The Buyers Have Spoken: Here Are Their Favorites From IBE LA 2018

If the results of Indie Beauty Media Group’s IBE LA 2018 buyer survey are any indication, ingestibles will continue to swallow beauty shelf space for the foreseeable future.

At the third Los Angeles edition of Indie Beauty Expo in January, a wide swath of nearly 400 beauty buyers — from Aillea, Amazon, Credo, Cult Beauty, CVS, Dermstore, Free People, Feelunique, Revolve, Riley Rose, Ron Robinson, Safe & Chic, Sally Beauty, The Detox Market, TJX Corp., Violet Grey, Walgreens, Walmart, Zulily, and many more — scoured 145 beauty, wellness and lifestyle brands to possibly add to their retail collections. According to buyers, the two brands most likely to be onboarded are ingestible category leaders HUM Nutrition and Vital Proteins.

“We have noticed an increased awareness and excitement around [the] ingestible beauty category and the Vital Proteins brand,” shares Tracey Halama, senior vice president of sales at Vital Proteins. “We now have exhibited at five IBE shows, and have cultivated numerous new retail partnerships and significant opportunity. The experience with the IBE team has been outstanding, and it’s one of our favorite trade shows of the year.”

Buyer choice HUM Nutrition

HUM Nutrition, another IBE show veteran, noticed an uptick in buyer interest at the most recent expo. “This was the busiest show yet, where we connected with most of our existing buyers and opened up a great amount of specialty accounts,” says Vanessa Lee, director of sales at Hum Nutrition. “We also were able to meet and chat with so many of our customers, which have made HUM part of their inner beauty routine. IBE did a phenomenal job maintaining their beautiful aesthetic and creating a fun, lively and well-curated show that attracted wonderful brands and a great variety of merchants and buyers from Sephora, Nordstrom and Neiman’s.”

Aside from ingestibles, skincare, color cosmetics and green product categories remain interesting to buyers attending IBE events. According to the survey results, standout skincare brands at IBE LA 2018 included OSEA, Crave Skincare, Kailo, Makana, Woodlot, True Wild Botanics and The Organic Skin Co. Color cosmetics brands receiving multiple callouts were Clove & Hallow, lük beautifood, Antonym Cosmetics and Saint Cosmetics.

Jenny Duranski, founder of the store Lena Rose Natural Beauty, concurs with many of the standout brand choices. She traveled from Chicago to discover brands at IBE.

“My last IBE was in 2015 in New York, it’s been too long,” says Duranski. “It’s always great to leave the expo so inspired by the industry that I love. My top picks from the show would have to be Clove + Hallow, who are now on the shelves at Lena Rose; Kailo Organic Chakra Therapy, their body butters are insanely hydrating for the body and the spirit, [and] LUA Skincare, I carry their Moonflower perfume oil in my purse. I also loved getting ear seeds by Vie Healing, kept me so grounded!”

Over a dozen LA 2018 exhibitors, including buyer favorites Saint Cosmetics and Woodlot, will continue on to IBE Dallas in May and New York in August. Woodlot will also have a chance to expand its buyer favorite status internationally when the brand travels across the pond this October for the first European edition of Indie Beauty Expo in London.

“We have seen consistent growth in the number of buyers attending IBE across all of our shows year-over-year,” concluded Nader Naeymi-Rad, IBE co-founder. “The growth in buyer attendance and engagement we are witnessing is across all retail channels — mass, online, spa, salon — all geographies and all time periods — spring, summer, fall. The bottom line is that all different types of buyers are now buying indie brands all year long. In LA, 42% of attending buyers had also attended one of our most recent shows in NYC or Dallas. So in the age of e-commerce and social-media savvy consumers, the old model of ‘I’ll just go to one show once a year to stock up’ seems to be going the way of the steam engine. This why it is so important for brands to be present and show in as many different markets as possible — each is a discreet and additive opportunity.”