Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural and organic lipstick, lotion and other personal care products still considered affordable luxuries

By Carlotta Mast, editor of Nutrition Business Journal

Their wallets may be feeling a bit lighter these days, but U.S. consumers continue to treat themselves to little luxuries—including natural and organic lipsticks, lotions, eye serums and other personal care goodies. This was the finding from Nutrition Business Journal’s 2009 natural and organic personal care issue, which published this month.

According to NBJ’s latest market estimates, U.S. sales of natural and organic personal care products—which NBJ classifies as including everything from cosmetics and hair-care items to deodorants and shaving supplies—jumped 8.4 percent to $7.9 billion in 2008. Granted, growth for this category did slow last year compared with 2007, when natural and organic personal care sales shot up 16.8 percent to $7.3 billion. But NBJ attributes some of this slowdown to simple category maturation.

While it’s nice to know how revenue fared in 2008, what most of us really want to understand is how sales are going right now. NBJ’s survey of leading natural and organic personal care companies found that most firms are seeing and sales growth so far in 2009. “January of this year was our best month so far,” BeeCeuticals co-founder Richie Gerber tells NBJ. Still, companies are bracing for what could be a much tougher year than this category has ever seen. As John Carroll, executive vice president of The Hain Celestial Group and president and CEO of Hain Celestial-U.S., told NBJ, “If the economy worsens, consumers may have to trade down on these ‘down the drain’ products and perhaps move away from natural and organic altogether.”

But rather than hunker down and just hope for the best, Hain Celestial—which owns Alba, Avalon Organics, JASONand other leading natural and organic personal care brands—is moving forward in 2009 with new product introductions and stronger marketing for its brands, Carroll says. “You will see a very strong slate of innovation at [Natural Products] Expo West in every one of our personal care brands.”

Hain Celestial’s new products give NBJ one more reason to look forward to visiting the natural and organic personal care booths at this year’s Natural Products Expo West.

Nutrition Business Journal’s Natural & Organic Personal Care issue provides an in-depth look at the U.S. N&OPC and household product market. Along with detailing NBJ’s 2008 N&OPC sales estimates by category and channel, this issue includes an overview and analysis of the most significant mergers, acquisitions and investments in the N&OPC sector in 2008; discussion of the efforts by the Natural Products Association and others to create standards for natural and organic personal care products; an overview of the green-cleaning market in the wake of the 2008 launch of Clorox’s Green Works brand; profiles of Yes to Carrots, BeeCeuticals and Nestle’s Glowelle “beauty from within” drink; and much more. To order a copy of the issue, subscribe to NBJ or download a free sample issue of the journal, go to

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