Together with the profusion of new product formats, textures and formulations, global beauty is well placed for future growth, especially within the premium sector, she writes.
Lifestyle shifts make consumers more open-minded
Time has become a new luxury commodity with consumers participating in less mindless shopping and seeking out quality over quantity.
Irina Barbalova, global head of beauty and personal care, has noted a strong link between physical and mental wellbeing. “It’s not just about anti-stress, but focusing on a holistic approach between skin, body and mind as a whole entity,” she observed.
The trend has enabled an influx of small and influential niche brands to challenge the position of the larger players.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the big multinationals are looking to snap up promising niche brands that can broaden their reach within new product sectors, regions and digitally.
Stirling Murray, managing director and founder of brand consultancy The Red Tree, stated that a record 65 deals were completed in 2015, representing more than 30% of all mergers & acquisitions over the last five years.
“There is tremendous opportunity for brands properly positioned and who know what they’re doing,” he maintained.
SMART beauty devices become a reality
The growth of electronic tracking devices and apps for fitness has opened up numerous new possibilities in beauty, which are currently focused on enabling consumers to monitor issues such as skin hydration and elasticity and UV exposure.
For example, Violet is the first wearable to track vitamin D and L’Oreal’s UV patch works with a smartphone to measure UV exposure.
“Brands are trying to get their message across, but there is so much noise. Consumers want help on cutting the clutter and choosing the right skincare for them,” said Sava Marinkovich, co-founder of mySkin, at the Roundtable: Smart Beauty & Consumer Empowerment.
The mySkin device is used by consumers to map skin characteristics, such as oiliness, elasticity and moisture, that cannot be seen with the naked eye. The virtual coach will advise specifically on lifestyle, diet and optimum ingredients.
“The more you scan the skin, the smarter the device becomes,” he said.
So how smart can machines become, asked Jeb Gleason-Allured, editor-in-chief, GCI magazine and round table moderator?
“People will always need the human touch; it’s not always just about healthy skin,” admitted Marinkovich.
Regional varieties provide scope for beauty routine expansion
‘Asianification’, a term first used at last year’s in-cosmetics Marketing Trends presentations, has led to an expansion of consumer beauty routines, especially in skin care.
“20% of Asians now use facial mists on a daily basis, though they are not widespread yet in Western markets,” commented Barbalova.
Other new formats which could be heading west soon include oil cleansers, which are huge in Korea, foams, powders and endless variations on face masks.
Meanwhile, Mintel predicts that a worldwide scarcity of water will lead beauty brands to look for alternatives, including plant extracts and extracting water from fog.