Cleaning Products Europe was another very successful event for organisers Smithers and all involved

Over 135 delegates gathered at the Novotel Barcelona City Hotel, Spain from 25-26 March 2015 for the 7th annual Cleaning Products Europe conference and heard presentations from leaders across the entire supply chain including McBride, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, A.I.S.E, ACI, Ecover and many more.

Day one of the Cleaning Products Europe agenda encompassed an overview of current trends affecting the market in detergents, auto dish and hand washing, as well as a talk from Ecover on how packaging is a determining factor in consumer choice and how to best align products with changing trends. Mike Harris from Tesco chaired the session and introduced the topics of accelerating innovation by involving crowds and customers by Frank Hatzack of Novozymes, the role private labels play in innovation by Jim Gordon of McBride, and new partnership models for accelerating innovation by Graham Cross of Unilever.

A dedicated textile session closed Day one, with local insight from AITEX into alternative washing ingredients for use in the laundry sector, an analysis of surfactant efficiency from Biolin Scientific, and a look into the implications of modern fabrics for a sustainable future from Sarah Adams of Unilever. The session generated a lot of questions surrounding synthetic fabrics, natural cleaning product components and malodour, and challenged cleaning assumptions which are still predominantly cotton-centric. The highlights of the day were carried into the evening drinks reception, whereby delegates enjoyed local wine and beer and an array of tapas options.

To kick off Day two, Katrin Meincke of Procter & Gamble gave a thought-provoking insight in to sustainability goals in their fabric care business, with a means to achieve through innovations and actions. The talk covered P&G’s vision for the future and 2020 environmental goals, before delivering a number of innovation case studies, such as Ariel PODs and Nil-Phosphate laundry soaps. Perhaps most interesting of all, was the emphasis on partnerships for the future of the industry; a point that throughout the event was urged time and time again by experts from across the value chain.

Another popular presentation on Day two came from Shawn Blythe of International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. who compared past perceptions of ‘safe fragrances’ with present perceptions and challenges surrounding natural and synthetic ingredient mixes. He also described a need for transparency in the sector (i.e. ingredient disclosure, source origin tracking and safety assessment disclosure) and collaboration for future success. Coinciding with earlier presentations, Shawn also gave insight into fragrance trends and concerns at consumer level, using popular search engine results such as “Does Perfume Have Hidden Health Risks?” and “Can your perfume cause cancer?” to illustrate a shift in consumer inquisitiveness.

In the closing session chaired by Mark Stalmans of P&G, we heard from Peter Douben on CLP challenges, with a focus on how companies can prepare for questions from an increasingly aware consumer, alongside another interesting update from A.I.S.E’s Valerie Sejourne, with an overview of their latest activities for steering sustainability progress in the detergent industry.

Overall the conference was a great success, beating all other editions before it in terms of delegate numbers and delegate satisfaction. The discussions inside and out of the conference room highlighted the commitment of the whole supply chain to increase collaboration for innovation in the industry and a dedication to sustainability initiatives.

View the Cleaning Products Europe 2015 conference programme >>

View the list of attendees >>