CosmeticOBS - L'Observatoire des cosmétiques
Feb. 4, 2020Cosmetics news

The "Non-functional Slack Fill" phenomenon in the cosmetics industry pro Add to my portfolio
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The

The phenomenon is not new, and even if it is not particularly ethical, it is also seen in cosmetics. Non-functional Slack Fill, which refers to this non-functional and unfilled space of packaging, is however not without risk, in terms of brand image and regulatory compliance, as Frédéric Lebreux, Managing Director of Biorius, explains here. Comparing it to the frog that wants to be as big as beef…

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Let us remember our tender years during which opening our curiosity to the world and its wonders was enough to satisfy all expectations. At that time, Jean de La Fontaine’s popular common sense and exemplary morality contributed, to a greater or lesser extent, to building the reasonable human being we have become. His fables are still very much in vogue today, and re-reading them at any age is never a waste of time. One of them begins with these few verses:
A frog saw an ox
Which seemed like a nice size.
She who wasn’t as big as an egg,
Envy expands, and swells, and works itself up
To match the size of the animal…

Transposed to consumer products, the madness of this small amphibian’s enterprise refers to the concept of “non-functional slack fill”, a concept that could roughly be translated as non-functional and unfilled space. When CosmeticOBS proposed me to write an article, this subject seemed appropriate, first because it is interesting in itself but also because it seems to have been surprisingly little discussed within the European cosmetics industry.

Hidden underneath of the non-functional slack fill

Let us be clear: the economic actor resorting to this practice of ...