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GROUPE GM ANNOUNCES INNOVATIVE PLANS AND STRATEGIES FOR THE FUTURE

Constant innovation in the hotelier amenities world is a must for Groupe GM, the brand that designs, produces, and distributes cosmetics and accessories to the hospitality industry in over 70 countries across every continent.

GROUPE GM ANNOUNCES INNOVATIVE PLANS AND STRATEGIES FOR THE FUTURE

Constant innovation in the hotelier amenities world is a must for Groupe GM, the brand that designs, produces, and distributes cosmetics and accessories to the hospitality industry in over 70 countries across every continent.

Category: - Providers
This is a press release, published for free on 2020-06-29
Posted by Hopscotch Europe


The mind and soul of the label is its forward-thinking CEO, Laurent Marchand: Our mission is to make a positive difference and empower our customers to pamper their guests through unique experiences. This is done primarily with branded amenities and eco-green and innovative solutions provided by experts and supported through one-to-one relationships and the richest portfolio of the highest quality products all which are compliant with cosmetic regulations“.

From affordable to luxurious ranges, lines that are customized to mass-produced lines, and natural and organic formulations, Groupe GM’s products are designed exactly to match hoteliers’ needs.

Drawing on an international network of dedicated agents, Groupe GM distributes a unique portfolio of over 30 brands.

With its eco-friendly packaging, Groupe GM may provide formulas made with a high percentage of natural origin ingredients that do not contain any ingredients of animal origin, sulphates, mineral oils, colorants, or phenoxyethanol. Groupe GM’s bottles and caps are made of 100% recyclable materials. All soaps and liquids are over 90% biodegradable, and the formulas are dermatologically tested and are not tested on animals. Groupe GM’s certified organic products are ECOCERT certified and accredited by COSMEBIO.

Laurent inherited the business from his father and is now available to recall the whole story of the glorious rise of Groupe GM.

How was the hotel industry business landscape when Groupe GM started in 1972?

When my father Georges Marchand started the business in 1972, the concept of products provided free to hotel guests – such as soaps, shampoos, and other products in small sizes placed in a corner of the bathroom – was still in its infancy. Before that, the only items used to convey a hotel’s brand image were the famous matchboxes, which were customized with a hotel’s logo and given to guests. At the 1972 Paris EquipHotel trade fair, my father and his partner presented small bars of soap to hotels, where at the time Palmolive was the only retail brand to present 15g soaps at their stand.

Then, things started moving quite fast, and in 1975, Groupe GM created its first brand, the well-known Bienvenue, which was also the first collection of cosmetic products to be developed in France for the hotel industry and signed a successful partnership with L'Oréal, and launched the Ô de Lancôme hotel amenity range, the first licensed amenities. It was an innovation in the hotel industry.

What kind of flavour and French heritage do you encapsulate in the Groupe GM amenities?

Most of the time we are working with the best-selling brands’ fragrances. It’s really important for us to respect the brand’s identity and offer hotel guests a fragrance they can recognize. That is why our Clarins line is perfumed with Eau Dynamisante, our Guerlain amenities with Eau Impériale, and our Jo Malone London amenities with Lime Basil & Mandarin fragrance. When we are collaborating with designers or brands who don’t have their own olfactive signature fragrance yet, we work hard to match their identity and inspiration. For example, with the Ines de la Fressange amenities, our team and Madame de la Fressange herself worked with together to create a fragrance embodying the Stylish and Parisian spirit of her brand.

For our own creations, we have around 14 “in-house” fragrances. When we are working with hotels who are looking for their own fragrance, our R&D team works with different perfumers and labs, and together with the product managers, we select the best combinations. It’s a team effort and a wonderful opportunity for creation.

How did your market vision meet your clients’ needs?

With more than 40 years of experience, Groupe GM has precise knowledge of the market. We have a powerful network of exclusive agents present in more than 80 countries that visit hotels all other the world every day. We also have a department dedicated to relations with the Hotel Chains, the International Chains Department, who answers more or less 10 Invitations to tender each year, allowing us to adjust our market vision and meet the needs of the chains.

Each year, we also participate in more than 20 shows all over the world. It’s an opportunity to present our products, collect feedback, scout trends, meet hoteliers and suppliers, and analyse what the competition has to offer.

As our role is also to anticipate the mutations of the sector and inform our clients of them, it is more than ever the case with the questioning of the single-use plastic in hotels. We anticipated and adapted our offer 10 years ago by offering large-capacity dispensers, with our 300ml Ecopump or 375ml Ecosource.

More recently, we have initiated our Care About Earth program, a comprehensive development program covering all the company’s environmental and social actions and is an integral part of our corporate strategy worldwide. Care About Earth highlights Groupe GM’s ongoing commitment to the environment and demonstrates its high ethical standards. Several work leads have been simultaneously initiated ensuring that the quality of the products is always met, with extra care taken to comply with Good Manufacturing Practices and EU rules on cosmetics.

One objective was to remove the plastic from fossil fuels. We have developed plant-based tubes and bottles with sugar cane, and we have increased the use of post-industry and post-consumer recycled plastic, and the brands and hotels all over the world followed and trusted us.

Are there any client needs that you found particularly challenging or that you wouldn’t be able to realize?

We always do our best to meet the requirements of our brand partners and the hotels’ needs. Sometimes this is done by adapting our products and developing new models, and sometimes it’s by challenging the designers and the product managers, or by offering alternative solutions. But we always find a way to realize and respect the brands’ identity.

Is there a special need for eco-friendly amenities and what’s Groupe GM’s innovation in this field?

It’s not only a special need, today it’s the sector’s priority to offer eco-friendly solutions and alternatives in terms of packaging but also formulas and production.

Several laws have been introduced into the world in that sense:
- Californian law against plastic packaging below 180 ml
- Shanghai law to reduce single-use plastic in the hotel industry
- India banished single-use plastic
- EU directive against single-use plastic

To fit with this global concern, two years ago we launched a dedicated program titled CARE ABOUT EARTH. It covers all our environmental and social actions.

1. PACKAGING

We work to minimize over-packaging and prioritize the use of plant-based (such as sugar cane) recycled plastics (PIR and PCR) and the use of 100% renewable raw materials.

We offer alternatives to single-use amenities with our Ecosource, an exclusive airless technology with a 375 ml safe refill capacity made from 10g of plastic compared to the 30ml traditional bottles which are made of 8g of plastic each and multiply our 300ml Ecopump dispensers offer.

More and more brands are asking us to launch large capacity amenities and some of them have even reconsidered their launch in single-use packaging and asked us to integrate Ecopump 300ml in the list of available products.

Regarding our accessories the offer is more sustainable too: cotton buds with a paper stick, amenities made with straw, cornstarch, or bamboo, and we have removed all PO bags.

2. FORMULAS

In addition to our eco-friendly packaging, we use formulas made from natural and plant-based ingredients. Our formulas boast up to 99% natural origin ingredients and they do not contain formaldehyde, phthalates, ionizing radiation, or parabens.

We also develop formulas that are made with natural perfumes, herbal extracts, essential oils, and vegetable oils and do not contain any ingredients of animal origin, sulphates, mineral oils, colorants, phenoxyethanol, SLS and SLES.

When possible, we prefer to use ingredients that come from organic farming and we submit our products to the required tests to obtain the Ecocert, Cosmebio, and EU Ecolabel certification and assent.

For our soaps we use RSPO bases (roundtable on sustainable palm oil) which contributes to the production of certified sustainable palm oil.

We have also developed vegan solid formulations such as solid shampoos, shower gels, and conditioners and we are working on solid body lotions.

The benefits of solid products are that there is no plastic use, and water consumption is mainly reduced during production.

Moreover, our formulas are dermatologically tested and are not tested on animals.

What do you immediately notice really makes the difference in a hotel or spa when you travel for leisure?

When I travel, I automatically notice the brands that are involved in my stay. You call it professional tic, but I pay special attention to the brand’s strength and its harmony with the place. It’s the case of course for the amenities in rooms, but also the spa.

How important is client feedback for Groupe GM?

It’s essential for us that we collect the brands’ feelings, the clients (hotels) and customers, and the hotel guests’ feedback. We are attentive to the comments of all of these stakeholders. We used to share the results of every step of the manufacturing process with the brands, so when they have validated the product, we share it with the agents and our salesforce to have their consent and feelings. We then distribute the products to hotels and listen to their feedback.

Social media allows us to relate to the customers and hotel guests, and their feedback is very important to us. We have a strong community on different platforms, and we receive a lot of messages from guests who are looking for products in retail. We treasure these messages and their feedback.Do you think hotel amenities can be travel memories to take home?

Definitively! Everybody likes to bring back a little something, a “souvenir” of their travel, and amenities have the perfect size, beautiful designs, and a fragrance that can instantly bring memories of a stay, holidays, and precious moments. Very often, guests do not only take the amenities home with them, but they visit stores to buy retail sizes of the products.

What are Groupe GM’s future goals?

Our challenge is to maintain the philosophy of hotel amenities, in French, we say “produits d’accueil” which means “welcoming products” and to combine it with a green approach. As of today, no one, not even the biggest food and/or cosmetic corporations, can say that they have found the perfect solution, alternative to plastic-free packaging.

Our offer needs to be perfected and to evolve with the different technologies available to us. We are working hard on changing our plastic to 100% plant-based material, offering recycled plastic and solid formulation.

We also want to inform people of the dangers of refilling in hotels (bacterial and hygiene risks, lack of traceability of the products…) and we are working on an innovative, safe refill system that we should be able to launch before the end of the year.

We are exploring many different directions and doing our best to address the demands of all our partners. One of our challenges is also to organize the collection of all the used/discarded products, to recycle them and redistribute them, giving them a second life. For that we will be working with NGOs such as ‘Clean the World’. Our focus will be on ecology, providing an even more responsible offer and guarantying the safety of the customers.

Currently, what is Groupe GM’s most important brand partnership?

We cherish all our partnerships. Whether with the brands, Grandes Maisons de Parfums, niche cosmetic brands, our hotel’s clients, small boutique hotels in the south of France, or International Luxury Chains in the US. Their day-to-day trust is the most important thing to us. I cannot pick just one brand as all of them are equally as important to us, and it’s our role to meet and go beyond our clients’ expectations, whose main concern is to be treated as unique.

[Website of the company which publishes this press release]



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