Natural Foods Merchandiser

Personal care puts best face forward at Expo East

If Natural Products Expo East is any indicator, natural personal care is making a strong comeback.

If Natural Products Expo East is any indicator, natural personal care is making a strong comeback. “With health and beauty aids, the pavilion has grown, meaning you’ll see many new exhibitors,” says Erica Stone, Expo East show manager. Stone notes that consumers had trimmed down on luxury personal care products and spa services. But now, shoppers are turning to natural and organic personal care brands available at natural products retailers as an extension of the trend of choosing good food as a health-care strategy of sorts during uncertain economic times. Natural health has become a lifestyle that includes virtually everything consumers put in and on their bodies. “Consumers are choosing natural and organic across the board and in doing so, new entrepreneurial brands, products and categories will be on display at the show,” Stone says. Top trends to look for include oral care, aromatherapy, minerals, body washes and third-party natural and organic certifications. Prepare for Expo East by checking out the following stories on these trends.

Oral personal care. 2009 was a flat year for personal care, but the oral-health category showed promise, with 1.4 percent growth in the natural channel, according to Schaumburg, Ill.-based market research firm SPINS. For the lowdown on top-selling ingredients for dental care, check out the personal care section of NFM’s 2010 Market Overview.

Aromatherapy. Consumers are catching on that essential oils offer more than a pretty smell; they can provide valuable healing benefits. “The quality of essential oils has improved significantly,” says Mindy Green, a Minneapolis-based herbalist, aesthetician and coauthor of Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art (Crossing Press, 2009). “It’s not difficult for consumers to get the dual physical and emotional benefits.” Sales of natural aromatherapy and body oils grew 10 percent in the combined natural and conventional channels from April 2009 to April 2010, according to SPINS. For information on the top three essential oils for personal care, read “Aromatherapy for beauty.”

Minerals. In 2009, 253 skin-care products debuted with claims that they were fortified with vitamins and/or minerals, according to Chicago-based market research firm Mintel. Between 2000 and 2009, a total of 1,125 skin-care products were launched with that claim. Mineral makeup, which incorporates zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, has been popular since the early 1990s. But adding minerals to shampoos, creams, masks and other personal care products constitutes a new spin on the idea. Check out NFM’s primer of top minerals and how they can make skin and hair glow in “Personal care products mine the mineral trend.”

Body washes. For the first time ever, body washes outsold bar soaps in 2009 in food, drug and mass outlets tracked, according to Information Resources Inc. data reported in Advertising Age magazine. Look for liquid lathers to make a splash at Expo East. And to brush up on your personal care knowledge, including market data, educational videos and product picks, see NFM’s Personal Care Guide.

Certifications. In 2009, U.S. consumers bought $7.8 billion worth of personal care products that claimed to be either natural or organic, according to Nutrition Business Journal. But which products qualify as natural and organic? And who says so? “Our company expects third-party standards to become the norm for natural and organic food retailers,” says Amarjit Sahota, director of the U.K.-based research company Organic Monitor. “It will become very rare to find noncertified personal care products in these retailers in a few years.” For a look at the latest industry attempts to define the terms, read “Personal care takes on organic and natural.”

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.