The natural personal care industry has continued to gain momentum over the past year despite the recession, and is expected to maintain a healthy growth rate over the next few years, according to Kline.
Kline reports the global natural personal care market is approaching $300bn at retail level, with the US posting eight percent growth in 2009, up on the overall market growth of four percent.
This has been met with positivity by raw materials suppliers that have seen the opportunity to innovate and develop raw ingredients due to consumer demand and the introduction of sustainable manufacturing processes.
Global environmental awareness is highlighted by Kline as one of the key drivers spurring the growth, as global consumer behavior and attitude has shifted, and consumers become increasingly more aware of their impact on the planet.
Green products have become more widely available and affordable, making it easier for consumers to adopt them as a viable alternative to synthetic counterparts. This has also increased mainstream acceptance of organics, as consumers seek to avoid pesticides and synthetic chemicals.
Another factor making the natural market more attractive to ingredients suppliers is the growing media hype surrounding trend. Kline cites widespread media coverage having reinforced consumers’ awareness of and desire for more sustainable products and practices.
Market shows strong potential
Estee Lauder has realized the potential in the naturals market with a string of acquisitions, as has Colgate-Palmolive and L’Oreal, but while most companies have built a ‘green’ portfolio, work remains to be done to solve certain performance problems, availability and pricing, according to Kline.
These are areas currently being researched and developed as suppliers seek to create multi-functional ingredients that solve multiple challenges: reducing overall cost and amount of ingredients in the product, thus imparting a natural position upon it.