The main novelty in this edition was the panel formed by our ALAFAVE supplier members. There were three live sessions to respond all the questions on real time based on the diverse segments.
The sessions were moderated by Amilcar Lusinchi, Venezuelan candle manufacturer and our Editor for Punto de Fusion Newsletter. He managed keeping the order and flow of the conversations amongst the expert suppliers and candle manufacturers.
“Having had carried the ‘Dr. Vela’ questions and answers in an interactive version for this virtual congress was well received for all the participants. There was a great interest from the Candle manufacturers and the representatives of Dr. Vela who were noted for wanting to deliver a lot of value in all their answers.”
Diana Gutiérrez, wick expert and representative of Wicks Unlimited is satisfied with the results from this activity: “I could feel the strong connection with the audience, and I learned a lot from the other experts. My intention was to offer the best possible answer to their questions on candle combustion, I’m confident I met the objective.” Diana mentions that the Latin American candle manufacturers have a good technical level on all the candle production, however, they still need to continue to educate them on processes and innovation and candle combustion; specially for those wanting to excel on scented candles.
“I always tell my customers that we only have one opportunity to create the right candle so that we can have a second sale; that opportunity lays on the performance of the first candle the consumer buys. It is important to keep up with trainings to continue making safe candles.
Jorge Torres participated as one of the experts in the fragrance and trends panel representing Symrise. He was satisfied for having helped answered questions during the panel session and for having shared the space and experienced “great cordiality and professionalism.”
“My expectations were to have a numerous group of candle manufacturers bombarding us with questions and my dream came true. It caught my attention to learn that the most recurrent question being asked was to find the ideal fragrance percentage for a scented candle and how this affected the candle performance.” I consider the technical level of Latin American Candle manufactures to be very good, but scented candles market is a big field that needs to grow and be explored. The pandemic has brought a bigger interest for scented candles in this region. Lara Doubri, representative for BRITZ and expert on vegetable waxes also answered a series of questions during the panel session about paraffins vs vegetable waxes.
“I believe we all benefited from this session; in my opinion it was brief. The ambience was relaxed, and candle manufacturers were not shy about their comments on the topics exhibited. It was wise to have various panelists from different companies with diverse experience talking about the same topic.”
In general, she perceives a correlation between the technical level of the Latin American candle manufacturer and the size of their company and the resources available to innovate. “the more traditional candle manufacturers focus on making their best candle without any innovation but do have great insights and don’t have great diversity. On the other hand, companies that strive to differentiate from their market have a deeper knowledge on formulation.”
All the experts coincide on the responsibility they feel to support the candle manufacturers to strengthen their technical knowledge and have expressed their compromise and availability to participate on more events like this.
Isabel Muench, Executive Director of ALAFAVE expressed her satisfaction with the success of these events and confirms the Association is already planning a few more activities for its members. “we are very happy with the virtual sessions and the interaction with Dr. Vela, all the comments have been positive, we are looking forward to new technical training to take advantage of the great participation achieved online.” She also mentioned that all the videos from the congress are available at the ALAFAVE website for all the members that are up to date with their membership dues.