US market for organic hair care and skin care continues to expand

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Despite the fact that the number of consumers purchasing organic food has remained stagnant in the US over the past year, new data reveals that organic cosmetics are gaining ground.

Data from Connecticut-based market research group TABS shows that although the percentage of consumers actually buying organic cosmetic and personal care products remains relatively low, hair care and skin care were the only categories to show consistent gains in 2010.

The researcher highlighted that both skin care and hair care registered consecutive annual gains over the past two years, which contrasted with food categories such as milk, and ice-cream, which both declined during this period.

Percentage of Consumers Purchasing Cosmetics and Toiletries

Three Year Trends

NOV ’08

DEC ’09

JAN ‘11













In contrast to the figures for organic cosmetics and personal care, the highest rates of consumer penetration during last year were recorded for fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, eggs and milk, which recorded figures of 27 percent, 26 percent, 17 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

"We still see many fallacious reports that the number of consumers purchasing organic products is growing; our research does not support that conclusion. The annual incidence of these products has gone from 38.4 percent to 38.0 percent to 38.6 percent from 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively,"​ stated TABS Group president and founder, Dr Kurt Jetta.

Total consumer penetration of organic product remains steady

The combined data for both the food and cosmetic and toiletries categories shows that consumer penetration has not shown any significant increase over the past three years.

This means that over that period of time, the total percentage of US consumers making organic purchases has remained consistent, and remains under 10 percent.

On the retail front, the new figures from TABS show that there has been a distinct shift from independent and smaller retailers, towards mainstream retailers, where volume gains were registered.

Jetta noted that he expects mainstream retailers to continue to expand their offerings of organic products, which is likely to pose an even greater threat to independent retailers in the future.

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