In December 2023, I was invited to participate on a panel at the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) Global Summit in Geneva. The panel began by discussing global megatrends impacting the fragrance industry, two of which were transparency and sustainability. These megatrends extend beyond the B2B and have become demands from consumers when it comes to their F&F products.
We're in the beginning stages of the educated or informed consumer; which is a consumer who will eventually and ideally be looking beyond typical buzzwords like "clean" or "safe" in their purchasing. But there are many steps before we reach that level specifically in the education realm. Because associations like IFRA, Research Insitute of Fragrance Materials (RIFM) and F&F houses are in the B2B space, the weight of education is currently largely falling upon fragrance, beauty and personal brands.
So how do we, as the F&F industry, cross that barrier and educate consumers who can be misinformed by social media influencers and clickbait articles? Here are three suggestions:
1. Communication of regulatory updates and procedures from associations like IFRA as well as evaluations and conclusions from research institutes like RIFM utilizing palpable language for the consumer. Experts in the F&F industry can publish peer-reviewed pieces and industry updates and insights for publications alongside a summary of the piece in layman's terms for the research and policy to be easily digestible for the consumer to build trust through education.
2. Use trade media as a resource for sharing and listening: Ensure activities and guidance trickle down to fragrance professionals across R&D, operations, regulatory, etc. by bylining stories and engaging with social posts. Connect the dots between emerging regulatory/safety topics and the day-to-day activities of fragrance professionals—focusing on "what does this mean for me?"
3. Finally, I would also add that organizations can and should reach out to science and fragrance-positive influencers to help share fragrance education. Key players in the F&F industry can and should open their doors to people who are trying to spread positive messages about fragrance.
All that being said, if you're interested in penning a research article with a companion summary in layman's terms for the readers in the consumer realm, please send me an email ([email protected]).