According to November 2020 findings from GlobalData’s ongoing COVID-19 recovery tracker survey, 69% of consumers with children aged between 0-4 years old said ‘natural’ and ‘free-from synthetic’ ingredients claims were now more important to them as a result of the pandemic.
“According to our data, parents and carers seem to truly care about ‘green themes’ in baby/toddler skin care drivers in 2020,” said Ryan Whittaker, consumer analyst at GlobalData.
‘Green’ baby and toddler skin care – natural, organic, vegan and cruelty-free
Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Europe, Whittaker said: “Green themes cover a wide range of issues, from focus on natural and organic ingredients, to plant-based, vegan and cruelty-free products, to sustainability, ethics and waste reduction, as well as clean label, minimal-ingredient products.”
“…The biggest opportunities for the industry in this [baby and toddler skin care] space appears to be around these green themes,” he said.
Consumer concerns about health overall had been “heightened by the pandemic”, he said, with interest in sustainability, halal, vegan and cruelty-free also gaining ground. Veganism, in particular, had been a strong global trend in recent years – associated with sustainability, plant-based, halal and essentially cruelty-free – he said, so vegan baby and toddler skin care products would “attend to the cultural needs of EMEA consumers, as well as reflect the increased desire to build a better world in the wake of the pandemic”.
And across the EMEA region, there had been some “notable examples” of product launches that aligned with these wider ‘green theme’ needs, Whittaker said. Seeds Essentials, for example, had launched a head to toe oil for babies in Nigeria in May, said to be a rich blend of natural oils; Irish Breeze had launched new water wipes in Germany at the start of the year, comprised of just 99% water and a ‘drop of fruit extract’, aligning with minimalist and clean label attributes; and Molfix had launched isotonic water baby wipes launched in Turkey in April, tagged as free from alcohol, soap and dyes and suitable for sensitive skin.
Naturals to continue but ‘nature-identical’ ingredients to evolve fast
Industry would likely continue to increase its use of natural ingredients and fragrances in baby and toddler skin care formulations, Whittaker said, with botanicals and herbs being more widely incorporated, along with functional ingredients like all-natural moisturisers. Active ingredients would also be sought after by consumers as they started reading labels more closely, he said, with ingredients like Vitamin D and multi-biotics (pro, pre and postbiotic blends) set to be especially popular.
For consumers, organic and natural baby and toddler care had clearly gained importance during COVID-19, he said, because of the ‘health halo’ accompanying such products, though this could transition due to environmental reasons. Increased concerns around the environment would instead propel “nature-identical ingredients, which are synthetic but chemically identical to natural ingredients in order to protect the environment”, he said.
“This approach could become important in coming years as we have also seen the pandemic boost attitudes towards conservation and the environment across the global regions and age demographics. We have found that approximately 49% of EMEA consumers with young children are reporting that reducing their environmental footprint is now more important to them than before the pandemic.”
Overcoming 2021 challenges in a post-COVID skin care world
Whittaker said that, like other categories, baby and toddler skin care would face challenges next year.
Economic hardship in the EMEA region, for example, would be felt by many consumers and had to be carefully considered with any future product development or launches. GlobalData’s COVID-19 recovery tracker survey indicated that 19% of EMEA consumers with young children under the age of four were buying fewer skin care products than before the pandemic and 57% of consumers considered themselves on a tight budget.
“Global economic issues mean that many markets are liable to be struck by recessions, meaning that many consumers will have reduced disposable income as underemployment and unemployment increase. There may be a shift towards more private label and value-end items, and it may be harder to convince consumers to trade up,” he said.
For the baby and toddler skin care industry, Whittaker said there could be “room for growth” either in formatting products into bulk or expanding private label offerings, though the latter would be “a little more complex” than in other consumer goods categories.
“No parent is willing to sacrifice quality, and most importantly, safety, in order to save a few pennies. This means that private labels must ensure a premium feel and high-quality formulation, whilst maintaining a lower price if they wish to carve out a strong market share,” he said.