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UK youngsters driving purchases of fair trade cosmetics

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 30-Nov-2012

As the UK leads the way in purchases of fair trade health and beauty products, it is the younger generation that is driving the market.

A study conducted by market analyst Canadean Consumer has revealed that UK consumers buy more fair trade health and beauty products because they deem them trustworthy.

The research also found that young adults (18-24 year olds) and early mid-lifers (25-44 year olds) are more willing than older consumers (45+ years old) to pay a premium for these products.

Youngsters less sceptical

“Youngsters are more likely to purchase, perhaps because they are less sceptical of the claim. The reluctance of older consumers is likely to be caused by a number things, but especially mistrust or lack of awareness,” says Nancy Sharra, research analyst.

“Although fair trade beauty products are becoming popular, manufacturers can grow further if they can increase awareness among 45-54 year olds and 55+ year olds by making the benefits clear, easy to understand, and believable”.

According to Sharra, although the percentage of consumers that purchased fair trade beauty products in the last year is still relatively low, they are becoming more mainstream.

“Fair trade is usually associated with food products like coffee or bananas, but these figures show that consumers are leaning towards ethical consumerism across the broader FMCG landscape.”

Stat attack

Canadean Consumer found that among 2,000 UK consumers interviewed, 16 per cent said they had purchased fair trade beauty products in the last 12 months.

This amounted to 21 per cent of young adults, 28 per cent of 25-34 year olds and 19 per cent of 35-44 year olds, with older consumers the least likely to buy fair trade products.

Furthermore, four in ten consumers are willing to pay more for them, with young adults and early mid-lifers more likely to purchase than in older age groups.