Growth by innovation
May 19, 2022 was a celebratory day at the Beiersdorf innovation centers in Florham Park (New Jersey, USA) and Hamburg (Germany). After years of extensive research and the joint development of formulas and active ingredients, this day marked the launch of the Eucerin Sun product line in the USA. It is the only dermatological sun care line in the American market that offers sun protection for all skin types – and addresses particular skin types with its specific products.
The special properties of Eucerin Sun are the result of a close partnership between dermatology experts in Hamburg and sun care specialists in Florham Park. By combining the different specialties, a product was created that sets new standards and addresses unfulfilled needs in the USA, the largest market for sun care products. In its first year, the new Eucerin Sun line already generated sales in the double-digit million range in America.
Global innovation network
To ensure that innovations like this are possible, Beiersdorf is committed to close collaboration and a global network: In the Consumer Business Segment, this network primarily comprises the three innovation centers in Hamburg (Germany), Florham Park, New Jersey (USA), and Shanghai (China). There are also development centers in Brazil, India and Japan.
Although the responsibilities of the innovation centers are essentially very similar, regional requirements in particular have resulted in the formation of different R&D focus areas at the centers. For example, the USA not only has an Excellence Center for sun care, it also has a team of specialists for non-prescription, over-the-counter preparations. As a result, the infrastructure of the innovation center in Florham Park, which opened in 2021, complies with the strict requirements for OTC products and offers optimal conditions for the development of products for the US market.
On the other hand, the focus of R&D activities in Shanghai is on premium skin care. This is because products for the prestige and masstige (prestige products for the mass market) segments are growing more and more popular in China each year. To that end, in addition to innovation activities for the Chinese market, a competence center for face premium products has been established at the Innovation Center.
Dr. Heiner Max with Annette Gronau-Horn (left) and Dr. Adalberto Piacentini (right)
In-depth R&D dialogue
“These different focus areas provide yet another boost to the productivity of our R&D work,” says Dr. Heiner Max, Functional Head of R&D Derma. “On the one hand, we can gather the right experts at one location. And on the other hand, everyone can benefit from the in-depth dialogue on various findings. We call this reverse innovation: Insights gained at one innovation center often open up new perspectives in other regions of the world.”
“In many markets, the products from Beiersdorf make it a forerunner in sustainability.”
Dr. Heiner Max
Functional Head R&D Derma
This is especially true with regard to sustainability. Our objective: To achieve maximum benefit with the fewest possible and sustainable ingredients, and resource-conserving packaging. “In many markets, the products from Beiersdorf make it a forerunner in sustainability,” says Max. “Our global expertise and our high level of sustainability very often put us ahead of the competition. But we are still a long way from where we want to be.”
And the outlook is the same when it comes to innovation: Fewer, better, bigger. The goal is to have innovations that are fewer in number, yet groundbreaking in quality and established worldwide. To achieve this, Max counts on the superior expertise of the R&D innovation centers: “We are conducting cutting-edge research, particularly in the field of dermatology. By combining the research findings from our innovation centers, we will generate new approaches and insights. The development of the Eucerin Sun range for the US market demonstrates the possibilities that can emerge from the close collaboration between our global R&D teams.”