The organic product study, conducted amongst 1,000 respondents aged 18-75, found that there has been virtually no growth in the consumer base since 2008.
Virtually no growth in organic beauty purchasing
With respect to organic beauty products, 6 per cent of respondents said they had purchased an organic skincare product in the last six months, compared to 5 per cent in 2008.
Similarly, a one percent increase in purchasing was recorded in organic cosmetics, with 4 per cent stating they bought such a product in 2009, compared to 3 per cent in 2008.
The growth of organic hair care products remained stagnant with a recorded 4 per cent of respondents purchasing these products in both 2008 and 2009.
Kurt Jetta, President of Tabs Group, told CosmeticsDesign that he was surprised by the results of the study.
“There are so many extra retailers that have expanded their selection of organic beauty products in the past year that I thought it was inevitable that consumer penetration would have increased,” he said.
He added that the consistently poor sales performance of these products in mainstream retail outlets, as monitored by Tabs Group showed that “the explosive growth purported by other media was inaccurate.”
He explained that reported market growth may be down to manufacturers recording increased sales if retailers are buying more items, yet the problem lies in the fact that they are not selling through to the consumer at the same growth rate.
“It is not unusual that we see industries overestimating the size and importance of their categories, particularly in ones that are hard to track,” he said.
Non-organic trumps organic
According to Jetta, the reasons as to why consumers opt for non-organic products over their organic equivalents are three-fold; price, efficacy and low overall importance of organics.
“The price for non-organic products is often 50 per cent lower than an organic equivalent, with these products being of equal or better quality,” he explained, adding that various research conducted by the company revealed that ‘organic’ is of low importance for the majority of consumers.
“In one study, we ran about 20 “Better for You” concepts for a particular category by consumers, (e.g. all natural) and organic was the lowest rated concept,” he said.
Organic Monitor reveals the contrary
In a recent report released by Organic Monitor, the market research firm predicted that positive growth in the natural and organic market would continue in the foreseeable future.
“With healthy sales continuing during the recession, it is clear that consumer demand for organic & sustainable products is no fad. Growing consumer concern about environmental and ethical issues will strengthen demand for these products,” it was said in a statement.