Despite the industry recognising a need for a unified definition of the natural and organic beauty sector, Euromonitor believes it is nowhere near close to achieving this any time soon.
Both in Western Europe and the US markets, the natural and organic beauty sector is fast growing in popularity but the associated regulatory standards are too fragmented leading to consumer confusion.
According to Euromonitor beauty and personal care analyst Carrie Lenard, too many conflicting bodies are leading to confusion amongst the consumers, who are unable to differentiate between genuine organic and natural products and unsubstantiated claims seen on labels.
This is because consumers are confused by conflicting certification bodies as well as generally trusting brands more.
Cosmos or Natrue
Western Europe has only just seen a more unified approach to certification come to fruition earlier this year 2011, with the formation of Cosmos, a standard developed by five of Europe’s largest bodies, Ecocert, Cosmebio, BDIH, ICEA and the Soil Association.
However, even this certification body’s formation was hampered by slow progress apparently frustrating many other organisations leading to Brussels-based Natrue coming together in late 2007.
According to Organic Monitor, the major attraction of the Cosmos standard is that it is a pan-European initiative. Cosmetic and ingredient companies only need to meet this single standard to get recognition in the European market.
However, a major drawback of Cosmos is that it does not replace any of the existing symbols and logos.
NaTrue has a uniform labelling scheme. The standard has three levels: organic, made with organic ingredients, and natural and so certified products carry identical symbols, unlike Cosmos.