Brighter Days Ahead

Literally, brighter days are coming. Not a moment too soon, as I don’t know about you but I have been struggling. It seems the country, the continent and the world has been under a leaden blanket. At home as many of you know, I’ve been juggling work with home schooling four teenagers which has been pretty tough going at times forcing me to take on the guises of more professions than I ever imagined for myself; teacher, peacemaker, chef, PT, therapist and dentist.

The latter is probably my least favourite of the bunch

One of the most embedded childhood memories I have of my mother is going to the dentist. Never a pleasure, OK at best, pretty horrific at worst. As a parent you get to relive the experience. Parents have had the ‘brush twice a day’, ‘use fluoride’ and avoid fizzy drinks mantra pushed at them for decades. Well in oral care there are massive changes happening beneath the surface. Nowhere is this more evident than in kids’ oral care as Jess Blake explains – brush up your knowledge (ahem) on Children’s Oral Care Product Innovations.

Despite this unprecedented shift in our household, we are grateful that we are all fit and well as a family. I’m grateful that clients continue to trust us and keep us busy helping them understand their shoppers better, tackle their brand challenges and understand the opportunities and threats that are coming their way. And I’m super grateful that the HRA team have all pulled together and embraced distributed working in the way that they have.

There are clear grounds for hope and optimism now – for all of us and our families with the vaccine roll out

But also optimism for what this means to the trade, including foodservice and the on trade. Just getting to the end of this era will be a result. If you are in business and get to the finish line in any sort of shape, you win. Surviving means thriving. Along the way there have been plenty of lessons about the importance of collaborating, making alliances and challenging the established ways of working.

Moving Onto The Evolution Of GSCOP

Speaking of collaboration and a less adversarial approach – I caught up with Ged Futter again for an update on how GSCOP was evolving and its impact on suppliers and retailers. We had a really lively discussion, pulling no punches about what is really going on out there in the trade including Brexit, import headaches and retailer behaviour. I’m loving making this, the third series of the FMCG Insider with my co-host Danni Jordan and this is a really special episode well worth half an hour of your time. Have a listen of Cracking the Grocery Code with Ged Futter on our Grocery Insider Podcast.

Over In Beauty Massive Changes Are Afoot Driven By COVID

With face to face beauty sampling and consultations impossible, new and innovative services have sprung up offered by the big guns. Alongside them, young and ambitious start-ups have rapidly shaken up the category. Unless you have been watching the category closely, blink and you’d wonder how we got here. Poppy Rucki unpacks the key changes we have seen in the last 12 month in the article Beauty In The iPhone Of The Beholder – Why Virtual Beauty Consultations Are Here To Stay.

A Huge Buzz Around Skincare Right Now

Alongside innovations in the wider health and beauty landscape, personalised skincare is really shaking the category up. You can see a short video from yours truly on the key takeaways in this short video on personalised skincare.

So, To Quote Churchill

By most estimates over here in the UK we are half way through the worst part of the lockdown. The ‘beginning of the end’ as Churchill would have termed it. The hour is going back soon and with every passing day the days get a couple of minutes longer as we tumble into spring. Let’s get February done and push on into better times from there.

I hope your family stays safe and well and please look after yourself.


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