Features

Natural/Organic Has Room to Grow

By Imogen Matthews , In-Cosmetics | February 12, 2013

After slumping during The Great Recession, global sales of natural and organic cosmetics and toiletries topped $9 billion in 2011.

After many years of double-digit growth, the annual growth rate for the global natural and organic cosmetics and toiletries market has slowed to 7-9%, according to Organic Monitor. Valued at $9.1 billion in 2011, the global market continues to attract manufacturers keen on satisfying consumer demand for natural or organic alternatives to mainstream products.

The two largest regions for natural and organic cosmetics are in North America and Europe. In North America, the market is dominated by natural cosmetics, with fewer consumers actively seeking organic alternatives, or certified products, than in Europe.

“In Europe, there is a greater focus on organic cosmetics and certification in particular,” explained Amarjit Sahota, director, Organic Monitor. “Our research shows that almost 70% of pure natural and organic cosmetics are now certified in Europe. The percentage in North America is less than 10%.”

Sahota maintained that Europe is primarily responsible for the slowdown in global growth. Demand in Europe is showing low growth due to the debt crisis. Economic conditions have affected consumer purchasing power, while the harsh retail environment is making retailers less inclined to introduce natural and organic product lines. The North American market is in recovery mode, having picked up since the 2007-2009 US financial crisis. In Asia, market growth rates are continuing at double-digit levels, albeit from a low base.

Investment in new product launches has continued, according to Mintel, which has recorded 6,999 new “all natural” and “organic” global beauty and personal care launches for 2012 (through November), compared to 7,139 new product launches in 2011. Organic Monitor research confirms that the number of new product launches has dropped significantly in Europe during the past 12 months due to weak economic conditions, but launches are increasing in North America and, in particular, Asia.

“There have been important developments in Asia, whereby many new brands have come into the market and established Asian companies like Himalaya Herbals (India) and Amore Pacific (Korea) launch certified lines,” explained Sahota.

No International Certification
More than five years ago, Organic Monitor called for regional, if not international, certification for natural and organic cosmetics.

“I regret to say that we are no closer to this goal,” observed Sahota. “If anything, fragmentation is occurring at the standards level.”

He noted that there are now more than 20 different standards in Europe alone, including new ones launched in Asia Pacific with more in the pipeline in other regions. In Europe, Cosmos has not yet taken off as the major European certification agencies (including Ecocert, Cosmebio, Soil Association and BDiH) had hoped. Natrue got off to a good start in 2009 with the aim of becoming a pan-European standard. However, until now, its adoption rate is mainly in German-speaking countries. In North America, the Natural Products Association and NSF International are the main standards, but neither has an organic standard.

“We appear to be seeing more standards developing and no regional standard, let alone global standard,” said Sahota.

Barbara Olioso, green chemist and founder of natural skin care brand Forest Secrets, insists that there are too many standards and too many symbols. She points out that even when chemists make the effort to formulate a green product according to a green standard, they may discover it has no meaning to the consumer, because people do not know about it. She experienced this first-hand with her own brand.

“I realized that if there is no education and recognition behind a certification system, it is not worth the effort and investment.”

She agreed with Sahota for the need to have one system and one symbol.

“The original intent behind certification bodies was probably good, giving credibility to genuine green products against greenwash products,” she maintained. “It is confusing for the industry and consumers, so my view is that the ‘experiment’ was not successful and we need to think of other ways to deal with the greenwash.”

She predicted that the regulation of green claims, along with the definition of what natural and organic, will be the way to go.

The differing and sometimes conflicting certification standards may restrict brands from developing innovative products as they have limited access to the wide palette of ingredients that conventional brands enjoy. For example, there are standards that allow hydrogenated ingredients and propylene glycol from vegetable sources, providing more flexibility to formulators. But to purists, such as Olioso, allowing these types of ingredients dilutes the value and the spirit behind natural and organic.

“To really innovate natural and organic beauty products, we must define what natural and organic is at a global level with one symbol and one system that is consumer-, industry- and environment-friendly,” she suggests. “In this way, the industry can focus on the creation of new green chemistry ingredients that improve performance and innovation.”

Olioso has been working on replacing conventional functional ingredients that can add sensorial benefits to the skin but are usually in the background of a product’s formulation. She is especially keen on finding replacements for silicones, which she describes as “liquid plastic” and, when released into the environment, silicones could cause problems far into the future. Olioso has been working with Inolex to develop silicone alternatives and has obtained good reviews from these.

“Inolex has also produced the only 100% natural cationic conditioner available on the market today, so I believe they are a really innovative company.”

The natural and organic sector has yet to reach its full potential, which is why so many brands are looking to move into the category. However, apart from issues with certification, there are limitations on natural ingredients in categories such as hair care, hair styling and nail care. Moving forward, manufacturers must find new and effective ways of responding to this growing consumer demand.
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Kitchen Counter Cosmetics

    Kitchen Counter Cosmetics

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||May 2, 2016
    LOLI box marks the convergence of natural and organic ingredients, subscription service and DIY cosmetic chemistry.

  • What’s New at La Prairie?

    What’s New at La Prairie?

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||April 25, 2016
    VP of marketing shares the latest buzz with Happi.

  • Mapping Out Multicultural Beauty

    Mapping Out Multicultural Beauty

    April 25, 2016
    Agnieszka Saintemarie of Kline Group about current trends and challenges in multicultural beauty.

  • Bite Now

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||May 2, 2016
    Is the time finally right for beauty-from-within to move into the mainstream?

  • Boxed Out?

    Boxed Out?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||May 2, 2016
    Salon sales outpace mass-market results in the highly competitive, highly fashionable and yes, highly-colorful hair color cat

  • That’s Awesome!

    That’s Awesome!

    May 2, 2016
    Extracts & Ingredients highlights the newest ideas in efficacious oils for the personal care market.

  • Wacker Builds on Its Success

    Wacker Builds on Its Success

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director ||May 2, 2016
    The silicone maker had a good 2015 and expects the gains to continue in 2016, driven, in part, by success in the Americas and

  • I Want It All

    I Want It All

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||May 2, 2016
    Skin care moves beyond the basics with pampering formulations with unique components and novel functions.

  • Erasing the Signs of Aging

    Pauline Rouaud-Tinguely, David Boudier, Sylvain Mazalrey, Jenny Laumonier, Isabelle Cruz, Gu00e9raldine Bon, Karine Perrinet, Bu00e9ranger Tassy, Brigitte Closs, Silab R&D, Saint-Viance, France||May 2, 2016
    Silab researchers explain how by acting on the endogenous hyaluronic acid pathway.

  • The Zika Threat

    The Zika Threat

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||April 1, 2016
    Concerns are spreading about transmission of this mosquito-borne disease.

  • The New Spot For Acne Care

    The New Spot For Acne Care

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||April 1, 2016
    Acne Treatment Research Center opens in Morristown, NJ.

  • The Essence of Individuality

    The Essence of Individuality

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||April 1, 2016
    Fragrance sales are fueled by unique facets.

  • The Scalp Microbiome

    The Scalp Microbiome

    Nava Dayan PhD, Dr. Nava Dayan LLC||April 1, 2016
    A review of recent findings and innovative approaches for treating scalp disorders.

  • Multi-Cultural Beauty Update

    Multi-Cultural Beauty Update

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||April 1, 2016
    Established brands and start-ups address the needs of multi-cultural beauty consumers.

  • Who Makes That?

    Who Makes That?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||April 1, 2016
    From concept and formulation to testing and filling, today’s contract manufacturers perform a range of services for marketers

  • Inspiring the Next Generation Of Personal Care Products

    Inspiring the Next Generation Of Personal Care Products

    March 1, 2016
    In-Cosmetics 2016 returns to Paris next month, April 12-14, 2016.

  • Playing Doctor

    Playing Doctor

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 1, 2016
    The OTC aisle offers a wide array of no-prescription-needed treatments.

  • Shielding Skin from Airborne Antagonists

    Shielding Skin from Airborne Antagonists

    Shyam Gupta, Ph.D., John Stanek and Melinda Wochner, Bioderm Research and CoValence Laboratories, Inc.||March 1, 2016
    The enemy, it seems, is all around us. Researchers explain how to alleviate damage caused by a variety of villains.

  • Makeup Magic

    Makeup Magic

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||March 1, 2016
    Sales get a lift from novel ingredients and endorsements from the likes of Gwen Stefani.

  • Feel the Burn?

    Feel the Burn?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2016
    Sun care product sales rise, but more must be done to make sure compliance rates grow.

  • New Sun Care Ingredients

    March 1, 2016
    Here is a list of new ingredients for sun care that have been introduced by industry suppliers during the past 12 months. For information regarding any of the products listed here, contact the supplier directly using the information provided.

  • Cleaning Up

    Cleaning Up

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2016
    At the American Cleaning Institute’s 90th Annual Meeting & Industry Convention attendees work on regulatory issues and hammer out business deals.

  • Supply-Side Solutions

    Supply-Side Solutions

    Tom Branna , Editorial Director||March 1, 2016
    Executives from leading detergent industry suppliers sat down with Happi during the recent annual meeting of the American Cleaning Institute to discuss the problems, products and answers that are transforming the cleaning space.

  • Cleaning Industry Heads to Singapore

    Cleaning Industry Heads to Singapore

    March 1, 2016
    The World Conference on Fabric and Home Care, sponsored by the American Oil Chemists Society, will be held Oct. 4-7 in Singapore.

  • Electric Slide

    Electric Slide

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||February 3, 2016
    Skin care devices bring anti-aging to the next level

  • Crowning Glory

    Crowning Glory

    Christine Esposito , Associate Editor||February 3, 2016
    Celebrity stylists and experts from leading hair care brands talk about the ingredients and formats driving the styling sector.

  • Innovation On Display

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||February 3, 2016
    P&G Beauty Digital Studio showcases new products for 2016

  • Testing for Sustainable Preservatives

    Adam P. Byrne, William Michael Hart-Cooper, Kaj Johnson, Larry H. Stanker, Dominic W. S. Wong, William J. Orts||January 4, 2016
    A rapid, inexpensive and qualitative protocol for determining microbial growth inhibition.