Beauty and transparency: why is honesty now so essential for brands?

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Beauty and transparency: why is honesty now so essential for brands?
We caught up with Kezzler, a company that offers technology to digitize individual products in the supply chain to give them a unique, secure and traceable identity, on the rising demand for transparency in the beauty industry. This Editor’s Spotlight reveals all.

Amarjit Sahota, Ecovia Intelligence​, recently singled it out as one of the major challenges facing the industry within the wider sustainability umbrella for beauty.

Speaking of transparency and traceability​ in ingredient supply chains, he says​:

“Supply chains have become global and it is sometimes difficult to trace ingredient origins, as shown by palm oil. Although sustainable palm oil is now widely available, there remain issues of provenance and traceability.”

Recently, Jayn Sterland, managing director of Weleda UK & Ireland, gave key expert insights into how beauty can respond to calls for greater transparency in an exclusive guest article, which can be read here​.

“If you cannot do good then at least do no harm or if you do, do it consciously and mitigate your actions through transparent, honest conversations with consumers and acting responsibly over the long-term,” she explains.

Kezzler's technology for traceability

In 2019 up to 6 billion products will be carrying unique Kezzler​ codes globally. The codes can be embedded into QR codes, NFC or other labels and placed on the product.

They can be deployed in the cosmetics sector to deliver solutions for brand protection, supply chain visibility and connecting with consumers, and Kezzler suggests demand within the beauty industry for this kind of function is rising.

Why is there demand for traceability? Why is it growing at the moment?

The overall loss of revenue to the cosmetic and personal care goods industry in the EU as a result of counterfeits is an estimated €4.7 billion annually.

However, it is not just lost sales that brands have to worry about when it comes to counterfeits and unauthorized distribution, but also the associated reputational damage as once consumer trust is lost it is hard to regain.

Meanwhile, ethical concerns regarding provenance have increased the market for cruelty-free and sustainable products with consumers looking for easy ways to validate brand claims and authenticity.

Serialization provides supply chain visibility by tracking products from creation to consumption, garnering deeper insights into the product journey and the entire product life cycle.

How long has Kezzler been working in this space, specifically how long have you been turning your attentions onto beauty?

Kezzler has been deploying serialization solutions for over 15 years across multiple sectors ranging from pharmaceuticals to fast moving consumer goods.

More recently we have been engaged by some of the largest cosmetics companies in the US in order to develop anti-counterfeiting strategies and consumer engagement programs.

Do you think traceability is going to rise as a focus for beauty companies? If so, why?

Traceability is an important means by which brands can protect themselves and their consumers from counterfeit products and unauthorized distribution.

By providing supply chain visibility, serialization technology enables beauty companies to track products from creation to consumption, as well as offering them the option of engaging consumers directly in real time.

We expect traceability to continue to rise as a focus for beauty companies in the coming months and years.

While ethical concerns regarding provenance and trends towards wellness and natural credentials have increased the demand for information and transparency regarding product ingredients and brands, traceability has also become more accessible for brands and can now be achieved with serialization technology that promises high flexibility and low operational burden.

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