What has the economic downturn meant for beauty packaging?

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

What has the economic downturn meant for beauty packaging?
While the recession may officially be over it has taken its toll on the beauty packaging industry and manufacturers will have to turn to differentiation of packaging format, size and shape to attract consumers.

This may restrict packaging manufacturers from introducing revolutionary innovations, as it did throughout the recession, says market analyst Euromonitor.

While the recession has technically passed, manufacturers have to deal with changing habits and purchasing decisions of consumers.

Refocus on value

The beauty and personal care industry was hit hard over the last few years as consumers looked to cut spending and sought out value, which Euromonitor says led manufacturers to move away from premium positioning with masstige products.

Cosmetics player Shiseido offers a good example of this as it introduced its masstige-priced skin care range in Asia, but utilised simple rigid plastic bottles, with a refill pouch option, for the pack; not a format normally associated with the premium end of the market.

The refill option was one adopted by many companies, and appeals to consumers at a time of economic hardship as it offers a cheaper option, as well providing a more sustainable solution, as less packaging is used for the same product.

As well as refill packs, Euromonitor notes that value packs have also become a popular economic option. The refocus on value has made consumers more accepting of bulk offers in beauty and personal care, and this is no longer seen as damaging the brand.

And the winner is…

Euromonitor research notes that HDPE bottles are the winning pack type when it comes to providing an affordable yet rigid pack that can easily be adapted by brand owners to fit its image.

Due to the recession beauty and personal care packaging innovations witnessed a decline, according to the research firm. Manufacturers avoided experimentation with packaging to cut out the cost of a pack type switch, as it could in many cases increase the unit price of the product.

It is expected that consumers will focus on cost for some time yet, meaning they may still cut on spending, opt for cheaper alternatives or even cut out products altogether.

This will affect packaging manufacturers who will find the chance to design innovative packs, substituted by the need for a more economical option.

Related topics: Packaging & Design

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