The R&D Director: ”More and more focus on upcycled ingredients”
When developing new formulations, Helene Gustafsson and her team follow the growing demands from clients and end consumers. In other words — vegan and upcycling.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
August 16, 2023
At the helm of the R&D department at leading Scandinavian supplier Svenska Krämfabriken, Gustafsson works on many different projects together with customers and colleagues.
— They always start with a new idea and a brief, she explains. We then start to create the formulations with all ingoing raw materials. It is all about finding the right actives for a special purpose, and making a product that is so delightful and nice to use that the consumer wants to buy it again.
What are the most important things for your clients right now?
— As we are working with many different clients with different needs there isn’t one important thing but what is commonly demanded by many of them is that the products should be vegan. Also, we can see from consumers that they request more transparency from the brands regarding the ingredients that are included in the products or what the function or result will be from using a certain one. Today with all the information you can find on different social media platforms about ingredient trends, the consumers are more aware of what they want or don’t want in their products.
Which ingredient do you predict will be the next big one?
— With a big responsibility for the environment, we focus a lot on sustainability. It will be more and more focus on upcycled ingredients and we’re trying to find more of them. An upcoming trend are ingredients extracted from waste from other industries, such as the food industry, as well as sustainable and environmentally friendly ingredients. You can find different upcycled materials in packaging as well, such as ocean plastic and recycled paper.
How do you work with innovation?
— We work in close collaboration with our raw material suppliers. They continuously arrange workshops and meetings which we attend to make sure that we are up to date on the latest innovation trends and upcoming raw materials. Since our suppliers are situated in different places all over Europe we are able to cover the whole market, says Gustafsson. She adds:
— Now, we are working on various hair care concepts, which focus on ’skinification’ of the hair, bringing skincare ingredients into hair care products.