Consumer interest in waterless, solid driven by environmental, packing, money concerns, says Mintel

By Ravyn Cullor contact

- Last updated on GMT

According to Mintel, 71% of consumers are interested in personal care products which would help them use less water. © Getty Images -  Images By Tang Ming Tung
According to Mintel, 71% of consumers are interested in personal care products which would help them use less water. © Getty Images - Images By Tang Ming Tung

Related tags: Consumer, consumer insight, Mintel, waterless, solid beauty, eco-conscious, water reduction

Water scarcity and desire for products with eco-ethical claims are driving forces behind consumer interest in waterless formulas.

According to Global Senior Analyst in Beauty and Personal Care at Mintel Anna Keller, 20% of adults in the US list sustainability as one of the top three important areas for a company to support. Additionally, 71% of consumers said they’re interested in soap, bath and shower products which would help save water.

Keller said consumer efforts to reduce their water usage, driven by global issues with water scarcity and social movements around the climate crisis, have pushed consumers to consider and decrease their own environmental impacts.

“This sentiment has grown, and in 2019, 30% of adult consumers said that they were trying to use less water when showering and/or bathing, and in 2020, 52% said that they are trying to take shorter showers to help conserve water,” ​Keller said.

For the eco-ethically interested consumer, Keller also said waterless allows brands to use more sustainable packaging options. Solid personal care products like bar soaps require far less packaging than their liquid counterpart and are good candidates for biodegradable packaging options.

Keller said some brands, like Plus​, have even implemented water soluble packaging which consumers can simply dissolve in the shower, effectively eliminating packaging waste for their product.

There can also be perception among consumers that they are paying too much for the water in liquid formulas, and waterless or low-water formulations can appeal to those economically conscious shoppers.

Some companies have developed paste concentrations which lather when activated by water, and tablet or powder-to-liquid concentrates help reduce waste, minimize shipping costs and promote healthier environmental impacts, Keller said.

However, some consumers may be suspicious of the formulation tricks to remove water from a liquid formulation, like mixing aloe vera powder with water so it doesn’t appear on an INCI list.

“Only the most educated of skincare shoppers may be aware of this, though, and ingredient transparency is key to helping to properly inform and build trust with wary shoppers,”​ Keller said.

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