Consumers go green in buying personal care items

Personal care product manufacturers now will have to go green. While consumers are seeking more natural ingredients in their products, they are also getting conscious about environmental and ethical issues related to manufacturing and packaging, finds a study by Euromonitor.

Consumers seek products entirely made of natural ingredients more in products, including hair care, hair loss treatment, skincare and acne treatment, finds Euromonitor’s Beauty Survey 2017.

While over 40 per cent of the consumers want all natural ingredients in their hair loss treatment products, only 20 per cent prefer clinical formulations. For skincare products too, more than 35 per cent want natural ingredients and those who go for clinical formulations are a little over 10 per cent.

“Consumers’ desire for healthier beauty products has made them seek greener and trusted sources,” finds the survey done in 20 countries, including India.

In recent years, hair care growth has been driven by preference for more naturally-derived ingredients across age groups. This trend has been more pronounced in the older consumers above 30 years. They also want plant-based ingredients in their products.

In Indian FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) market, we have been seeing herbal products increasingly gaining market share. Colgate has been losing its market share to herbal brands like Patanjali and Dabur in oral care. In order to arrest the depletion of market share, both Colgate and HUL have launched herbal variants in the category.

HUL had recently admitted that increasing health consciousness and awareness about the benefits of Ayurveda have driven demand for herbal products in personal care space. In order to get more “natural”, HUL bought Indulekha, an herbal hair oil brand, and is extending it to new geographies. The company also expanded the range of Ayurvedic personal care products under the ‘Lever Ayush’ brand. The new products come under skincare, hair care, oralcare and personal wash categories. It also launched Ayurvedic offerings under Fair & Lovely brand.

The Euromonitor survey also finds that the younger group of consumers (under 30s) are champions of environmental and ethical causes. They look for products that are not tested on animals, which are water efficient and are sustainably sourced. They also give importance to recyclable packaging and refillable bottles.

“Consumers, enabled by technological and social developments, have begun to pay more attention not just to the efficacy and health aspects of ingredients in their products, but also to their origin, processing and environmental footprint,” finds the survey

Euromonitor finds that a range of recent innovations in the category are tapping into emerging environmental trends, from water efficiency to zero-waste pro­cesses to appeal to the growing conscious consumerism of younger generation

“In India, the competition is getting intense and companies selling holistic products, especially organic, herbal and natural, have a story. Many are very small now, but we will see some of them growing and many more coming up,” said Harish Bijoor, brand expert and CEO of Harish Bijoor Consults.

Sangeetha G.