in-cosmetics North America: Who will rise to the Formulation Challenge in 2019?

The battle of the brands returns to the show this year

Widely regarded as the MasterChef of the cosmetics world, the Formulation Challenge will return to in-cosmetics North America this October, putting the region’s leading cosmetic and contract manufacturers to the test in a battle to create the most on-trend product from start to finish in just 90 minutes.

Held in the Formulation Lab, six teams made up of four R&D professionals and two marketers will demonstrate their expertise in the lab by developing both innovative and marketable cosmetic and personal care products.

The teams will be armed with a product brief and a mystery box of ingredients, many of which will be launched at the show, giving the teams an exclusive opportunity to test them in their formulations.

This year’s highly anticipated Formulation Challenge will be set by new technical advisor, Mark Chandler, who will be joined by returning judge Sarah Jindal of Mintel on the day to help choose the winning team.

The who’s who of the beauty and personal care industry are encouraged to apply by September 6 to take part in the challenge. Last year’s contenders included Colgate-Palmolive, Estée Lauder, Unilever, Shiseido, Johnson and Johnson and Swiss American CDMO.

In 2018, Shiseido wowed the judges with their technical prowess and compelling marketing story, with Unilever holding second place for the third consecutive year – demonstrating the team’s ability to consistently innovate, collaborate and develop new products under pressure.

Sarah Jindal, Senior Global Analyst, Innovation and Insights – Beauty and Personal Care, Mintel, said: “If last year is anything to go by, then the standards for the 2019 Formulation Challenge will be very high. I’m incredibly excited to see what the teams come up with this year!

"Going against the clock to beat their real-life competitors makes it a high-pressure challenge for everyone involved, but it’s an interesting and light-hearted opportunity to see world-class chemists and marketers working together on all aspects of the new product development process.”

Commenting on this year’s challenge, event director Daniel Zanetti added: "Innovative formulations are at the heart of the cosmetics and beauty industry, and it’s fun competitions like the Formulation Challenge that show the true ingenuity of some of our most-loved brands and their exceptionally talented new product development teams.

"With novel new ingredients included in the mystery box, the challenge is a real feat of creativity and imagination. It’s important to us at in-cosmetics North America to recognize and celebrate the forward-thinking professionals that inspire their peers and the next generation of formulators, and so we can’t wait to see who takes home the trophy this October!".

The Formulation Challenge will take place at in-cosmetics North America on the opening day of the show (October 23) from 3.45-5.15pm.

Attendees at this year’s in-cosmetics North America are invited to watch the action unfold live at the show, or on the in-cosmetics Group Facebook page, and find out who will win this year’s highly coveted title.

in-cosmetics North America takes place at the Javits Center in New York from 23-24 October 2019. For more information, please visit