The firm suggests this is because European cities tend to enjoy better air quality than some major cities in Asia, but asserts more could be done within the beauty and personal care industry to tap into rising concerns over the impact of pollution on the skin.
It notes that the US is also further ahead than Europe in the trend, despite Europe being the largest beauty market in the world.
“While anti-pollution beauty is almost mainstream in regions like Asia and the US, in Europe, the market still lags behind,” the firm confirmed in a recent blog.
“Beauty brands need to step up their launch activity, creating targeted formulations backed with compelling and meaningful marketing.”
Listen to consumers
Vivienne Rudd, Director of Global Insight & Innovation, Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel, author of the blog, suggests that in limiting its new product development in Europe, the industry is neglecting to respond to consumer concerns and appetite for anti-pollution solutions
Mintel research indicates that only 4-7% of consumers in France, Germany and Italy believe pollution is not an issue in their country, and around four in 10 French consumers say levels of pollution are only going to get worse in the coming years.
Yet according to Mintel Global New Products Database, anti-pollution products accounted for 1.3% of European beauty and personal care launches in both 2015 and 2016, and fell slightly to 1.2% of launches in January-May 2017.
This is compared with a growth of anti-pollution product launches in Asia Pacific from 1.2% in 2015 to 1.7% in 2016, and a growth in North America of 1.3% to 1.4% over the same period.
Untapped potential: use testing to get consumers on side
The appetite seems clear, though: Rudd notes that only 15% of Italian consumers have purchased anti-pollution haircare products, but 37% say they would be interested in doing so.
The market expert points out that while some brands, such as REN, Aveda, Biotherm and Medik8, are responding, untapped potential remains.
Rudd suggests that the ‘credibility gap’ that previously existed for consumers, due to the fact that ‘brands couldn’t back up their anti-pollution claims with data’, is closing.
“In the last two years,” she explains, “testing agencies have worked on protocols that can evaluate anti-pollution protection, which brands can leverage to convince sceptical consumers and move towards an on-pack anti-pollution index that mimics SPF ratings.”