Innovation in cosmetics and nutritional supplements - the rocky road from idea to product

Small companies and start-ups are the drivers of innovation in the cosmetics industry. However, they often lack the resources and expertise to implement new ideas. As a global trading company, PolyNeo supports them with access to raw materials and technical expertise.

In terms of sales, cosmetics and body care, together with the market for nutritional supplements and wellness products, have been among the top growth sectors in recent years. In addition to a solid base of tried-and-tested products, the industry is benefiting above all from a constant stream of new trends, mostly based on newly discovered or developed and internationally hyped active ingredients, especially those based on natural raw materials such as plant extracts. Small and medium-sized enterprises and, above all, start-ups are proving to be the driving forces behind innovative new developments and the adaptation of international trends to the national market. Flexibility and a willingness to take risks as well as an unbiased approach that is often not primarily based on economic considerations and often the famous "bright idea" are the ingredients that give rise to product innovations, which in turn are also taken up by large, established brands in the long term. For these, in turn, the development of new products is often not very attractive. Costs and effort, combined with opportunities that are often not reliably foreseeable, tend to inhibit innovation compared to concentrating on proven products. In contrast, "jumping on" trends that have already been initiated at the right time and incorporating them into the portfolio under a popular brand name appears to be a better strategy because it is safer.

The first step is always the hardest: from idea to product

While the small size and enthusiasm for new ideas as well as the focus on new trends are a driving force, start-ups often face significant difficulties in implementation. They often lack the necessary industry know-how, often even basic technical expertise and, above all, the urgently needed access to raw materials. When implementing innovative product ideas in particular, start-ups are often dependent on ingredients that are not yet widely available and are only marketed by a limited number of suppliers. In addition, these substances are usually only required in small quantities during the development phase, which often leads to additional increases in already high prices. Ultimately, small, young companies usually lack the insight to be able to assess both the reliability of a provider and the quality of its products.

Knowledge transfer and low-threshold market access accelerate product development

As an international trading company with many years of experience in the cosmetics market, PolyNeo has pursued since its foundation the vision of discovering innovative raw materials and making them both accessible as well as usable for the cosmetics market. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in the possibilities of making the network that has grown over the years, the know-how acquired and the partnerships with international raw material suppliers available to small and medium-sized companies and start-ups to provide them with meaningful support in product development.

While many large retailers tend to be dismissive of new, yet unestablished raw materials and substances, as the sales opportunities are often not immediately apparent, PolyNeo uses its own feel for trends to be able to meet the demand for supposedly exotic substances. PolyNeo enables low-threshold access even in small quantities or samples.

PolyNeo can guarantee compliance with basic standards within an established supply network and ensure the quality of the raw materials on offer. To this end, the industry expert has fundamental know-how regarding product-relevant certification. PolyNeo is also committed to aspects of sustainable, resource-conserving raw material extraction and social responsibility towards the countries of origin.

Besides raw materials, PolyNeo offers developers and contract manufacturers an additional opportunity to accelerate product development with ready-made mixtures and proven formulations. Factors such as stability, consistency or shelf life of a product can be realized by using multifunctional formulations without additional development effort. In addition, storage costs and losses due to overproduction are eliminated, as ingredients can be sourced just-in-time from PolyNeo as required, even in small quantities.

"With our comprehensive range of services, we offer developers, contract manufacturers and start-ups in the cosmetics and food supplement sectors a safe, responsibly sustainable and economically attractive way to implement their innovative ideas," explains PolyNeo CEO Eduard Albrecht. "Our work supports purchasing as well as product development. By giving them access to know-how and raw materials, we not only provide opportunities to establish new trends, but also offer international raw material suppliers new sales markets."

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