How the global shift for transparency is affecting product formulations


Colgate Palmolive Company, Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico


Recently there has been a huge shift in consumer (and regulatory) demand for transparent information about formula composition and product origin in Home and Personal Care products. This shift has huge impact on current and future formulations, with focus on depth of knowledge on raw material compositions and origins and requirement to communicate more broadly in an authentic, consumer-friendly manner for current formulations. For new formulations, a new mindset in the product development process is required, in which consumer communication about the product, beyond performance claims, can supersede other technical requirements.


Over the past few years there has been a huge increase in the drive for transparency in product ingredients. What was once the domain primarily of food products has transitioned into Personal Care products and now Home Care products.  As instantaneous information becomes available (and expected) via the internet, new applications for computers and mobile phones have been developed and are becoming widely used, such as Yuka in Europe and Think Dirty, Shop Clean in US.  These apps will enable a consumer to scan a QR code and get feedback on the “grade” for the product in question. Often this “grade” is defined based on the individual determinations of the application developer of what is good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. Those determinations can be based on available scientific literature to varying degrees. These “grading procedures” are not new and have been occurring in print media for many years. However, in the past, their reach has been limited to the print media subscribers. In the Internet age, their impact is exponentially expanded due to the br ...