With Argan oil a key ingredient in many products in the continually growing natural cosmetics segment, Morocco’s economy is enjoying a boost from strong sales of the raw ingredient.
Sometimes dubbed ‘liquid gold’ for its medicinal and beauty properties, Argan (or Moroccan) oil is used to boost the appearance of hair and skin.
The Moroccan government has stated it is readying the country to tap into the continuing rise of the ingredient’s popularity, with plans reportedly afoot to more than double the country’s oil production.
“As far as the product is concerned, we have to go from 4,000 tons today, to 10,000 tons,” a government spokesman has said.
A greasy rise
Due to its strong anti-oxidant properties, numerous studies have shown that Argan oil can be used effectively as an anti-wrinkle treatment and in the fight against acne.
It’s not just applied to skin care products though; the explosion of hair oil products has fuelled the Argan oil boom, and the trend is now also contributing to the rise of a small but rising segment: scalp care.
Indeed, dollar share for the scalp care segment is growing, said market researchers at Kline in a recent blog, with the segment now on the up following recent consumer enthusiasm for hair oils.
“The chain and independent salon segments saw the share of scalp care conditioner dollars grow by 13.8% and 50.1%, respectively,” observe the firm’s analysts.
They highlight Moroccan oil’s ‘Oil Treatment’ as a continuing market leader, and also notes that brands like Mtrix, Pureology and 'It’s a 10' are faring well in the US.
The increasing popularity of oil-based cosmetics is also driving innovation in packaging, by creating demand for packaging that is able to hold and dispense the thick formulations in a more efficient and sustainable way.
According to packaging manufacturer Global One-Pak director Clive Broadbent; “The popularity of oils such as Macadamia in cosmetic and personal care products has led to a surge in demand for packs that can withstand these high viscosity formulations."
The Morroccan government says it’s keen to grow one of its ‘most valuable commodities’: “We have to regenerate 200,000 hectares of argan forest, and also create an new chain of modern argan farms,” a spokesperson stated of the task ahead.