While the market has become much more sophisticated, with an emphasis on beautiful packaging and innovative materials and ingredients, there are very rarely any new products, says Annabel Trends managing director, Sally Dunn, just new ways of presenting them or new materials to make them from.
“Look at the re-emergence of bath bombs which were huge in the 90s…they have popped up again this last year or so, but in new innovative forms,” she explains.
“Body scrubs made from coffee grounds is another old product, using a new idea.”
For Annabel Trends, the most amazing material is microfibre as it is so versatile, says Dunn. “Not only does it have incredible absorbency, its cleaning ability is perfect for removing makeup without the need for chemical cleansers. Whilst microfibre is not new, our microfibre products continue to be on the top of our list.”
Another big area of focus right now is sustainability. “We are so excited to witness and contribute to the big wave of eco-friendly products emerging in the market place currently. We knew, however that it wasn’t enough. We felt we had to put our money where our mouth is.
“Just recently we have decided to phase out all plastic packaging where ever possible. This is incredibly challenging as it will involve educating our customers to embrace the new initiative, as well as seeking out suitable alternatives―we are really thinking differently about what we sell.
“Renewable, re-purposed, long lasting and less disposable product is a trend that is here to stay.”
Dunn also tries to focus on products that are both functional and stylish at the same time, such as their Australian made cosmetic bags, shower caps, eye rest pillows, heatable pillows, scented drawer sachets, and laundry bags.
“The Australian made factor is a big plus for us, as not many companies can offer this point of difference. We are currently working with a wonderful surface pattern designer that we contract for printing beautiful Australian themed fabrics―Jocelyn Proust is a wonderful artist and her designs are so sought after by our customers.
“Also, our Spa Trends brand has been a long standing range, which includes microfibre cleansing products, as well as gel treatment products…we are constantly expanding this range to meet the market demands for new and interesting beauty accessories.
“We all like a sanctuary we can retreat to from our busy lives and so investing in relaxation, and self-care products have become essential. The use of luxurious fabrics, pure fragrances, and products that pamper are all on trend right now―think ‘wellness’.
Does Dunn have any tips for retailers selling Annabel Trends products in their store? “We have always been a fan of colour blocking, and making a strong colour statement always catches the eye. Humans are naturally drawn to colour and so we think a colour pop is a fun and compelling visual merchandising option.
“We love seeing Annabel Trends products on shelf complimenting other company’s great products. We don’t make candles or body care products, so it makes sense to team up with other fabulous Aussie companies that fit this category to create a great bed and bath story.”