NATIONAL REPORT—Suppliers have spent years formulating eco-friendly soaps, shampoos and lotions for their guests but, as Green Lodging News has discovered, they have neglected a very important (and very large) segment of the traveling public—kids. Especially children under the age of six, whose skin is much different than that of older youth and adults, have been pretty much forgotten. “I would be shocked if even 10 percent [of hotels] offer amenities for children,” says Katie Childs, Director of Sales for Gfl USA. “We have stayed at more than 20 hotels with our 13-month-old, and only one has offered bath products for our baby.”
“Babies and children’s personal care needs are difficult,” says Mary Ann Pettorini, President of Principal Brands Inc. “The dermis layer can be 10 times thinner. Babies have fewer defenses against chemicals and sun. When we go on vacation, we still want to protect our children.”
Childs says it is children between one month and five years whose skin is the most sensitive and who lose moisture the fastest. Eyes are also still developing. Childs says she intends to use amenities specially formulated for kids until her child is seven or eight because a “tear-free bath is always a good thing.”
Osmè Baby & Kids
Gfl USA offers Osmè Baby & Kids products that are pediatrician and ophthalmologist tested. Pediatrician tested is the most important thing to look for, Childs says, adding that getting that certification was a challenge. Gfl also earned the European COSMOS Ecocert label organic certification that controls the entire manufacturing process, and lists organic and natural ingredients on each product’s label. “As a parent, it is important to know without a doubt what is going onto your child’s body,” Childs says. “We want people to know what is in these products.”
Osmè Baby & Kids products are enriched with organic active ingredients such as shea butter, sweet cold-pressed almond oil, mallow, calendula and aloe vera gel. The products range from certified organic bar soap, to wet wipes with a cleansing lotion that includes marigold and almond organic oils, to hair and body gel with oats surfactants, to nourishing cream suitable for the sensitive skin of toddlers. To make cleaning fun for kids, Gfl USA also offers a package of amenities that includes a coloring box, coloring pencils, and house shaped bath sponge.
Principal Brands Inc. also offers the Osmè Baby & Kids collection and can create bespoke and branded children’s amenities. “We have certifications that are embedded in our formulations,” Pettorini says. “The raw materials have been carefully sourced.”
Pettorini says kids’ amenities are something she has been excited about for a decade. “It is an interesting opportunity for hotels,” she says. “The hotels we have worked with report that the guests love it. The hotels tell us, when they give them to the children, it is a way of gifting that child. A special kind of loyalty is created.”
‘Opportunity to Create a Unique Memory’
Principal Brands’ bespoke collections are all produced in the United States. “From a bespoke perspective, it provides hotels an opportunity to create a unique memory,” Pettorini says. “I think it is thoughtful hotels that do it. It is a way of saying that you are valued here. Luxury and upscale and lifestyle properties have taken the lead, but we have a range of products that can work at every level. When you look at what hotels do for children, there is another way of building upon that.”
Also offering the Osmè Baby & Kids collection is Pineapple Hospitality. “What we at Pineapple Hospitality were most impressed with in the Osme Baby & Kids range is the ease of implementation for housekeeping teams,” says Ray Burger, President of Pineapple Hospitality. “With two pre-assembled kits and a wet-wipe set, all housekeeping will need to do is include one item when a guest requests a crib, saving valuable operational time and greatly increasing the guest experience.”
Hunter Amenities International Ltd. offers NAÏF natural skin care products for babies and kids. Included in the collection is shampoo, body lotion, wash gel, hand wash, cream, diaper cream, baby oil and other products. They include no mineral oil, parabens, Phenoxyethanol, SLS/SLES, or harsh chemicals. The collection was developed in Switzerland and is made in The Netherlands.
While most amenity companies do not produce eco-friendly products specific to children, their formulations may be fit for kids. Jennifer Johns, Director of Sales for LATHER, told Green Lodging News, “While we do not have any products specific to the baby/children category our products are just as gentle if not more so than many conventional baby products because we do not use harsh surfactants like SLS or SLES, any artificial fragrances or colors which can be irritating to the skin, and we look to nature to find the best and most effective products to treat the mind, body and soul.”
Adds Johns, “A fan favorite for our babies and moms alike is our pure shea butter, USDA Organic Certified. This product does double duty as a baby’s bottom crème as well as soothing mom (and dad’s) tired, dry hands…from washing all those bottles.”
Glenn Hasek can be reached at email@example.com.