Cosmetic industry needs to keep up with key CPG sustainability trend

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sustainability, Mintel

Sustainability is set to be a key focus in 2011 for consumer packaged goods (CPG), according to market analyst Mintel, and although the cosmetics industry is making significant improvements, there is still a long way to go.

The Mintel report has predicted 12 CPG trends that will impact product development in 2011, spanning categories from health and wellness, the environment, demographics, marketing and media, convenience and indulgence.

Sustainability does not seem to be slipping down the priority list, however Mintel warns that instead of seeing new developments, there is more likely to be a continuation of the leading trends, with a few twists.

Water usage

Water usage appears to have become a hot, consumer-facing issue in 2011.

In the same month that Unilever has launched its Sustainable Living Plan, measuring the water usage, waste, and emissions of its products, Mintel stated that companies will be looking for ways to conserve water and change their consumption habits so that there is enough world supply.

The global firm has spent the last two years auditing its products to calculate the impact on the environment, and plans to supply data on the impression made by each of these factors, which in some cases has meant changing the way certain products are formulated or designed.

For example, Unilever has looked to reduce the amount of waste used in the packaging of a product, yet maintain protection. This has involved changing materials used and light-weighting techniques.

Packaging reduction and light-weighting

Mintel claims there will be a greater focus on reduced packaging in order to promote environmental responsibility in combination with uniqueness.

However Organic Monitor’s managing director, Amarjit Sahota, told that the cosmetics industry still has a long way to go in sustainable packaging, in the fall out of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit.

Whilst the CPG industry as a whole is focused on reduced packaging, as Mintel reports, the personal care business is still relatively new to the concept, despite some firms beginning to make headway, according to Organic Monitor.

Sustainability adoption remains low in cosmetics arena

“Adoption of sustainable packaging remains very low; Sustainability is a relatively new subject area for the cosmetics industry, so it has a very long way to go,” ​Sahota said.

The Mintel report includes a series of annual predictions representing the continuation of current big-picture trends in the CPG market, rather than major changes in the marketplace and what companies are doing.

“Understanding the major trend areas and how they change from year to year is essential for companies to be successful when developing and launching new products,”​ noted Lynn Dornblaser, director of innovation and insight at Mintel.

The market and consumer intelligence company has predicted the worldwide consumer packaged goods (CPG) trends set to make an impact in 2011.

Related topics: Market Trends

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