Interview with Matthias Hentz
Matthias Hentz, Senior Head of Marketing at schülke
You recently joined schülke - again. What made you take on the position as head of global marketing?
schülke is a remarkable company looking at the rich heritage and its brand reputation that is well perceived by our customers globally. I personally believe that the market leader for antimicrobial blends with strong assets looking at production sites and sales offices in all relevant markets should determine the pace of innovation. Though we could set a global bench-mark with Ethylhexylglycerin it is important to focus on what lies ahead of us and prepare schülke and our product offer for the years to come. For me being experienced in global sales and marketing within the personal care industry an opportunity like this couldn’t be any more exciting.
What will be schülke’s position being experts in preservatives?
By September 2019 schülke divested the former technical biocides business in order to fully focus on where we are experts in: preservatives and antimicrobials for personal care products.
Our interpretation of expertise however involves more than just offering state-of-the-art products. We act responsibly and believe in the protection of well-established preservatives when available safety data convince us to do so. In the past there has been a certain trend of opportunism in the markets prejudicate established molecules based on data not always resilient or acknowledged. This is to say, to us it is crucial to appreciate the bigger picture comprising legal or environmental aspects.
Technically speaking we also believe in the very same idea. Our established MQM concept therefore considers the entire lifecycle of a cosmetic product. Beginning with advisory and testing support during formula development, we compile manufacturing and production hygiene plans making sure that cosmetic products are safe from day one protected with the best suitable preservative or antimicrobial.
As a pioneer in our field we of course follow trends closely. This is why we are striving to stay ahead and bring together established and safe high quality products with innovations developed by our R&D teams.
schülke recently launched its latest product innovation euxyl ECO 910. What is so special about it and what was the driving force behind?
The driving force behind our latest launch was to provide our customers with broad functionality, safety and ingredients being inspired by nature. To us the symbiosis of well-established antimicrobials with trend-setting materials is truly desirable. For euxyl ECO 910 we found lemongrass being the perfect addition to our portfolio. This easy to grow plant can be found in many cosmetic products but is a very popular food ingredient, too.
euxyl ECO 910 brings together an enhanced antimicrobial efficacy at an acceptable low dosage among a broad pH range with scenting properties creating a very unique and appealing cosmetic product.
And there is much more to come in 2020.
Do you perceive naturally inspired cosmetics being the future or just a niche?
Looking at the market figures for natural or naturally inspired personal care products it might have been a niche market twenty years ago but became the most appealing and fastest growing market segment within our business field. Though there always was a small number of companies focusing on naturals it was only 20 years ago when natural personal care products conquered the world. Today we see most products coming from Europe and the US whereas consumption happens to two thirds in the US and Asia. Due to central Europe being the most influential producing region, popular European standards that define what’s natural in our industry are perceived highly and followed internationally.
As usual a trend is there to follow. To us however it is to find the balance between what’s established and safe with ingredients sustainably sourced from nature.
What is your outlook for personal care ingredients?
It is great to see an ever increasing transparency due to more and more consumers interacting with cosmetic products and producers of those. This will consequently lead to a growing demand for naturally inspired but safe raw materials. Globally speaking, rising awareness of the importance of personal hygiene regimes is going hand in hand with increasing opportunities for companies like schülke. Certainly China and India are by far not yet saturated and countries like Japan, Korea or the US always seek for innovations.
Our outlook is very positive but this is certainly also due to our new products that are to come within the next few years.