July 13, 2024

Feel-good factors

Passenger priorities are changing and the products finding their way into amenity kits are changing in response...

The retail beauty industry has seen a shift in recent years and that change is quickly making its presence felt onboard too.

Beauty industry stats suggest the greatest growth in sector spending is now on skincare rather than on make-up, and Mintel research analysts note trends are towards self-care, not just beauty. The analysts say the medicalisation of many products has also got consumers looking more closely at claims and ingredients; and the on-going push towards sustainability has turned an anxious spotlight onto all those single-use plastic tubes and bottles.

Airlines have been surprisingly quick to pick up on these trends with a plethora of new ‘natural’, ‘clean’ and ‘sustainable’ brand alliances making their way onboard.

WESSCO collaborated with Air Europe to bring Comfort Zone onboard, for example, a brand which prides itself on sustainable, or ‘conscious’ skincare with vegan products produced by a certified B Corp, committed to using only renewable resources and recyclable packaging, fully CO2 compensated. 

For Icelandair the supplier partnered with Icelandic skincare brand Hannes Dóttir, whose clean formulas are made with 100% nutritional food and supplement grade ingredients; and for LATAM an all-natural, vegan range from certified B Corp, Feito Brasil, was the choice. 

The team took the wellness theme to another level with JetBlue Airways, in a partnership with Wanderfuel, bringing a full collection of eco-friendly products from a variety of sustainable brands onboard, including Sun Bum, Sustain Natural and EO. 

WESSCO says: “Sustainable amenities help alleviate the negative effects of travel by providing passengers with self-care products designed to refresh and rejuvenate them.”

Purposeful products

FORMIA notes a shift in interest from airlines towards partnering with purposeful brands which have shared values and common goals, whether in terms of their sustainability commitments or a focus on health and wellbeing. It matched Delta Air Lines with Grown Alchemist, a natural brand focused on wellbeing and the importance of being ‘healthy from the inside out’. The curated wellness experience touches passengers from the moment they arrive at the lounge, during the flight and beyond.

FORMIA sees demand for innovative performance-driven products too with specific wellbeing credentials, which has spurred a collaboration with Flyfit for a wellness collection including aroma balls, mists, serums and supplements to support good health. 

Plane Talking Products is building its portfolio of amenities with two eco-focused collaborations with Scence, a natural brand about to launch onboard, and One Summer, an Australian eco- brand which also offers a recycling programme for its packaging so containers can be up-cycled or recycled, embracing the circular economy. 

Conscious consumers

Managing Director, Alison Wells, says: “The skincare industry has seen a surge in sustainability-conscious consumers looking for eco-friendly and ethically-sourced products. In a post-pandemic world, customers want simplified, convenient products. Wellness is at the top of the agenda so natural and organic is a must.” 

On sourcing potential partners, she adds: “We love niche brands which have a story to tell and are super flexible in their approach to partnerships with airlines. A brand partnership should be a win-win for all involved.” 

While wellness, doing good and local touches are key, she also detects a trend around products that make passengers feel ‘special’ and this is supported by the continued popularity of luxury high-end toiletries onboard.

Audrey Christophle, Head of Airlines and Hospitality Business Europe for L’Occitane Group, partners for amenities on Lufthansa and Japan Airlines. She says: “Increasingly, post pandemic, passengers are looking for a positive and relaxing onboard well-being experience. Our products are rich in natural ingredients and provide a luxurious and uplifting feeling onboard, the perfect antidote to a dry cabin.”

Buzz has matched Air India with Malin+Goetz, in its collaboration with TUMI, to bring its uncomplicated luxury skincare onboard featuring natural ingredients and advanced technology.  

And Kaelis, for Turkish Airlines, partnered with Qiriness, a French spa-at-home skincare brand which creates natural products that inspire a luxurious ‘spa moment’ onboard. 

Brands like La Prairie (on Swiss), Payot (on Air Astana), Aqua di Parma (on Air Canada and Etihad), Dyptique (on Qatar) all carry the cache of luxury. 

Increasingly, the offer goes beyond traditional lip balms and moisturisers to include miniature eau de toilette, as with signature fragances from Diptyque in Qatar’s First kits, Bulgari in Singapore Airlines’ First kits and Aqua di Parma in Etihad’s Business kits. 

Bringing the feel-good factor back onboard is clearly now an amenity kit priority.