UNITED KINGDOM: Natural cosmetic sales are increasing at a fast rate in Asia, however, the market is blighted by false marketing claims, mislabeling of products and consumer confusion, according to Organic Monitor, which is based in the UK.
The agency’s research finds high consumer demand for “chemically clean” cosmetics is leading many Asian companies to jump on the natural and organic bandwagon. Unlike in Europe and North America, there are no private standards for natural and organic cosmetics in Asia. Companies looking at certification must adopt Western standards, which can incur hefty inspection costs.
The absence of private standards encourages many brands to make natural claims based on their natural ingredients. Some products are promoted as organic, even though they contain just trace organic ingredients. Others are placing symbols and logos of their certified ingredients on product packaging, giving an illusion that the finished product is certified. Some companies are going further by illegitimately placing symbols and logos of natural and organic cosmetic standards on product packaging.
Asian consumers are considered some of the most confused when it comes to natural and organic cosmetics. Although they are seeking products that are natural organic and do not contain parabens, phthalates and related synthetic ingredients, they are invariably getting mislabeled conventional products, said Organic Monitor.
A growing number of Asian retailers are safeguarding consumer interests by becoming “gate-keepers” for pure natural and organic brands.
Amore Pacific and Himalaya Herbals are two large cosmetic firms developing certified natural and organic cosmetic lines. They see consumer trust and loyalty as key success factors in the natural cosmetics market. Certification is getting legitimate natural and organic cosmetics into retailers, however overcoming consumer confusion remains a major challenge.
Few Asian consumers can distinguish between pure natural cosmetics and falsely labeled ones. Education could be the marketing musclethat unlocks the potential of the highly prospective Asian market, according to Organic Monitor.
More info: www.organicmonitor.com
Sustainable Cosmetic Summits Wrap Up
• The first Asian edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, which was held Nov. 7-8, 2011 in Hong Kong, brought together 120 delegates from across the Asia-Pacific region, according to organizer Organic Monitor. Major discussions centered on greenwashing and consumer confusion, the lucrative Chinese market, certification and green formulations. Also, the European Summit, which was held in Paris Nov. 28-30, brought together more 160 executives.
More info: www.organicmonitor.com
NPD Invests in Latin American Research Firm
• The NPD Group has made an investment in Segmenta, a market research firm that tracks the prestige beauty industry in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Venezuela and Uruguay. As part of the agreement, Mark Turim, president and general manager for NPD in Latin America, has joined Segmenta’s board of directors.
Segmenta currently provides retail tracking, including data from more than 900 stores, across eight countries. NPD’s backing will support the development of additional services. Segmenta now has more than 90 clients in the region.
“NPD has put expansion of our beauty services on the fast track,” said Mark Turim. “Our investment in Segmenta gives us a foothold in one of the world’s fastest growing markets for the industry, Latin America. Their strong leadership, proven success market, and ambitious plans to roll out new services make Segmenta an ideal partner for NPD as we look to continue delivering more global information to our clients.”
More info: www.npd.com
Shiseido Device Checks For Source of Dark Eye Circles
• Shiseido has developed an imaging device that can distinguish when dark circles under the eyes stem from poor blood circulation. According to a report in the Nikkei Business Daily, the firm will use the device for research, however it may also look to develop a lower-cost version for use at cosmetic counters.