Speaking to CosmeticsDesign USA, Bhasin said that innovation and creativity are at the heartland of an industry where companies want to reinvent and go forward.
“Each time we create a product at Procter & Gamble, we ask the question of ‘what innovation can we do that will impact the consumer,’” he said.
With the Lacoste 1212 fragrance for example, “the visual idea of the crocodile was brought to the fragrance to display the idea of a polo shirt in a bottle,” said Bhasin. Procter & Gamble developed a way of attaching a fabric crocodile made from natural cotton to the bottle, he explained, with the equity of the iconic symbol of Lacoste clothing coming through into the fragrance packaging.
Sustainability: buzzword or byword?
Sustainability as a buzzword or byword is an interesting concept, said Bhasin, highlighting that it goes beyond products and packaging to cover manufacturing and transportation and encompasses the wider aspects of social and economic sustainability.
“Sustainability is important, but what does it actually mean?” he asked, adding thatsustainability has a value to play depending on the category you are operating in.
P&G takes a holistic approach to sustainability and looks to build it into its products wherever possible, according to Bhasin. In packaging, this can include looking at the contribution of packaging to the waste stream and using recycled paperboard in secondary packaging.
Bhasin cited the development of Gucci Opulence as an example of where sustainability was incorporated into the manufacturing process by asking suppliers to reduce energy use.
He said that one of the major benefits within the fragrance industry is working with glass in primary packaging, a material made from silicon and sand. Procter & Gamble’s fragrance packaging contains varying proportions of recycled glass depending on the products, said Bhasin, with ranges such as Lacoste containing a higher level as the element of lack of clarity makes it more suitable for colored bottles.
Industry will need to develop further to meet consumer expectations
Bhasin said that consumers today are demanding more and more and industry will have to evolve greatly in order to meet expectations for innovative and creative products that are environmentally responsible.
“Consumers are much more discerning and knowledgeable,” he said, adding that the ideal state would be splurging on luxury but doing so in a sustainable way. “We encourage suppliers to take this onboard as it is very relevant to the consumer,” he concluded.