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Natural, ‘Pseudo’ Natural Markets Post Gains in 2008

November 30, -0001

The natural personal care market in the U.S. exceeded $2 billion in sales at the manufacturers’ level, up nearly 19% from 2007, according to a new study from Kline & Company. According to Karen Doskow, associate project manager at Kline, consumers’ desire for safer products and their concern for the environment have combined with more mainstream availability of natural products to drive growth in the naturals market as well as the“pseudo-natural” or “naturally inspired” products market.

According to Kline, the availability of more affordable products with a natural positioning in mass retail channels has made natural personal care more accessible to the average consumer, and sales of these natural-inspired products are posting unprecedented growth.

The U.S. volume of Kline’s Natural Personal Care 2008: Competitive Brand Assessment and Ingredient Analysis examines 27 natural cosmetic and toiletry brands in the U.S. market and rates them on how natural they truly are. Despite the proliferation of natural claims, Kline’s research shows that truly natural products actually account for just over 40% of the market.

According to Kline, given the current economic climate, marketers will be assessing whether consumers will be willing to pay a premium for natural and organic products.

“Major marketers are in an excellent position to leverage the naturals proposition that began with the smaller niche players,” noted Carrie Mellage, director of Kline’s Consumer Products practice. “Manufacturing economies of scale, a stronger position for negotiating supplier agreements, and well-developed distribution channels will allow master brands like Unilever’s Dove and Colgate-Palmolive’s Softsoap to ride the naturals wave even during lean times.”

The European volume of the report, which profiles 26 brands, reveals that Europe continues to be a robust market for natural personal care products, posting a 15% gain in 2008 on top of a $3 billion sales base. Germany continues to lead the European naturals market, capturing nearly a third of the total market sales. Growth for truly natural brands has significantly outpaced increases for natural-inspired brands, driven by growing distribution and broadening consumer demand.

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