The number of patents involving nanotechnology in beauty and personal care items has been on the rise.
Small particles are becoming a big business for the world’s personal care products manufacturers, according to an analysis of world patent activity published by the IP Solutions business of Thomson Reuters.
The new report—“Can Nanotech Unlock the Fountain of Youth?”—finds that the beauty industry is making an aggressive foray into nanotechnology, using tiny molecular compounds to improve the performance of creams, sunscreens, shampoos and other personal care products. In fact, the volume of innovative patents involving nanotechnology in beauty and personal care items grew 103% during the past seven years, more than doubling from 181 patents in 2003 to 367 in 2009, according to Thomson Reuters.
From 2000 through the end of 2009, 217 personal care brands that incorporate the term “nano” were trademarked in the U.S., UK, Canada, European Community and WIPO; the second half of that period (2005-2009) had 575% more registered marks than the first half (2000-2004), noted Thomson Reuters.
Frugality is Lingering
Frugality is still in style with U.S. consumers. According to a new Harris Interactive poll, almost two-thirds of U.S. adults say they are purchasing more generic brands to save money, up slightly from February when 63% said they were buying generics. And when it comes to specific behaviors that affect personal care and beauty spending, they’re doing much of the same, such as going to the hairdresser or barber/stylist less often (38%).
And while that’s not good news for salon hair care brands, for firms selling detergent and other laundry aids maybe there’s a silver lining: 24% of those polled cut down on dry cleaning—which means there’s more laundry care being done at home.
The poll featured 2,227 adults surveyed online between June 14-21, 2010 by Harris Interactive.
Are Back-To-School Shoppers Skipping The Beauty Aisle?
It is back-to-school time, but is that good news for the beauty business?
“We are certainly seeing signs that consumers are willing to open their purse strings,” said chief industry analyst Marshal Cohen. “The fact that more consumers say they plan to spend less coupled with the fact that they say they plan to shop in more stores, 55% of respondents told us they plan to shop in more stores this year compared to last year’s 53%. Those two things point to better results this season.”
Two categories that appear to be getting the biggest lift this season are apparel (58% this year vs. 52% last year) and footwear (45% vs. 39%). But unfortunately beauty products will be accounting for less of the mix, dropping from 13% in 2009 to 11% in 2010, according to NPD.