Key findings of a new study (Global Cosmetics Market) by Allied Market Research reveal that the global cosmetics market is expected to reach $390.07 billion by 2020. Further stating that the growing demand for natural ingredients in cosmetic products is one of the major factors contributing to this growth.
It is not surprising then that a multitude of mainstream personal care companies and retailers have already jumped on to the bandwagon! Case in point; new product launches and acquisitions – eg purchase of Aveda by Estee Lauder and their own brand launch, Origins. The key drivers for the demand for ‘natural’ products can be summed up to in Consumers – the Indian beauty services and spa sector is witnessing a better-informed, more well-travelled and information hungry customer; Safety and health – People today are more aware of what they apply on their skin and products they use.
Scares of potentially carcinogenic ingredients and pore-clogging ingredients make for more health conscious consumers; Green Issues – Environment sustainability and lessening personal carbon footprints are becoming more important to people’s value systems (thus the demand for minimal and eco-packaging as well; Human rights concerns- demand for fair-trade products; Appreciation of ancient sciences and their natural approach via preventative measures rather than quick-fixes.
Although the use of “natural” personal care dates back centuries, even millennia, a new context seems to be emerging in the beauty and personal care industry; a gradual shift from chemical cosmetics options to natural/herbal personal care alternatives. There is thus a need for retailers to change strategies to tap into this increasing consumer preference. A few ways to translate this into your brand would be via your retail environment, brand communication, innovation in product development and through your packaging.
So what does ‘natural’ mean? Neither are there any laws defining the word nor any industry guidelines as to the processes of ‘natural’ cosmetic production. The common understanding though is that the majority (90-95 per cent) of a health or beauty product’s content (excluding water) must be organic (plant, mineral) sources.
In the want of a standard, certification or central authority and in the wake of rising ‘green washing’ (mis-representation of natural) consumers remain confused and distrustful. Thus an important path to build strong brand connect is to bring more clarity; by helping consumers make informed choices; eg. printing complete ingredient list on labels and not just actives and even by educating sales people. It is the right time for the retail space to tap into this aspirational and holistic, ‘natural movement’
in the market and pay close attention to what the customers are looking for. After all the ‘pure natural living’ is here to stay!