During a presentation given at the in-cosmetics event in Paris last month, Barbalova focused on several themes, including geographical shifts in the market, how innovation is transforming the industry and trends, while also looking at the emerging niche trends that are set to shake up the market.
The interview also discusses how consumers are shifting their focus towards products that offer better efficacy, an increased sense of wellness and also cosmetics and personal care items that are customised to specific needs.
Simon: Hello, this is Simon Pitman reporting for CosmeticsDesign from In-Cosmetics Paris. I have with me today, Irina Barbalova, who is the head of Beauty and Personal Care at Euromonitor International. Welcome, Irina.
Irina: Hi, Simon, good to see you.
Simon: Nice to have you here.
So I understood you did recently a presentation at In-Cosmetics about the growth concepts that are revolutionizing the beauty market at the moment. And there were four principal areas that you highlighted in that presentation. One of them is about regional shifts in the beauty and personal care market right now. Would you care to start off by telling us about that?
Irina: Sure. In terms of regional shifts, I guess there's two points to highlight. One is that we're seeing a much weaker growth in some of the emerging markets, like Latin America and Asia. But also increasing shifts in terms of product routines, and product adoption, and format adoption. There's a lot of cross-regional influences that are affecting the beauty industry and how new products are adopted. So we're seeing an extension of routines and adopting of formats like facial mists and sprays, for example, or oil formats. Not just in skin care but now more pronounced in hair care even.
A lot of those cross-regional shifts are enabling the adoption of such new products which are mainly in the hands of some of the new consumers, the younger consumer-base that is quite digitally engaged and a lot of the brands coming through are through digital platforms.
Simon: Okay, and I understand the team at Euromonitor has also identified some shifts in innovation in the industry and how that's manifesting itself. Would you care to tell us more about that?
Irina: Yeah. Innovation, I think, recently is, again, aligned with those cross-regional shifts in adopting these new product formats but more so through a more pronounced shift to healthier and more active lifestyles. I think this is nothing new but I think it's being revived. We're seeing in sports where performance and sports inspired apparel doing really well. We're seeing high protein drinks and high protein foods doing really well. It's all about active lifestyles. So this is giving an opportunity for beauty brands to really be positioning products of more of a lifestyle, kind of association. So a whole entity of skin, body, and mind. Mental and physical well-being are now aligned with how we view beauty routines and the products we purchase.
Lots of opportunities to innovate in terms of sensorial beauty, in terms of solution-based beauty, in terms of active wear or urban wear, or multifunctional or easier application and lighter textures for those people on the move and being in their active lifestyles.
Simon: I also understand that niche beauty is clearly going to the next level. What's happening there?
Irina: All these new concepts are obviously being promoted to a lot of niche brands and a lot of lifestyle beauty-related magazines and websites are really having a really big following of some really big influences, bloggers and professionals and stylists. They're promoting a lot of these niche concepts as well. So it's becoming a necessity for big beauty brands to be really engaging in those digital platforms too and promoting their brands.
Niche is infiltrating predominantly the color cosmetics field. We're seeing a hugely fragmented market. And it is because of the whole digital engagement and how millennials and even generations later, engaging with these platforms and really promoting those brands. We've seen a lot of dynamics around smaller brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills, NYX, which was acquired by L'Oreal, ColourPop, which are really largely digitally engaged and very active digitally. I think heritage brands now have a big challenge ahead of them to replicate some of the forms of engagement, some of the innovation concepts and how those brands promote themselves.
Simon: In the presentation, you also highlighted the new value proposition for consumers. Can you elaborate on that, please?
Irina: The financial crisis was obviously the catalyst of some big changes in how we perceive value. I think now and specifically in the case of North America and the US, for example, we're seeing the middle class squeezed. There's less shopping, kind of mindless shopping. It's more about quality versus quantity. So I think a lot of brands are actually adopting a "less is more" strategy. More impactful innovation on core brands rather than a diversification of existing brands. I think also in that sense, digital is really kind of replacing some of the more costly features that brands are doing the R&D technology. You can innovate a lot with digital and still have a really impactful innovation.
All in all, this whole new value proposition involves more personalized and more individual innovation because consumers are really spending quite a lot when something is more tailored and more personalized and individual to them.
Simon: Irina Barbalova, well, thank you very much for sharing those insights with us today. Thank you.
So, Siman Pitman reporting for CosmeticsDesign from In-Cosmetics Paris.