in the personal cleanser segment. Liquid soaps are still the clear favorite in the personal cleanser market, even as more bar soaps feature natural ingredients.
Just about every shower stall and tub in America is home to a variety of shower gels, body washes and bar soaps. Formulas vary too, ranging from thick to thin liquid and natural to synthetic bars that are fragrant or fragrance-free. And all of them are available in a wide range of packaging options. Although overall U.S. sales of bath and shower products grew slightly in 2006, growth was constrained due to bar soap’s decline, according to Euromonitor International. While many bathrooms most likely harbor all three varieties of cleansers, bar soap is no longer a favorite.
Euromonitor estimates retail sales of body wash and shower gel at nearly $1.6 billion in 2006 and predicts that sales will top $1.8 billion by 2011. In contrast, sales of bar soaps were slightly more than $1.2 billion a year ago and are projected to decline to $1.17 billion by 2011.
“The bar format has been declining as liquid soaps have made strong inroads into U.S. households,” according to Lauren Beth, international public relations manager, Euromonitor International.
As they extend their lead, liquid soap marketers have rolled out an array of formulas with unique skin care benefits. As a result, in 2006, body washes and shower gels grew 6% and this year, shower gels, liquid soaps and body washes are all fueling growth, according to Ms. Beth. These gains will be driven by products that moisturize as well as cleanse the skin. According to Euromonitor data, Unilever held the top spot in the personal cleanser category with a 21% share in 2006.
Some consumers complain that bar soaps leave a film on the skin that can leave skin dull. In order to counteract this dullness, Olay Body Wash plus Radiance Ribbons cleanses, moisturizes and transforms skin to a healthy glow with an added ribbon of light enhancers. The body wash provides a rich, creamy lather for a clean shower feeling.
The ribbon contains N-acetyl glucosamine as well as what the company refers to as interference pigments that help promote an even skin tone. According to the company, after five days of using Olay Body Wash plus Radiance Ribbons, skin becomes revived with a youthful radiance.
“Olay Body Wash plus Radiance Ribbons contains 25 percent moisturizers to wrap the skin in moisture,” said Mary Johnson, Olay principal scientist. “The formula works to hydrate and soften skin while helping to improve skin’s appearance.”
| Jason Natura Products offers the Cranberry body care line.
Unilever extended its top-selling brand of Axe deodorant, still aimed at youth, to include men’s shower gels. In addition, Dial Corp. introduced Dial for Men body wash to target men in a more mature segment, she added.
Jack Black’s products are multifunctional. Consumers want products that have a variety of benefits and uses. The Jack Black line works to accommodate the man with a busy lifestyle. All-Over Wash for face, hair and body is designed to be the ultimate guy product.
“It’s super effective and does the job of three products in one. We want to offer guys an easy, gentle, efficient way to clean their body, face and hair in one simple step,” according to Patricia Finn, director of marketing, Jack Black.
According to Ms. Finn, All-Over Wash is the one must-have product because it’s so versatile. It cleans from head to toe so there is no fussing with multiple products. Another attractive feature lies in its packaging, which makes it portable and easy to open and use.
Some men still prefer traditional bar soap. Jack Black’s Clean Formula Face Bar with Peppermint, Rosemary & Mango Butter offers the man who loves bar soap a luxurious option with a rich, moisturizing lather that not only functions as a superior cleanser, but also as a non-drying shave soap.
Sales of bar soaps and bath additives will continue to decline in the future, according to Ms. Beth. The success of liquid soaps and body washes will inevitably cannibalize sales of traditional bar soaps. But her grim prediction isn’t stopping Indigo Wild.
The company has just launched three new bars within its best-selling Zum bar line: Lemon-Sage Zum Bar, Vanilla Sugar Zum Bar and Cedar Zum Bar. Handmade in a goat’s milk base, “they are filled with top shelf ingredients and loaded with pure essential oils,” boasts Annie Kremers, vice president of consumer relations for Indigo Wild.
The inspiration for such bars grew out of the fact that consumers were concerned about the products they used on their bodies. “We find a lot of consumers are becoming more educated about what to look for in a product. The personal cleanser market must provide quality ingredients,” said Ms. Kremers.
| The India Hicks Island Living collection.
Moisture Matters to Many
Fragrance is an important factor to the average American consumer when choosing bath and shower gels. Moisture is also important and is sure to remain a key feature in the future. Johnson’s Softwash 24 Hour Moisture wash aims to do just that, moisturize. The line is clinically proven to continue moisturizing skin for 24 hours after rinsing. There are four different formulas.
| Kiss My Face organic bar soap is perfect for all-over cleansing.
“The moisturizing factor which is an added value in cream shower gels is very appealing for consumers,” said Séverine Mathé, product development director, Fruits & Passion.
Pure & Natural is a new line of body wash, bar soap and liquid hand soap set to launch in 2008. The line is available in Almond Oil & Cherry Blossom, Rosemary & Mint and Grapefruit & Pomegranate. The new products contain ingredients that impart moisture while cleansing and renewing skin.
All Pure & Natural products are biodegradable. The Body Wash and Liquid Hand Soap packaging are 100% recyclable, the Bar Soap packaging is made of 100% post- consumer paper with seeds embedded inside, so users can actually plant the wrapping in the ground and watch it sprout a few weeks later.
Liquid cleansers have evolved in recent years to provide a variety of skin-caring benefits. They may contain vitamins or antioxidants and come in a wide variety of scents. All of these variants are conveniently packed in an array of decorative designs that can usually be refilled.
“Added-benefit formulations are gaining popularity. No longer are personal cleansers simply positioned to clean. Now cleansers have additional benefits like anti-aging, firming, exfoliating and aromatherapy”, said Ms. Finn. “Our Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser is our best-selling cleanser,” said Ms. Finn.
| Bar soaps don't stack up against the growing popularity of gels and washes.
Intelligent Aesthetics, Boston, has launched TruthBased-Skincare, a line that blends science and technology with the art of aesthetics to provide skin care for all skin types. Sharon Brown McEntee, co-founder of Intelligent Aesthetics, wanted to create an advanced product consisting of the perfect blend of science and nature.
Intelligent Aesthetics has launched the Citrus Skin Polisher. It contains microspheres and fine crystals to buff the skin, while grapefruit and lemon extracts naturally exfoliate. It can be used on both the face and body, and it’s beneficial for all skin types and conditions to deliver immediate results.
“The naturally antiseptic and anti-inflammatory action of willow bark and tea tree oil effectively treat and prevent common skin conditions,” according to Ms. McEntee.
“Our goal was to develop a skin care system for our patients that would serve not only as an everyday exfoliant, but also as a therapeutic treatment for common skin conditions such as ingrown hairs, folliculitis and keratosis pilaris (little bumps commonly found on the backs of arms),” said Ms. McEntee.
| Fruits & Passion launched the Baobab, Buriti and Tamanu lines as a gentle alternative for the skin and the environment.
Blended with premium ingredients and natural antioxidants, these items are formulated to rejuvenate, soothe and protect. There’s a body wash, infused with grapeseed extract which is said to provide 50 times the antioxidant power of vitamin E, while the invigorating, crisp scent of grapefruit awakens the senses. Other cleansing options from the company include Detox Bath Soak and triple-milled body soap.
Fruits & Passion launched the Baobab, Buriti and Tamanu line as a gentle alternative for the skin and the environment. For the Baobab, Buriti and Tamanu line, Fruits & Passion pays tribute to the trees of life, which, according to the company, are among nature’s most vibrant symbols for strength, longevity and a multitude of virtues. The line’s decorative packaging is reminiscent of tree elements and their environment.
Native to Africa, the Baobab tree is known as the reservoir tree and its fruit produces oil which has exceptional moisturizing and softening benefits. Known by Brazilians as the miracle palm, the fruit of the South American Buriti tree produces a naturally orange oil that is rich in pro-vitamin A and tones and improves skin elasticity. From the French Polynesian Islands, the Tamanu tree remains in full bloom and is abundant with fruit year-round. The almonds of the fruit makes an oil which contains resins, glycerides and aromatic compounds which impart exceptional regenerating properties, in addition to soothing and purifying the skin.
“We have carefully chosen additional active ingredients that originate from the same regions. Those ingredients contribute to reinforce each oil’s properties,” said Ms. Mathé. The plant-derived formulas are also free of parabens, sulphates, mineral oils and colorants. The shower gel and plant-derived soap were developed for both the skin and the environment.
While Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Dial and other multinationals account for the bulk of personal cleanser sales, smaller manufacturers of bath and shower products, such as, Crabtree & Evelyn, Jason Natural Products and L’Occitane En Provence account for a fair share of sector value according to Euromonitor International. Operating in the premium segment, these small makers of beauty care promote high quality shower gels and bath options to the U.S. market.
These companies can take advantage of the natural personal care explosion, as consumers are increasingly attracted to toiletries based on natural ingredients.
“The natural consumer defined today is not the same consumer as yesterday. They are more aware of what they put in and on their bodies. They are more aware of the specific benefits that natural personal care products can provide,” said Angella Green, brand manager, Jason Natural Products.
| Acca Kappa's basic principle is simple design, high quality production and natural materials.
Consumers want personal care products that are easy to use and can be incorporated into their existing regimen. Jason Natural Products makes it easy for consumers because the Cranberry collection comes in a 2-pack or 3-pack.
“The scrubs not only exfoliate skin, but also contain ingredients to nourish, rejuvenate, clarify, soothe, calm and renew skin,” said Ms. Green.
With this launch, consumers are getting two things that are becoming increasingly important to them in their purchase of a personal cleanser: ease of use and natural ingredients.
“Regardless of body care trends, lavender personal care is always a top seller within the natural industry,” explained Ms. Green.
Jason Lavender Satin Shower Body Wash is for consumers who are looking for aromatherapy and the at-home spa experience. Lavender is a gentle, soothing ingredient that helps cool sun burned or chapped skin while toning and balancing skin’s pH.
Crabtree & Evelyn is taking relaxation a step further. The company introduced, India Hicks as a brand spokesperson in 2006. India Hicks is a designer, international model and author. She created a line of products in partnership with Crabtree & Evelyn based on her life in the Caribbean.
The India Hicks Island Living collection was created out of an appreciation of nature. It is comprised of the Casuarina home and Spider Lily body ranges, fragrances inspired by plants native to India Hicks’ Bahamian home. Ms. Hicks’ passion for natural beauty led her to island plants, fruits and flowers that help nourish, protect hydrate and soothe skin.
“Island life has opened my eyes to a new kind of natural beauty inspired by people at ease with themselves,” said Ms. Hicks.
The Spider Lily Body Collection derived from a blend of spider lily, citrus, orange blossom, tropical fruits, night-blooming jasmine, green palms and sea air accords.
“Keeping in line with recent concerns over the use of sodium lauryl sulfate and parabens in personal care products, Crabtree & Evelyn chose to develop the India Hicks Island Living Spider Lily Shower Gel without them to offer a product to customers that want to avoid these ingredients,” according to Lauren Trahan, formulation chemist, Crabtree & Evelyn.
Spider Lily Shower gel is infused with plant, flower and marine extracts—aloe leaf juice to soothe, hibiscus to tone, honey to moisturize and seaweed extract to condition. Spider Lily Natural Triple-Milled Soap is a creamy, rich body soap that nourishes with mango and avocado butter with skin conditioning grapeseed, sweet almond, olive and coconut oils.
The Thymes Wild Ginger Body Wash, Body Lotion and Triple-Milled Soap are comprised of elements picked from nature to nurture and nourish skin—inside and out. To shower with the Wild Ginger Body Wash or Triple-Milled Soap is to be enveloped by the invigorating scent of organic ginger, clean cucumber and creamy vanilla, according to the company. A botanical blend of red clover and honey soothes and hydrates dry skin.
All soaps are not created equal. More consumers have become aware that many soaps can contain ingredients that they just aren’t comfortable with, and according to Scott Cecil, president of personal care products company Save Your World, “many soap companies use non-organic, non-renewable resources in mass production processes that exclude glycerin from their final products, therefore decreasing its natural moisturizing effect.”
Save Your World is the first American company to introduce a full line of personal care products infused with pure organic yerba mate and pure organic aloe vera.
Yerba Mate is an evergreen plant that grows in the shade of the rainforests in South America. It is a unique ingredient that contains nearly all of the vitamins needed to sustain life, including vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B complex, carotene, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, biotin, and vitamin C complex, in addition to 15 different amino acids.
Resonating with the eco-friendly trend, Save Your World executives insist that consumers need safe, yet effective products from natural, sustainable and renewable sources.
The company’s shower gel, housed in packaging that declares, “save skin,” is available in Regal Blossom, Oasis Fruit and Rainforest, a unisex wood-berry scent.
The company, based in Portland, OR, also offers these scents in a bar version with the Oasis Fruit scent bearing an exfoliating distinction.
Kiss My Face, an all-natural personal care company, is no newcomer to the recent explosion of green product marketers. The brainchild of two long-time vegetarians who were searching for healthy body care products, Kiss My Face was founded in the early 1980s on a 200-acre organic farm in New York’s Hudson River Valley and has been operating out of a converted barn and feed store ever since.
The Kiss My Face Big Kiss is made with certified organic palm oil. The bar is vegetarian, naturally aromatherapeutic with lavender and tangerine essential oils, naturally colored, and preservative free.
Foam to the Finish
Although there have been innovations such as vitamins, botanicals and moisture benefits added to soaps, the growing presence of specialty/niche brands claiming to be all natural is moving the market in a new direction.
Manufacturers will likely continue to use the term natural in their brand names and product descriptions to appeal to consumers who view them as being better. Ms. Mathé of Fruits & Passion believes that “today’s consumer wants to use products that not only provide a unique sensorial experience but also correspond to social causes or to environmental concerns that he/she shares.”
In order appeal to this group, marketers must keep the ingredients real and the packaging simple. Product innovation and increased product segmentation by gender and age will continue propel this sector. In terms of future trends, the personal cleanser industry will most likely expand the number of all-in-one products on the market.
“Cleansers that also exfoliate, remove makeup, moisturize, and/or protect the skin will continue to gain popularity as consumers become more time-crunched and ingredient savvy,” said Ms. Finn.