Antoinette van den Berg talked about how she translates future trends into innovation for raw materials supplies, by providing three case studies with examples. “We’re in the middle of history and the future. It’s all changing,” she said. “Our goal is to know what the future is.” She likened trends to a running horse, that starts moving on a certain day, then gets faster and faster. The trick for companies is knowing when to jump on the horse, but it needs an open mind to innovation. Her examples of future trends included Colour Fun, where the trend for bright colours is translated into colourful beads in products such as kids’ toothpastes.
“I talked about men’s make-up two years ago and everyone said: ‘you’re crazy’. It’s difficult to understand, but it’s already happening now,” maintained, showing visuals of where this trend is already happening, in music, amongst the younger generation and on the internet. “I’m seeing a lot of decoration on the nails, eyes with eyeliners by early adapters.” She believes that body decoration will follow piercing and tattoos, which are now regarded as normal. “Why shouldn’t a guy use a liner, that is less permanent and easy to put on and take away?”
Ever contentious, van den Berg suggested that the anti-ageing trend will slow in the longer term as consumers embrace the idea that it’s “cool to be old”. She concluded: “So we must find new horses to jump on and use them to innovate and turn into new ingredients and products for the older consumer.”