Green Industry Trends & Challenges: Vivaness 2015 Recap

Dive with me into a scintillating world of modern, ethical, gorgeous products & trends to satisfy our beauty, personal care, and foodies’ needs.

One Day To Meet Them All

My crazy working schedule has only allowed for one day on the fair grounds, and when I say “one day”, it’s in fact only about four hours of actual work, plus a ten hours train ride.
However, here’s an Unbreakable Vow for 2015 that you guys sure will help me keep: going to the Biofach/ Vivaness for at least two, ideally for four days. It’s just that great.

Now, with this post, I want to share at least a part of my impressions and yes, enthusiasm. I have a lot more information, new contacts, and even some product samples that call for thorough evaluation and future posts, but I invite you to see some of it through my eyes today.VivanessBiofach-reviewing-info-samples

True Green Colours

Sometimes the sheer amount of green-ish marketing blurbs in the world makes me nauseous.

Thankfully, most exhibitors at the Biofach/ Vivaness share some sort of lively idealism, and that’s so comforting for a green soul like me. (No, no tree hugging occurred.) Many share the philosophy of “if it’s not perfect, why bother making it?” and you can imagine: that’s right up my alley.

Of course I’m very realistic about the various challenges a green company is facing today – market demands, turnover goals, gaining customers trust, sourcing and choice of raw materials, R&D between tradition and science for green innovation, a sharp USP, the challenges of the “new” and social media, etc. – but I think it’s so beautiful to talk to people who share values, and value transparency in their work and communications, and strive to make problem-solving a greener, cleaner business.

Shiny! Novelties – Unmissable

Brilliant for both exhibitors and visitors: the foyer at the very entrance to the Vivaness hall, called BREEZE. It’s a witty name for the actually airy and light-flooded area, but it also makes the first time exhibitors, whether young brands new to the market or simply new at the fair, unmissable.

Another thing to quickly get the full scoop on new products and launches is the NOVELTIES presentation in the Vivaness hall, a nicely arranged display with original products and descriptions. The novelty products get shortlisted for the Best New Product Award held during the exhibition.Vivaness-Biofach-2015-BEAUTYCALYPSE-review

It’s The People

I’ve been to many great and beautifully organised fairs (Baselworld comes to mind as a good example), but I felt like the Nuremberg exhibition was outstanding thanks to the team: the organisation is perfect, everybody is truly friendly and ready to help, making the atmosphere unparalleled in its openness and warmth; excellent for H2H*.

The press team are mindblowingly amazing – very helpful, very kind and cheerful, and offer anything a journalist’s or a blogger’s heart might ask for from easy accreditation, guided exhibition tours and meetups to a friendly ear and word… Thank you so much!

* In case you didn’t get the memo:
“H2H” is marketing speak for human-to-human;
the old, well-forgotten by marketers brand new
thing replacing B2B and B2C in our wired world.

Green Trends 2015

What if I let you guess? 😉
Of course, vegan and free-from products are up and coming in terms of market trends.
Gluten-free is large in the US, and gaining momentum in Europe as well. Being allergic to both wheat and fruitless discussions, I will omit my arguments against “gluten-free is a hipster fad”, and just go on with my post.

Personally, I was very happy to hear more people talk about what I’ve been preaching to vegan and vegetarian friends for years – vegan foods and cosmetics are not necessarily healthy, organic foods or tox-free and natural cosmetics.

A Biofach study about free-from food and the market possibilities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland was introduced revealing, among other facts, that the free-from trend is embraced by large-scale retailers the most. Smaller, traditional specialist retailers who have been offering “free-from” products during last decades are wary of free-from products seeing those either as a marketing trick, or suspecting altered, processed, potentially unhealthy ingredients (lactose-free milk, sugar replacers etc.).

Just to be clear here: free-from means free from milk, free from gluten, free from eggs etc.
Conflict ingredients are not part of the food industry’s free-from trend.
I think we need to be aware that anything trending means largely increasing demand which sadly imposes the treat of monoculture rising, biodiversity and local food supply damaged and so on. Think palm oil, think quinoa.

Personal 2015 Highlights

Facing Vivaness’ 202 exhibitors from 29 countries – and a helluva more at the Biofach, I’m pretty proud to have visited 19 from my list, including 3 at the Biofach, in just 4 hours.
I had the opportunity, among others, to openly talk to Ecover about their algal oil blunder in 2014 (more to come!) and to look at the upcoming home fragrance and detergent products by Sodasan, delightful new Matcha tea novelties at the Aiya booth, and range extensions as well as upcoming launches by Eco Cosmetics, the makers of the best clean, PO-free, vegan and organic shampoo in the world,Vivaness-Biofach-2015-BEAUTYCALYPSE-review-EcoCosmeticsI’ve met the team of Natura Siberica, the first and only Russian cosmetics brand that not only has an Ecocert certification but also an interesting, marketable concept, good beauty products and decent ingredients – even though not all products live up to my personal criteria (e.g. the shampoos contain Wheat Protein), I’m a little bit proud of them. Yeah. I think I am. 😉Vivaness-Biofach-2015-BEAUTYCALYPSE-review-NaturaSiberica-Novelty-Ecocert

Overall, there is so much more to dive into in the weeks and months to come!
There are great personal care products, female health topics, clean fragrance and home fragrance, natural anti-aging, delicious healthy food and tea, house cleaning the green way, non-toxic sun care, raw material and ingredient innovation. Woohoo!Vivaness-Biofach-2015-BEAUTYCALYPSE-review-Novelties

However, I can’t help but kick myself for having missed the opportunity to:
Eat at the Veganz on tour snack barVivaness-Biofach-2015-BEAUTYCALYPSE-review-VeganzOnTour Say hi to the KostKamm team who are making wonderful wooden brushesVivaness-Biofach-2015-BEAUTYCALYPSE-review-KostKammMeet the Florascent team (however, back in Berlin at le petit spa in Schöneberg, I have bought three of the aroma sprays shown here)Vivaness-Biofach-2015-BEAUTYCALYPSE-review-Florascent{All images in the Personal 2015 Highlights section: ©NuernbergMesse}

What I’d Like To See In The Future

[1] Let’s talk Palm Oil.
In my opinion, a helpful addition to the Biofach/ Vivaness tandem would be a forum to openly discuss raw material issues, palm oil above all, to hear from the companies, from the suppliers, and to enable more and better working on realistic solutions, inspire cooperations and innovations.
And I assure you, it’s not just me – the awareness is encouraging; many people would like to hear what brands, suppliers, but also Ecocert, NaTrue, the Vegan Society and the likes have got to say about palm oil and PO-derived ingredients.

[2] Digital is sexy.
I think there is so much room for growth. Authentically organic brands must dare more innovation in terms of digital solutions and online communications. Independent organic companies can’t rely on huge marketing campaigns, in fact, splurging on such a campaign would rather cause distrust with the loyal customer base, so they must create loud and clear channels and formats to wisely share their Knowledge, Development, and Expertise.
Many brands have amazing stuff (read: content) to tell that they don’t know how to communicate in a compelling way. It’s not only about editorial skills, it’s also about authentic digital savvy and understanding of novel technological solutions we have at our fingertips but don’t use yet – not talking about blogs and FB, talking about the really futuristic, problem-solving, time-saving things that are technically possible but remain unseen.

Now, Adventurer, I hope you’ve enjoyed this rather intense glimpse of a review.
Would appreciate to hear about Your struggles in finding ethical excellence in your life – maybe it’s green furniture? Perfume? Skin-firming treatments? Healthy convenience food? Safe water-free sunscreen? Something else?
Please tell in the comments!
Or, just in case you don’t want it on display, hop over to my contact form.
And we’ll see where the Quest road takes us next.


Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

14 Responses

  1. A great array of products. Now call me innocent, but I realized only recently that bone china is called that for a reason. What do vegans/vegetarians do about china? Are there trends in sustainable, green, eco-friendly china?

      1. Yes, the terminology is confusing. I am carefully checking all my china and everyone seems to have a slightly different description. Unfortunately the pieces I like the most all seem to be fine bone china! Did you see the news about Nestle changing their chocolate ingredients? Hopefully for the better.

          1. Indeed. And the animal didn’t die specifically for the purpose of providing me with fine bone china. The bones have been put to good use. For all I know, bone china may be more environmentally friendly to make than fine china or porcelain.
            De-cluttering hit a snag. Routine has been put out with the stress of my father’s hospitalisation with double pneumonia. He is improving but ,at the grand age of 94, illness of any kind is a major event. Not sure if you saw my latest post Longevity. The story of his illness has become part of the comments.

              1. By some miracle he was well enough to return home yesterday. He is still recovering but we were more prepared for a funeral than a home coming. A lovely surprise for all of us.

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