The trend for natural and organic cosmetics will gain ground in the next few years in the emerging markets, where development appears to follow the same patterns as the more mature markets, just at an increased speed, according to Euromonitor.
Due to increased spending power consumers in emerging markets are becoming more sophisticated and open to spending more on non-essential items.
Furthermore, increased exposure to the fashions of the West may play a role in the popularity of the trend, as well as a genuine awareness of the importance of protecting the environment from which the ingredient is sourced.
Although the sector is becoming more popular with the emerging markets Dodson believes it will be at least five or ten year before there is a significant green market for cosmetics and toiletries across the four BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) markets.
According to the market research group, Brazil and Russia are the most advanced markets in terms of the trend, with China experiencing a growing demand for natural cosmetics, and India representing a particular case with market features that differ from the other emerging BRIC markets.
In Brazil domestic companies play a very strong role in the industry with local player Natura, which has particular focus on natural and ethically sourced ingredients, having overtaken Unilever as the leading cosmetics manufacturer in the country.
The trend for natural cosmetics in Brazil and Russia is driven by consumer awareness of the potential hazards of the chemicals used in cosmetics and a conscious effort to avoid them, Diana Dodson, market analyst for Euromonitor, told CosmeticsDesign.com.
In contrast the growth of the sector in India and China is stimulated by different market forces.
According to Dodson, China's demand for natural cosmetics is growing, although there is little evidence of organic ingredients entering the market and the popularity of natural products may be the result of a traditional preference for natural ingredients stemming back to ancient Chinese medical practices.
In India, however, natural cosmetics appear to represent a down market alternative provided by domestic companies, to high tech products from international manufacturers.
Until natural cosmetics become accepted as upmarket alternatives to international products, they will not become popular with the consumer elite who will be driving the natural trend, according to Dodson.
CosmeticsDesign.com is planning a series of articles discussing in further detail the features of the emerging markets and how they relate to the natural and organic trend.