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Down To Earth Trend Shapes Beauty Business in 2011

February 17, 2011

‘Down To Earth’ Trend Shapes Beauty Business in 2011

• “Down to Earth” is being touted by experts at Mintel Beauty Innovation as the key trend set to shape the beauty industry in 2011.

Closely linked with sustainability, the Down to Earth trend addresses the practicalities of making and marketing green beauty. Factors include managing price pressure due to varying supply and demand of natural and organic raw materials and learning to master the challenges of green chemistry—such as the use of sustainable surfactants, green solvents and alternatives to parabens.

Free-from formulas—a key trend in 2010—continue to evolve in an effort to avoid petrochemically-derived ingredients, according to Mintel.

In 2010, 13% of new skin care, hair care and cosmetics made the paraben-free claim (up 5% from 2008). Also in 2010, almost 9% of new skin care, hair care and cosmetics made the organic claim (twice as many as in 2007). The all-natural claim was found in fewer than 3% of launches in 2010, according to Mintel.

“Paraben-free claims actually outpaced organic and all-natural claims in new skin care, hair care and cosmetics launches in 2010, backing up Mintel's Nu Natural trend that predicted that brands would emphasize results and free-from claims over certification. This year, beauty companies will place increased importance on the environment, focusing on sustainable sourcing with attention to maintaining biodiversity. A renewed emphasis on repackaging to minimize waste will also be a factor,” said Nica Lewis, head consultant at Mintel Beauty Innovation.

For example, new skin care products with environmentally-friendly packaging were also up 5% on the previous year showing manufacturers' commitment to recycling and eco-friendly materials—a trend Mintel expects to have real impact in 2011.

“2010 was a year for rebuilding with new skin care product launch activity almost matching pre-recessionary levels,” added Vivienne Rudd, senior beauty analyst at Mintel. “The past year saw M&A activity resumed too as credit markets eased, with consolidation among ingredient suppliers and Unilever, Shiseido, L’Oréal, Estée Lauder and Coty all inking deals. This development will influence brands in the year ahead from a marketing perspective linked to the Down to Earth trend too. Simplifying text and ‘stripping back’ to tell straightforward, direct stories of plant-based ingredients will be key and manufacturers who treat consumers as educated shoppers instead of novices stand to benefit.”

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Wipes Market To Rise to $2.3 Billion by 2014

• Demand for wipes, both consumer and industrial, is forecast to increase 4.3% a year to $2.3 billion in 2014, according to a newstudy from The Freedonia Group. The Cleveland-based market research company points to ease-of-use, disposability, portability and reduced risk of cross-contamination as reasons why these nonwoven wonders will continue to resonate with consumers and in professional settings.

However, growth will decelerate from rates achieved during the 2004 to 2009 boom period, due to increasing market maturity and a shift in preferences to more environmentally-friendly consumer goods and cleaning methods.

In response to the green trend, wipes manufacturers will continue to develop more environmentally-friendly products, such as those that are biodegradable.

Convenience, consumer acceptance and innovation will remain driving forces in the consumer market, with hand and body, household cleaning and a number of other, small volume consumer wipes projected to register the strongest growth, according to Freedonia.

Growth in household care wipes, such as general purpose disinfectant wipes, will be propelled by the appeal of one-step, disposable wipes that provide a quick and convenient format for household cleaning chores. Hand and body wipes, such as bathroom hygiene and general purpose bathing, will enjoy increased market penetration. In addition, market penetration of general purpose bathing wipes is increasing among individuals who are bedridden or find it difficult to enter and exit a bathtub.

While baby wipes will remain the top-selling type of consumer wipe, demand will continue to be restrained by market maturity, as well as continued replacement by newer, task-specific wipes in non-diaper applications, where baby wipes once enjoyed considerable popularity.

After suffering from slower sales during the recession that began in December 2007, the industrial wipes market will benefit from a rebound in manufacturing activity through 2014, noted Freedonia. As a result, the industrial wipes market is projected to achieve more rapid gains than the consumer market.

Among industrial wipes, health care and manufacturing types will remain the largest segments of this market, with special purpose products such as surface preparation wipes and patient bathing wipes projected to see the fastest growth.
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Percentage of Consumers Buying Organic Holds Steady

• For the third straight year, the percentage of U.S. consumers purchasing organic products has held steady in the 38-39% range, according to Shelton, CT-based marketing research and consulting company, TABS Group, Inc. And while there has been no growth in the buyer count of organic products since last year, there was a considerable shift in where consumers are shopping for organic items.

According to TABS, there were big shifts in the outlets where consumers report that they purchase these products most often. The big winners were traditional grocers (41.0% to 44.1%) and Target (1.8% to 4.1%), while the losers were Walmart (18.6% to 12.4%), Trader Joe’s (11.5% to 10.7%) and other natural foods (6.2% to 4.6%).

While food represents the bulk of the organic purchases made by consumers—for example, fresh fruits alone continue to be the highest penetration category for organics at 27% of consumers—skin care and hair care were the only two categories that registered consecutive years of annual gains. Skin care came in at 7%, hair care at 5% and cosmetics at 3%, according to the company. More info:

Too Many Choices in the Beauty Aisle?

• WSL Strategic Retail’s Pulse of Shopping Life reveals that shoppers still find it hard to pick products in a number of CPG categories. In fact, WSL contends that overall, approximately 25% of all shoppers have difficulty making purchase decisions because there are too many choices.

WSL first tested 24 categories for “shopability” in 2005, asking category purchasers how hard it is to choose products, and compared that to data found recently.

Beauty products were at the high end of the list with 29-30% of women reporting confusion. However, WSL said lipstick and hair color categories did improve somewhat, up between 5-8 points.

Beauty isn’t the only area in which consumers appear dazed and confused. According to WSL’s report, laundry detergent became a more difficult sector for consumers to navigate, rising 5 points between 2005 and now.

According to WSL, most shoppers go into “autopilot” when faced with difficult decisions, narrowing down their choices according to price, buying what they always buy or going with what’s on sale. Only 7% walk away, according to WSL’s report.

While rank order of choosing a product is the same for all generations—price, habit, sales—Millennials’ behavior shows the future solution to shopability, according to WSL.

More Millennials will look for advice, either from a sales associate (16%) or their smart phone to either text a friend for advice (17%), or look up product reviews (11%).

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