The natural and organic cosmetics sector is a trend-setter. This will be celebrated once again at VIVANESS, the international trade fair for natural and organic cosmetics, from 13 to 16 February 2019, where more than 280 exhibitors from all around the world will present their products, reflecting the dynamic demand for Green & Natural Beauty. Nature in a cream jar has found its way onto the shelves in many shopping centres and online stores, and from there into the bathrooms of millions of consumers. As the digital transformation progresses, authenticity, mindfulness and naturalness will provide the counterpoint to perfect beauty and the selfie culture, according to Frankfurt’s Future Institute. Customers are paying more and more attention to the traces they are leaving behind on the planet. The mantra is “Be good to yourself and the Earth you live on”. And that’s what natural and organic cosmetics stand for: natural care and environmentally friendly sustainability. The exhibitors at VIVANESS will be demonstrating this once more at this year’s trade fair.
Natural and organic cosmetics are gaining a growing fan base across all age groups and income levels. Market researchers are discovering a very sophisticated picture as they assess the reasons for the steady growth in consumer interest. They are identifying numerous trends underlying the fact that millions of people are turning to beauty care based on nature. These products are already on many bathroom shelves because people want to avoid synthetic or chemical ingredients. And consumers are opting more and more frequently for natural cosmetics on ethical grounds, like animal protection, fair trading conditions, and transparent values on the part of the manufacturer. Ultimately, too, availability plays a not insignificant role, since natural and organic cosmetics can now be obtained through all commercial channels, including online trading. Surveys by London-based international market research group Mintel Ltd. confirm the trend toward naturalness on the relevant markets worldwide. Charlotte Libby, Beauty & Personal Care Analyst at Mintel Group, presented the results at the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference in Berlin. In the USA, 49 percent of the 18 to 34-year-olds surveyed bought products containing natural ingredients. And about half of the buyers of cosmetics surveyed in the UK sought out products with natural ingredients.
Trend research: Selfie culture vs. awareness
An interesting look into the future of beauty care is offered the future-oriented study “Schöner.Leben” (Living more beautifully) by the German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association (IKW), based in Frankfurt, in which Frankfurt’s Future Institute concludes that “Appearance and a look of beauty have never been as important and omnipresent as now”. The selfie culture is an expression of this. The study, however, sees two conflicting trends facing the beauty industry: while efforts to achieve perfection – driven by digitalisation and the opportunities it offers – define the future of beauty care, another influencing factor is the discussion about inner values and alternative ideas. The message in either case is, “In an age when anything is possible in the media, authenticity becomes the absolute attractiveness factor.” Naturalness becomes more effective. “Beauty becomes more individual; genuine is the new beautiful,” according to the study. The future researchers observe that brands must be authentic and transparent in order to earn customer confidence. A leading role in information and communication is attributed to social media.
A further assertion in the study on the future of beauty care relates to the impacts of demographic change. The “new elderly” (the 65+ generation) are developing an active lifestyle characterised by both appreciation and mindfulness. What this means for beauty care is “mindful beauty: attention instead of anti-ageing”. According to the study, “Free Agers want products that will support them in their mindful, active lifestyle.” A greater focus is being placed on mindfulness, which is taking on an expanded role: there is no longer a distinction between “good for me” and “good for the environment” – ingredients are expected to satisfy both criteria.
Sustainability is essential
Global Insights Director Dr Robert Kecskes of Nuremberg-based market research institute GfK argues along similar lines: “Sustainability is firmly anchored in the current generation’s thinking.” Uppermost in the minds of many consumers is the thought that “We can have fun and enjoyment without destroying the world in the process”. Kecskes highlights the role of start-ups in particular in this connection. They are fully aware that products have to be sustainable these days. Their creative designs often combine values with the “aspect of a niche product that is suitable for the mass market, but has not yet been reflected by the established companies”. A young company could, for example, credibly combine the concepts of organics, regional ingredients and plastic-free packaging as a crossover of values in a single product, and use it along with the story of the start-up as a factor in marketing.
A company’s transparency and its values have become criteria in deciding whether to buy a particular brand. Many consumers prefer to identify with the core ethical and sustainable values of natural and organic cosmetic brands, or with the alternative, innovative ideas espoused by start-ups. Analysis by Ecovia Intelligence shows, however, that it is difficult for the cosmetic industry to win the confidence of these customers. Ecovia’s founder Amarjit Sahota views the acquisition of pioneering companies in the natural and organic cosmetic industry by multinational cosmetic firms and the launch of natural and organic cosmetic brands as proof of the appeal of “green beauty”. The loss of brand credibility following such a takeover, however, can be substantial. He concludes that it is a major challenge for the large firms to gain consumer acceptance.
VIVANESS, to be held at the exhibition venue in Nuremberg from 13 to 16 February, will be the meeting point for discussion and networking on all aspects of this dynamically changing market. The supporting programme for the combined VIVANESS & BIOFACH trade fair event is available online right now: www.vivaness.de/programme