Conditioning Polymers, Surfactants Lead US Personal Care Ingredient Growth

Conditioning polymers lead the way in the US personal care ingredients market, which is forecasted by Kline & Company to grow at an annual rate of 2.2% through 2014. According to a press announcement, the firm's study, Global Personal Care Ingredients 2010: Market Analysis and Opportunities, found that the demand for personal care ingredients in the United States is driven by the stable consumption of personal care products and increased consumer awareness for skin protection products such as antiaging and sun care.

In addition, the report estimated the US personal care ingredient market reached approximately 355 million lb in 2009—the second largest market behind Europe. The US personal care ingredients market has grown 3% since 2005 and is expected to grow by 2.2% through 2014, just slightly behind Europe's forecasted growth of 2.6% through 2014. 

Conditioning polymers led the way followed by surfactants, constituting a market share of approximately 32% and 23% by volume, respectively. Alkyl polyglucosides exceeded the growth of traditional surfactants by over 2% in 2009. In addition, spurred by growing consumer awareness, the natural personal care finished product market persevered through the recession, registering a healthy 8% sales gain in 2009 in the United States. Natural ingredients were said to benefit from this demand for natural products, capturing a small but increasing growth in their sector.

Hair fixative polymers and conditioning polymers were the most consolidated categories, with the top three players constituting more than 75% of the overall market. The top 10 companies in the US personal care ingredient market accounted for approximately 65% of the total market across all categories covered by the report. The overall market share was split among the leading five companies, accounting for about 43% of the market. Due to various levels of consolidation, this figure may soon change.

Finally, the report noted that in June 2010, BASF announced plans of acquiring Cognis, which would enable BASF to become the leading company in the personal care market globally. Other recent merger and acquisition activity in the personal care industry includes Dow's acquisition of Rohm and Haas, BASF's acquisition of Ciba, Rhodia's acquisition of McIntyre, and Galaxy Surfactants' acquisition of Tri-K Industries.

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