In the market research company’s recent report, ‘Are American’s willing to pay more green to get more green’, it was predicted that rapid growth would continue in this sector as the economy recovers.
As one of the most mature markets for green products, personal care product sales increased 18 per cent between 2006-2008.
Although this fell to 1.2 per cent for 2009, the segment recorded positive growth in a time where other market segments experienced declines, according to Mintel.
Room for growth in natural and organic market
For the purpose of the report, green products were defined as goods that minimize environmental impact in one or a number of ways including the use of recycled materials and less-energy intensive manufacturing processes.
Consumers who used natural and organic personal care products at least once a week continued to do so during the recession, with over half increasing their product use during 2008, the report revealed.
However, one-third of all consumers had not tried natural and organic personal care products, indicating large growth potential. Additionally, Mintel claimed that as younger consumers continue to dominate market spending, the longer-term prospects for this sector are ‘very good’.
Growth driven by niche products
According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), products boasting an organic or natural claim accounted for nearly 10 per cent of all beauty and personal care product launches through 2008 and 2009, compared to 5 per cent in 2006.
In 2008, niche brands were a key growth driver in the natural and organic personal care market, noted Mintel, with retailers such as Ulta and CVS Beauty 360 providing an opportunity for such brands to find shelf-space.
According to Mintel Senior Analyst Chris Haack, this trend, seen through the launch of brands such as Ec-Ooh-Chic, is expected to continue.
“We expect to see a growing trend toward upscale green personal care products targeted to spas, salons and other high-end retail outlets in the coming years,” said Haack.
Natural and Organic standards still confusing
Mintel’s report also revealed that despite several natural and organic standards against which personal care products can be certified, consumer uncertainty prevails, with 37 per cent claiming to be confused or skeptical about such product claims.
According to Mintel, the lack of consistent standards ‘can only undermine the appeal of the segment as a whole’. If a clear definition of ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ existed for personal care, the market research company argues, this would help to ensure the long term future of the industry.