In a recent report; ‘Activism: Does the Consumer Drive Actives Development?’ Kline says this desire is reportedly fueled by the engaged and informed consumer with high expectations that is prepared to pay more for products that offer specific benefits and visible results.
“Savvy personal care formulators understand this and are marketing their products by emphasizing their active ingredients to informed consumers,” says the report’s author Nikola Matic.
In turn, Matic says this has allowed formulators to diversify and offer products with validated activity claims at a more premium cost. “Consequently active suppliers are targeting specific issues, such as anti-ageing, anti-acne, slimming, or sun protection.”
However, the market researcher stresses that while clever marketing can draw the consumer’s attention, “ultimately a product has to deliver.”
According to the company, as a result of the 'more aware consumer' personal care product marketers have two potent engines to drive innovation and reinvigorate growth in specialty actives and naturals in maturing markets such as Western Europe.
Costly specialty actives are also reported to be appearing in more affordable product formulations where until recently, higher-end actives were predominantly exclusive to luxury channel products due to the differentiating consumer.
In addition to skin care, the research revealed specialty actives also being used in hair care, male grooming products, slimming formulations and sun protection, prompting specialty actives suppliers to develop dedicated product ranges.
“Hair care actives, predominantly proteins and their hydrolyzates, follow skin care actives with sales accounting for 9.1 per cent of the total of European market,” says Matic.
Growth potential for botanicals
While consumers are looking for efficiency and quality in a product, those interested in only natural products will find more products available to them as formulators are increasingly seeking to use botanicals as substantiated functional ingredients, according to the report.
"Rapid growth of the botanical actives segment with an estimated CAGR of 5 per cent expected in Europe by 2015 is another."
Although consumer knowledge has opened doors to innovative formulating, the Kline report stresses that it has also endangered the use of commonly used ingredients.
Silicones or parabens for example which have been the subject of media hype are said to have become undesirable while ingredients positively reported on including vitamins, collagen, co-enzyme Q10 and hyaluronic acid are increasing in popularity.