Two chemical firms, Clariant and International Flavors & Fragrances, have opened personal and home care innovation centers just outside New York City. The new facilities reinforce the attraction of the region to ingredient makers because of the plethora of nearby consumer product firms and its diverse population.
Clariant’s 1,300 m2 consumer care innovation center in New Providence, New Jersey, is intended to capture consumer trends and address regional formulation needs. It also provides a place to work with customers on evaluating and testing skin, hair, and cleaning formulations.
The center features a hair salon and washing machines that allow real-world testing of product formulations. Clariant has also equipped the center with a lab that includes rheometers, combing machines, and skin characterization equipment for claims substantiation. When fully staffed, the center will employ about 25 technical and marketing people.
Christian Vang, head of Clariant’s industrial and consumer specialties business, says the New Providence installation expands the firm’s position “as a thought leader in consumer care” and is focused on “intensifying our connection with customers.” The New York City area is home to a large number of consumer product companies, including Avon, Colgate-Palmolive, and Revlon.
An added benefit, says Michael Haspel, Clariant’s regional head for specialties, is the variety of ethnic consumers in the area who can participate in ingredient-testing projects.
About 65 km south of the Clariant facility, IFF has opened a home and fabric innovation center in Holmdel, New Jersey. The taste, scent, and personal care ingredient maker’s new research hub occupies 5,575 m2 and includes 32 evaluation spaces and labs. It employs 120 people who will focus on fragrance development for home and fabric care in a building that once was the R&D headquarters for Bell Laboratories.
Ingredient makers Ashland, BASF, and Croda have also recently built or augmented consumer testing labs in the New York metropolitan area.