The trend of natural beauty products is well established across the world as growing numbers of consumers reject chemical-laden formulations in favour of alternatives perceived to be better for them and the environment. The pursuit of a healthy lifestyle is also helping to fuel the trend. However, many consumers remain confused over what constitutes a natural beauty product.
According to Ecovia Intelligence, the global market for natural and organic personal care products was worth $ 9.6 bn in 2016, rising by just under $1 bn per annum. Between them, Europe and North America account for 90% of all sales and continue to show the highest growth in terms of sale value. By contrast, Asia is the fastest growing in terms of percentages, with many countries, including China and India reporting double digit growth
What does natural mean – by region?
Global Data’s 2016 primary consumer research shows that global interest and engagement in beauty and grooming products making natural claims is high. However, interpretation of what natural means differs by region. For example, in Asia and North America natural means “real ingredients” above all else. «The incorporation of ingredients that consumers perceive to be untampered with and non-artificial is therefore essential – comments Lia Neophytou, associate analyst, Global Data. In South America and Europe, “natural” primarily means “preservative free”, while “free from synthetic ingredients” and “real ingredients” also rank highly. «This highlights “free-from” and avoidance claims which resonate most with consumers in these markets» states Neophytou, pointing out that the consumers consider “natural” to be about rejecting unfamiliar, synthetic ingredients in favour of ones that are “real”.
Future trends in natural beauty
The natural beauty trends of the future will stem from consumers’ increasingly holistic understanding of health and wellness, predicts Neophytou. «Perceptions surrounding what constitutes a healthy lifestyle are expanding and catalyzing innovation across the beauty and grooming industry», she states. In particular, there will be more transference of food and beverage ingredients with healthy “halos” fueling the perception that what is good for you internally must also bring benefits when applied to the skin.
Informed and engaged consumers will seek out responsible, yet effective beauty solutions. One approach will be the use of plant-based food waste, said to be rich in natural polyphenol-rich anti-oxidants, antimicrobial and anti-ageing compounds. For example, spent coffee ground are said to be effective as natural exfoliators in skincare. The incorporation of green materials from food waste in cosmetics will become an important method for brands to improve their sustainability credentials and to engage younger consumers.
Finally, customization and DIY beauty will become another way to get consumers more engaged in natural beauty. «Understanding what is and isn’t natural is a dauting labyrinth for consumers» maintains Chidley. «DIY beauty can be the first step to demystify beauty products, giving consumers the confidence that they need not be complicated and they can get involved, forcing the market to become more transparent and sustainable».
Global Data, Ecovia Intelligence and Beauty Kitchen presented at the Marketing Trends presentations at in-cosmetics Global, 17-19 April 2018.