The study found that ingredient fears are dictating the choices consumers make regarding where to shop, what to buy, and what to avoid. Daymon, a marketing and retail services company specializing in private label brands, surveyed 500 women and 500 men from across the US to uncover how shoppers’ concerns about personal care (and food) ingredients are changing purchasing behavior.
What’s the worry?
Ingredients that, with prolonged use, have the potential to cause health issues seem to be the most worrisome to personal care shoppers. “Consumers are most concerned about ingredients that might cause cancer, such as pesticides, fertilizers and unnecessary additives and preservatives,” says Janet Oak, head of global advisory & custom shopper insights at Daymon Worldwide.
And the survey results suggest that products reformulated without certain components could sell well in the current cultural environment. “The ingredients considered most negative by consumers are actually in many of the personal care products currently on the market,” says Oak.
Time for a remix?
She points out that conventional cosmetic and personal care formulations can include the very ingredients that have shoppers most worried. “Lead is present in a variety of cosmetics like eyeliners, mascara and lipstick. Pesticides may be in lip gloss, fragrances, soaps, shampoos and really any product with plant-derived ingredients.”
This last insight implies that organic formulations may be a smart way forward for brands looking for a compelling, health-forward way to differentiate themselves from the competition. In a media release announcing the study results, Daymon cautions brand: ‘Don’t be careless with personal care products.”
Are drug stores lacking?
Study participants are reportedly more inclined to shop for personal care items at venues where they buy food. This suggests that the correlation between what goes in the body and what goes on the body is getting stronger. Consumers keen to eat healthfully are looking for beauty products that support their lifestyle of wellness.
“To avoid risk, consumers are much more likely to visit a grocery retailer or a farmer’s market than a mass merchandiser, and are even more willing to make things from scratch,” explains Oak.
Brands catering to DIY beauty lovers with customizable pallets and mix-and-match personal care routines are looking to meet the needs of these shoppers. “This means drug stores are going to have to change perceptions by increasing product communication, educating associates and generally making health and wellness a top priority,” notes Oak.
The drug store chain CVS is already adapting. This summer the retailer will refresh its beauty department in response to shifting consumer behavior.
Consumers do not necessarily trust giant name brands when it comes to ingredient safety, according to this study. 22% of respondents believe that national brands are healthier than private brands.
“This presents significant business potential for retailers ready to invest in their Private Brands to surprise and delight their consumers by delivering high quality, cleaner Private Brand offerings that also provide savings,” observes Oak.
Carefully sourced ingredients and strategic marketing initiatives can help private label beauty and personal care brands take full advantage of the situation. “By making health and wellness an affordable choice for concerned consumers, savvy retailers and suppliers will establish trust that’s well worth the investment,” she adds.