From The Editor's Desk

As opportunities in naturals explode, so do the responsibilities

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

As opportunities in naturals explode, so do the responsibilities
The naturals trend continues to go from strength to strength, but as the category continues to evolve, the rise in consumer demand is also giving way to added responsibilities.

Natural- and organic-based cosmetic and personal care formulations are more popular than ever before, evinced by the huge number of new ingredients and finished products launches bearing such claims and now showing up in markets all over the world.

Evidence of the shear might of this once niche category was highlighted earlier this year, when a new report, titled Organic Beauty & Wellbeing Market 2019, showed that sales of natural and organic beauty products in the UK, one of the fastest-paced naturals market in the world, grew by 14% in 2018 to reach £86.5 million.

On the back of this report, the UK-based Soil Association, which certifies around 70% of organic and natural products in the country, released its latest findings, which stated that the main driving force for the huge growth in the beauty market is being driven by ‘conscious consumerism’.

The rise of the conscious consumer

This means that UK consumers are actively seeking natural and organic beauty products that are both ethical and sustainable, a trend that is being mirrored in major beauty markets all over the world, especially in other parts of Western Europe and North America.

The emergence of the conscious consumer is something relatively new and as both beauty brands and their suppliers rise to the challenge, meeting the demands means these businesses are having to go to the extra mile to make the grade.

Ten or fifteen years ago, defining what a truly natural products entailed was ill-defined, with many finished products jumping on the bandwagon and marketing products as natural, when a quick glance at the ingredients label revealed quite a different story.

Fast forward to 2019, and thanks to both a plethora of certification programs and an increasingly knowledgeable consumer, products trying to masquerade as natural when they are not are clearly not, are unlikely to stand up to the test of time.

The bar continues to be raised for natural products

But the bar has continued to be raised as the naturals category has evolved, and now that the authenticity of natural product’s formulation is easier to determine, being a legitimate natural product in its own right is simply is not enough.

Consumers of natural and organic cosmetic and personal care products have always been among the most environmentally conscious and ethical. Now, in their quest to find the best products for them and their families issues ethical and environmental issues have become so paramount that it can literally be make or break in the decision to buy a product or not.

Consumers pressure has been communicated to brand owners, who in turn have passed these demands on to their suppliers, particularly in the formulation and ingredients area.

Watch natural ingredient claims at in-cosmetics Global

As the countdown begins to in-cosmetics Global, which is undoubtedly the biggest international event for cosmetics and personal care formulation, we are already seeing that some of the biggest players are lining up new ingredient launches that highlight issues such as sustainability, environmentally-friendly, fair trade, greater transparency and veganism.

These trends have very much been driven by younger consumers, specifically millennials and Z-Generation beauty buyers, who have made it clear to beauty brands that they will give priority to products that clearly uphold these values.

This is why new ingredient launches with all of these claims will abound at in-cosmetics Global in Paris this year. These launches will have been designed to help formulators meet the demands from brand owners that will serve the conscious consumer.

The event’s educational program contains a plethora of dedicated sessions that will highlight how ingredients players are helping to meet these requirements, but perhaps the most obvious place to see all of these trends demonstrated will be the dedicated Sustainability Corner.

This interactive educational space will showcase all of the industry’s most recent progress in environmental and social sustainability, which will be highlighted by display pods demonstrating both ingredients and raw materials upholding higher ethical and sustainability standards.

If you are attending in-cosmetics Global, take a look at this area of the show floor and give some careful consideration to the claims ingredients companies are making. That is where you will find all the clues to the future of the naturals category and, ultimately, our industry as a whole.

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