Mintel Names 'Down to Earth' As Key 2011 Beauty Trend

Mintel Beauty Innovation has named "down to earth" as the key trend that will shape the cosmetics and personal care industry in 2011. This trend will encompass plant-based ingredients, free-from formulas, sustainable formulating and many other elements related to organic and natural personal care products.

Emerging from innovation over 2010 and closely linked with sustainability, the "down to earth" trend addresses the practicalities of making and marketing green personal care. Factors include managing price pressure, due to varying supply and demand of natural and organic raw materials, and learning to master the challenges of green chemistry—such as the use of sustainable surfactants, "green" solvents and alternatives to parabens. Free-from formulas—a key trend in 2010—continue to evolve in an effort to avoid petrochemically derived ingredients.

In 2010, 13% of new skin care, hair care and cosmetics made the paraben-free claim (up 5% from 2008). Also in 2010, almost 9% of new skin care, hair care and cosmetics made the organic claim (twice as many as in 2007); the all-natural claim was found in fewer than 3% of launches in 2010.

“Paraben-free claims actually outpaced organic and all-natural claims in new skin care, hair care and cosmetics launches in 2010*, backing up Mintel’s "nu natural" trend that predicted that brands would emphasize results and free-from claims over certification," said Nica Lewis, head consultant, Mintel Beauty Innovation, in a press statement. "2011 will see beauty companies placing increased importance on the environment, focusing on sustainable sourcing with attention to maintaining biodiversity. A renewed emphasis on repackaging to minimize waste will also be a factor.”

While skin care launches* dipped slightly in Europe and the US in 2010, China saw dynamic growth with a 40% jump in new skin care products.

Around the world, anti-aging claims are still vital, with more than one in four launches making this claim, up 5% over 2009. New skin care products with environmentally friendly packaging were also up 5% on the previous year showing manufacturers’ commitment to recycling and eco-friendly materials—a trend Mintel expects to have real impact in 2011.

“2010 was a year for rebuilding with new skin care product launch activity almost matching pre-recessionary levels," said Vivienne Rudd, senior beauty analyst, Mintel, in a press statement. "The past year saw M&A activity resumed too as credit markets eased, with consolidation amongst ingredient suppliers and Unilever, Shiseido, L’Oréal, Estée Lauder and Coty all inking deals. This development will influence brands in the year ahead from a marketing perspective linked to the 'down to earth' trend too. Simplifying text and stripping back to tell straightforward, direct stories of plant-based ingredients will be key, and [brand owners] who treat consumers as educated shoppers instead of novices stand to benefit.”

*Q1/2 2010, in US, UK, France, China and Japan, markets where GNPD tracks new beauty from budget to super luxe price points.

For more more information about business and market trends, visit our sister publication's, Global Cosmetic Industry (GCI) magazine's, website.

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