Mintel reveals crucial consumer trends for Europe: ‘sea change’

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Mintel reveals crucial consumer trends for Europe: ‘sea change’

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Market research provider Mintel has released its latest consumer trend predictions for Europe: we got an exclusive beauty-specific insight from the firm on the forecast trends for the region.

Out of the four trends highlighted in the report​, ‘Sea Change’ and ‘Teenaiders’ are the two that Mintel suggests are essential for the beauty industry to take note of.

In the following analysis, the firm explains what these trends are, and how they relate to beauty and personal care.

Part one: Sea Change. Find part two, on ‘Teenaiders’, live on our site tomorrow.

The Trend:

Ocean plastic fashion and recycled packaging launches, ingredient bans and activism are focusing consumer and government attention on maritime conservation.

How it’ll impact the beauty industry:

Mintel expects that more and more brands will offer education and leadership with clean, safe and sustainable products that distinguish them from the competition, as companies seek to highlight and safeguard the purity and future supply of their ocean ingredients.

Lobbying campaigns by Greenpeace will make consumers more aware of ocean plastic and its impact on wildlife and their own health, whilst the UK government’s ban on all ‘rinse off’ personal care and cosmetic products containing microbeads, and Scotland’s commitment to a deposit return scheme on plastic bottles, are initiatives that many European countries wish to emulate—Sweden is set to do so for microbeads by 2020.

Sustainability topping agenda

Sustainability and the environment are high on consumer’s agenda, as Mintel research finds that in the UK, 72% of consumers would be interested in buying products with packaging made wholly/partially from recycled plastic.

Meanwhile, in wider Europe, Mintel research shows that a quarter of Spanish and German consumers agree that being “better for the environment” is the number-one reason for buying natural and organic products; this is followed by around a fifth of Italian and French consumers.

Whilst plastics won’t be wholly demonised, intensified eco-lobbying will produce more recyclable products, as well as incentives and initiatives like sponsored ‘reverse’ vending machines (such as those which accept used empty beverage containers and return money to the user) as well as more government-backed variations on plastic bag taxes.

We may well see social stigmatisation of plastic cups and cling film, more pioneering brands innovating with soluble pod packaging, and more retailers dispensing with it completely.

In beauty, we’ll see pure, unpolluted sourcing mainstream as a claim and natural exfoliators like salt and sand championed alongside other sustainable marine ingredients.

Health and cost-saving drivers

Fashionable, premium ocean plastic products will promote this trend in the coming year, but its consumer adoption will be driven by health and saving money, whilst for brands it will become a norm that governments and lobbyists will compel them to embrace.

A full copy of Mintel’s European Consumer Trends 2018 are available to download here.

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