Anti-pollution Special Newsletter

Anti-pollution claims: How R&D-backed packaging is influencing consumers

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Anti-pollution claims: R&D-backed packaging influencing consumers

Related tags Asia-pacific China

The huge anti-pollution trend started off in the Asia Pacific region, where markets such as China, Korea and Japan continue to be the main source of innovation and a constantly diversifying product pipeline. But the buzz comes with a warning: over-saturation!

Dominating product launches

In 2016, 38% of anti-pollution product launches with accompanying claims occurred in Asia-Pacific (APAC)​, representing a 10% increase from 2015.

Constant daily exposure and ongoing pollution issues are the core drivers behind this rise. In China, for example, this is a real concern, with 61% of consumers indicating their concern for PM2.5 and 55% revealing their interest in learning more about protecting themselves from the effects of pollution. Packaging claims, therefore, are of mutual benefit to both the consumer and the brand.

China leads the way

Market intelligence company, Mintel, revealed that China has retained its position as number one marketplace for new skin care anti-pollution products in APAC.

The key demographic for the sector is the 25-39-year-old age group, regardless of gender.

Mintel’s recent data shows that 30% of Chinese consumers have purchased anti-pollution products and 40% have indicated their willingness and interest in sampling these pollutant-protective products.

Diversifying appeal

As pollutant-protection products move beyond ‘simple’ formulations that target environmental consumer concerns, brands are now including information on how they work and their specific benefits.

When it comes to benefits, it appears that the more of them there are, the better, with the hybridisation trend now inviting anti-pollution to contribute towards the facial powder niche​.

Asia contains heavily polluted cities including Shanghai and Beijing in China, New Delhi and Bangalore in India, and Karachi in Pakistan. With multiple pollution concerns relating to PM2.5, vehicle exhaust and second-hand smoke prominent within these urban areas, there are plenty of opportunities for cosmetics brands to include scientifically-supportive claims in their marketing messages.

Overcoming saturation

The anti-pollution sector grows alongside skin care concerns throughout APAC. Yet, as industry experts including Belinda Carli, Director from the Institute of Personal Care Science highlight that the sector is heading towards saturation, producers are focusing on R&D efforts, multifunctionality and diversifying their stories.

Accurate and conscientious efforts made during the R&D and formulation stages need to be communicated via packaging and labelling. Many brands successfully achieve this through supplier efficacy data that supports ingredient selection.

While this is an effective and achievable route for larger companies to take, smaller brands struggle with limited resources. However, companies of all sizes should strive to replicate these tests to maximise consumer satisfaction.

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