Natural & Organic Labelling Special Edition

The rise and rise of vegan claims for cosmetics

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

The rise and rise of vegan claims for cosmetics
Cosmetic and personal care carrying vegan claims are definitely on trend these days, highlighted by a daily deluge of new product launches carrying animal-friendly labels, worldwide.

For consumers vegan products are often seen as the ultimate ethical claim, highlighting that products have been developed in a way that is not only animal friendly, but also being cutting edge, socially acceptable and with a high level of transparency.

You don’t have to be vegan to buy vegan products. Although the uptake of vegan diets, which is free from any animal-derived food stuffs or ingredients, is on rising rapidly in developing countries, many consumers buying into vegan claims do not necessarily strictly practice veganism on a regular basis.

To find out more about the continued growth and gradual maturation of the vegan trend, Cosmetics Design spoke to Michelle Strutton, who is the Content Manager for Mintel Global New Products Data Base – a division of the market research company that tracks consumer product launches worldwide on a day-to-day basis.

Michelle Strutton
Michelle Strutton, Content Manager, Mintel GNPD

Mintel insight into vegan claims

Firstly we asked Michelle about the rise of the vegan diets and vegan claims and asked her to give a bit of insight about the typical vegan consumer and what makes them tick. 

“Consumers are not only embracing vegan diets, but are also looking for vegan alternatives in all aspects of their lives,”​ Michelle said.

“Vegan products account for some 7% of new beauty and personal care product launches globally. More brands are targeting the 'natural' consumers who want products they use on their bodies to be as 'better-for-you' as the food they eat.” 

Vegan claims part of the bigger picture

The Mintel team believes that vegan consumer claims are also part of a bigger trend, whereby consumers want to see more choice of products that offer both ethical choices and a more natural or organic element.

“Vegan beauty products sit alongside organic and halal options as being perceived as more natural and kinder to skin. In the UK, 10% of adults consider 'vegan certified' to be an indicator that a beauty and personal care product is natural and/or organic,” ​Michelle said.

Next we wanted to find out which cosmetics and personal care category is seeing the biggest boost from vegan claims – the answer to which is pretty clear cut.

“The colour cosmetics category accounts for the biggest share of vegan beauty and personal care launches.  According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), more than a third of vegan beauty and personal care launches globally between July 2017-June 2018 were colour cosmetics products, followed by skincare,”​ said Michelle. 

“Looking at launches within categories, skincare, hair products and soap and bath products have lead the way in vegan new product development globally over the last five years.”

Is the trend here to stay? 

But looking beyond the spike in popularity that vegan claims are enjoying in the consumer sector right now, we wanted to know whether this trend is here for the long-term or if it is just a fad.

“Ethical consumerism is a rising trend and while vegan brands' focus will always centre on animal welfare and environmental benefits, vegan beauty and personal care brands can appeal to a wider ethical shopper base by addressing deeper concerns about product safety and ingredient transparency.”

With consumers getting wanting to be more informed about the processes that go into products they buy, they also want to be assured that it also involves no harm, to any living creature or the environment. Certainly this broader trend looks set for the long-term.

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