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Do Active Ingredients Spur Sales in Personal Care?

April 30, 2012

Active ingredients in personal care formulations also activate sales, according to Kline & Company, Parsippany, NJ.

Active ingredients in personal care formulations drive efficacy and sales too.

Consumers’ desire to see visible results has raised expectations for genuine efficacy of personal care products, making functionality an increasingly imperative factor—and savvy personal care formulators are marketing their products by emphasizing their active ingredients to these informed consumers, the consulting group recently reported.

And while consumers are still seeking value, they are prepared to pay more for products that offer specific benefits and visible results. This has enabled formulators to diversify and offer products with validated activity claims at a more premium cost; consequently, active suppliers are targeting specific consumer issues, such as anti-aging, anti-acne, slimming, or sun protection, noted Nikola Matic, project leader, Kline.

According to Matic, “label reading” is no longer the exception and, coupled with easy access to information, consumers are making more educated choices. Consumers are learning to differentiate between various actives and in turn seek higher-end solutions, Matic said.

Until recently, higher-end actives were predominantly exclusive to luxury channel products. However, otherwise costly specialty actives are now appearing in more affordable product formulations.
Further, as a consequence of consumers having greater awareness of the efficacy of certain actives, there’s greater use of actives and their proven market cachet in hair care, male grooming products, slimming and sun protection. Fresh and original applications, such as active makeup systems bolstered by more flexible delivery systems, also show great promise, said Kline.

While anti-aging actives represent by far the most important functionality, hair care actives—predominantly proteins and their hydrolyzates—follow with sales accounting for 15.7% of the total US and 9.1% of European market. Enhancing this product class with specialty actives has been a shrewd and well-received undertaking, penned Matic.

The green trend, the growing consumer awareness of health and environmental and sustainability concerns, has been driving the active ingredients market for more than a decade. There’s been rapid growth of the botanical actives segment with an estimated CAGR of 4% expected in the US by 2015, and 5% in Europe during the same period.

Plant-based ingredients within a formulation were once persuasive enough to entice personal care consumers; however, a product’s function and efficacy are essentially regarded as at least as important as the active ingredient source. Consequently, formulators are increasingly seeking to use botanicals as substantiated functional ingredients.

Natural-sourced biotechnology products are also benefitting from the naturals growth, while biotechs are crucially considered as natural and highly-effective by consumers. This is borne out by biotech active ingredients enjoying a similarly healthy growth rate to substantiated botanical actives, noted Matic.

In maturing markets such as Western Europe and the US, impelled by the ever more engaged and informed consumer, personal care product marketers have two potent engines to drive innovation and reinvigorate growth: specialty actives and naturals—and ultimately a potent combination of both, concluded Matic.

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