Eco-friendly Ingredients to Lead the Industry's Recovery

According to a recent report by Kline and Company, the European personal care ingredients market has experienced continued growth in recent years despite the slow economy. The report, titled Global Personal Care Ingredients 2010: Market Analysis and Opportunities, found the personal care category to outperform other specialty chemical sectors.

As suspected by many in the industry, the report illustrated that even in an unstable economy, people still want to look and feel good with personal care products. Fueled by a relatively stable consumption of cosmetics and personal care products during this crisis, the industry's recovery is anticipated to occur quickly, as indicated by a sharp rebound in sales in the first half of 2010. This rebound is anticipated to increase at an annual growth rate of 2.6% until 2014. The report adds that while traditional ingredients will take advantage of this upturn, the largest growth expected is in the eco-friendly or green product area.

Specialty surfactants, conditioning polymers and emollients are expected to lead the market, representing 23%, 18% and 16%, respectively, of a total US $1.74 billion. Further, the use of UV absorbers has extended to an increasing number of skin care products, which now rank among the most rapidly growing markets. In addition, the report notes that most personal care ingredient segments are dominated by a few large companies, which is particularly evident in the case of hair fixative polymers where the top three competitors hold 87% of the total market volume. In contrast, in segments such as skin and hair care, the supplier base is more fragmented as the ingredients are widely varied.

The personal care ingredient supplier basis is continuously concentrating and key suppliers position themselves as being present in most market segments to represent a one-stop-shop for cosmetics and personal care formulators. According to industry manager Anna Ibbotson of Kline, in the report, the return of innovation is a key buying factor for formulators and will create an opportunity for suppliers to develop more added values and take market shares from established products.

In recent times of economic crisis, personal care ingredient events have displayed more reinventing, relaunching and rebranding than new launches and technology, but this report suggests that innovation is about to pick up. If personal care innovation is on the upswing, the industry can anticipate some exciting raw materials and formulations in its future.

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