But getting the timing right to take full advantage of a new trend is also crucial for two main reasons: The first is that formulation technology has to be up to speed to tick all the right boxes, while the second crucial element is that consumers also have to be ready for it.
As an example of this, I recently published an article about the waterless trend. It’s been on beauty professionals’ radars for several years now, and with growing consumer interest in sustainability, it would seem like the perfect trend to take advantage of.
New trends need time to fully evolve
I interviewed Belinda Carli, director of the Institute of Personal Care Science, and during the conversation she raised an interesting point that I have heard repeatedly over the years from beauty and personal care professionals.
Carli pointed to the fact that repeatedly new trends have hit the market, but there is often a significant lag between the new trend emerging and consumers actually picking up on it.
Take for example the organic trend. When organic cosmetic and personal care products first started to hit the market about ten years ago, consumer interest in them was limited.
The organic trend got off to a slow start
But back then the product offerings could be clumsy-looking and the formulation technology was not up to speed, which resulted in products that consumers really could not love.
Efficacy still had a long way to go, finding decent preservative solutions was an even bigger problem and a lack of functional ingredients to give the formulation the all-important sensorial attributes meant that a pot of skin cream could be likened to oatmeal.
Fast forward to now, and we have come full circle with organic products. Indeed, many of these products are so sleek they are targeted at the upper end of the market as organic luxury skin care, hair care and color cosmetics launches now crowd the category.
Waterless will get there too
Belinda Carli points out that waterless offerings are currently in a similar position to organic offering ten years ago. Currently there are still a limited number of waterless products on the market, and she also believes that it is still early days for the formulation technology behind the current launches.
Add to the mix that consumers are still getting used to the idea of waterless products, and it becomes clearer that there is still some way to go before waterless products make any significant impact on the market.
But there is little doubt that waterless will still make a significant impact on the market in the future. The technology behind the formulation will get there and consumers will grow to love the products, especially when they are reminded that this is a small but significant step towards protecting the environment.