at the in-cosmetics Formulation Summit in London, Dr Andrea Mitratonda, Head of R&D at Neal’s Yard Remedies, says that reformulating products presents added issues for a brand like his.

“Within the natural/organic arena, texture is a hot topic – we have huge limitations when it comes to the range of sensorial ingredients we can use, with some of the best-in-class (e.g. volatile silicones, silicone elastomers, etc) being forbidden to us under organic certification,”​ he says.

“There is still a belief that organic products are simply blends of oils, fats and waxes – greasy and sticky stuff. However, several organic brands, including Neal’s Yard Remedies, have demonstrated that it is possible to produce organic-certified products with a pleasant sensorial profile.”

In the last few years Neal’s Yard has been busy reformulating some of its older products to make them ‘more modern’ from a sensory point of view, according to Dr Mitratonda, and this has seen customers appreciate the experience delivered.

On top of a market-driven approach driving the need to reformulate products and better the consumer experience, brands must also do this to meet changing regulations and limits, sustainability considerations, and also for better efficacy.

Customer-centric

However, no matter what the reason for reformulating, Andrea says that the main pressure has to be customer-related.

“This is especially true when it comes to best-selling products – I think the magnitude of the pressure is directly proportional to the customer’s loyalty to the particular brand and product,”​ he continues.

“It is always difficult to communicate to customers that there is nothing wrong with the ‘old’ formula and that you are ultimately reformulating to deliver even better quality and efficacy.”

For companies like Neal’s Yard Remedies, who work under natural or organic standards, ever changing rules within the particular standard (e.g. Soil Association, Ecocert, COSMOS, etc) also make life more challenging, as sometimes they are requested to reformulate.

This could be because a particular essential oil cannot be sourced in organic grade, there are sourcing issues, or sometimes because it is no longer sustainable to use that particular ingredient.

In the last 10 years this means that the industry has seen big changes, with more set to follow, and for a natural/organic company, Dr Mitratonda says that some drivers are obviously more important for them.

“For example we would not embark on a reformulation journey to try and decrease the formula cost,” he says.

To find out more about Andrea’s presentation, and the in-cosmetics Formulation Summit taking place on 24-25 November, please click here.

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