Label Insight surveyed more than 1,000 consumers on the importance of ingredients in personal care products, feelings of confusion with personal care product ingredients and labeling and the behavioral impact of this confusion on purchasing behavior for its 2017 Ingredient Confusion study.
According to the group, 68% of those surveyed believe it is important or extremely important to consider the ingredients when deciding which products to buy. Yet, consumers often do not recognize ingredients on labels. In fact, according to the survey 81% do not recognize ingredients on the label of personal care products at least somewhat often, and only 2% of women said they always understand what all of the ingredients are.
Label Insight enables access to complete and accurate product information for more than 400,000 products; its product transparency engine powers data-driven solutions for brands, retailers, researchers, analytics providers, government agencies and consumer applications by capturing and enhancing data contained on the packaging and labeling of food, pet, and personal care products. Label Insight customers use this data to provide greater transparency to consumers; easily participate in industry and government initiatives, such as SmartLabel; create more connected omni-channel experiences; and maximize category growth potential.
When buying personal care products, 79% of women said they are at least sometimes confused about ingredients listed on the package label. Of those, 45% are often, very often or almost always confused.
When considering a personal care product to buy, if the ingredients on the label are confusing:
- 33% of women would not buy the product and look to another product instead
- 55% of women would look at another product to see if they understand the ingredients better
- 44% of women would research the ingredients on their mobile phone while shopping the aisle
When presented with a harmless ingredient, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, 88% were not familiar with it and 49% said they would not be comfortable buying a product that contained it. Once defined as liquid form of vitamin C used in cosmetics and personal care products that enables the vitamin C to penetrate the skin more effectively, there was a 43% increase in those who say they would be "very comfortable" purchasing the product, according to the survey.
"While consumer demand for product transparency in food and beverage has experienced a groundswell, our study shows that interest in transparency for personal care products is also on the rise," said Kira Karapetian, vice president of marketing for Label Insight. "Women in particular are concerned about what is in their personal care products - from lotion to shampoo to sunscreen - and will make buying decisions based on ingredient data. It will be important for manufacturers to respond and to provide solutions such as SmartLabel in order to address these demands."