Activism: Does the Consumer Drive Actives Development?
Activism: Does the Consumer Drive Actives Development?
Sales are activated by consumer desires
Active ingredients in personal care formulations also activate sales. Consumers desire to see visible results and have raised expectations for genuine efficacy of personal care products, making functionality an increasingly imperative factor.
This holds particularly true for the resiliently growing anti-aging skin care segment. Savvy personal care formulators understand this and are marketing their products by emphasizing their active ingredients to informed consumers.
Adapting to prevalent economic conditions, consumers have gained confidence in their spending patterns and are investing in themselves; consequently, the personal care market has rebounded with an uptick in sales. According to Kline‘s preliminary data, 2011 saw the U.S. cosmetics and toiletries market grow by a rigorous 3.5%, a solid improvement over the previous year's 2.4% and maintaining the recovery from 2009‘s aberrant decline.
Consumers are still seeking value but they are prepared to pay more for products that offer specific benefits and visible results. This has allowed formulators to diversify and offer products with validated activity claims at a more premium cost, consequently active suppliers are targeting specific consumer issues, such as anti-aging, anti-acne, slimming, or sun protection.
Consumer Trending The last decade has seen the emergence of the more aware consumer. “Label reading” is no longer the exception and, coupled with easy access to information, consumers are making more educated choices. Clever marketing can certainly draw consumer’s attention, but ultimately a product has to deliver.
Some personal care ingredients have become undesirable, such as silicones or parabens. Conversely, positively endorsed ingredients are well perceived by consumers and marketers avail themselves of this fact by emphasising these ingredients in their product communications. Vitamins, collagen, and co-enzyme Q10 have long been the most obvious examples, while currently the inclusion of hyaluronic acid is deemed an asset most in demand within cosmetic products. The commonality of these positively-perceived constituents is that they are nearly always active ingredients.
Actives Sales in Europe and the United States by Functionality, 2010
"Luxury" Actives With a growing number of personal care products stressing the inclusion of active ingredients in their formulations, consumers are learning to differentiate between various actives and in turn seek higher-end solutions. Until recently, higher-end actives were predominantly exclusive to luxury channel products but are now appearing in more affordable product formulations as well.
Concentration and type of specialty actives used may differ in luxury and sub-premium products, but even this bodes well for specialty active manufacturers. This has encouraged specialty active suppliers to think beyond the claimed performance of their active ingredients and focus on the price/ efficacy ratio of their products. The premium pricing lost is compensated by greater demand and greater volumes.
Aactives and their proven market cachet are bow used in products as diverse as hair-care, male grooming products, slimming and sun-protection.
Hair Care Hair care actives - predominantly proteins and their hydrolyzates - follow with sales accounting for 15.7% of the total US and 9.1% of European market - second-most requested product class by consumers according to Kline’s Consumer Insights of Personal Care Innovation report, enhancing this product class with specialty actives has been a shrewd and well received undertaking.
Hair carebenefits from several important purchase drivers: necessity, aesthetics, and hygiene are three powerful drivers, whereas most product classes tend to draw on one only.
Active Male Grooming A new largely underdeveloped segment – male grooming products - has become the focus for several personal care marketers and this segment is growing faster than the industry average in these regions. Cleansers and moisturizers are the biggest movers with anti-aging products is growing.
Naturals - Green for growth The green trend, the growing consumer awareness of health, environmental and sustainability concerns, has been driving the active ingredients market for over a decade.. The market for natural personal care products is a real force and has posted double digit growth since 2006. Specialty actives suppliers have accommodated this growth by developing natural-sourced actives, and eco-certifying some of their products for the needs of fully natural brands.
This has also resulted in the rapid growth of the botanical actives segment with an estimated CAGR of 4% expected in the United States by 2015, and 5% in Europe during the same period. Plant-based ingredients within a formulation used to be persuasive enough to entice personal care consumers, however a product’s function and efficacy are essentially regarded as at least as important as the active ingredient source. Natural-sourced biotechnology products are also benefitting from the naturals growth.
The consumer is active. The consumer has set standards: products are to be as natural and effective as possible. Canny marketers and formulators are listening, responding, and innovating, and Kline’s research finds that their efforts are being rewarded.
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