Anti-animal testing products drive foot care market

By Louise Prance

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Foot, Business ethics

With alternative methods being developed in a bid to abolish animal
testing in skin and eye irritancy tests, it seems the trend for
ethical buying has crossed over into the foot care category during
the last quarter.

According to Mintel data, "More and more consumers are making ethical shopping decisions, opting for products that reflect their position on issues such as pollution, the environment, recycling or animal welfare". ​Indeed, this trend has been a main driver in the foot care segment, with most manufacturers in the category claiming that their products were not tested on animals. They are trying to avoid a backlash from the increasing amount of consumers vying to get animal testing abolished altogether from cosmetics. A Mintel report on the foot care segment suggests that many foot care manufacturers are increasingly playing catch up with skin care products and are now attempting to make all products ethically and environmentally friendly in order to boost the category in terms of sales figures. "As many governments require manufacturers to test products for safety, manufacturers are looking to test products in ways that do not involve animals, such as testing on cell cultures. In other cases, animal testing is not necessary when all ingredients have been tested before and are deemed safe."​Indeed, this has stretched to aerosol foot sprays, with consumers now more frequently focusing on other formats that are not sprays to 'ensure their buying decisions do not harm the environment'. ​ This desire to be more 'green' has in turn led to heightened concern for natural ingredients that can replace chemicals, which can irritate dry and cracked skin often found in the foot area. "There are several chemical additives that are thought to dry out the skin (e.g. alcohol), and consumers are also looking for products that are free from sulphates, parabens (used as preservatives), and other ingredients made from mineral oils, instead voting for natural and plant-based moisturisers". ​Botanical produce topped the poll for natural ingredients within foot care, with 45 per cent of products carrying the claim of containing plant extracts. Cocoa and Shea butters have proven popular for their moisturising properties, likewise green tea, peppermint and lavender are increasingly used to deodorise, whilst walnut, gingko, biloba, and oatmeal extracts are sought out for their exfoliation qualities. More alternative ingredients have also been enticing consumers, with formulations such as angelica and tragacanth said 'to promote sweat secretion, increase heat radiation with the effect of warming feet, thus relieving fatigue and refresh the mind'. Vitamins and minerals emerged as the second most popular ingredients in foot care formulations. With vitamins E and C proving popular due to their anti-oxidant properties repairing and preventing damage caused by keeping feet in shoes all day.

Related topics: Market Trends, Skin Care

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