Natural Foods Merchandiser

In search of recession-proof personal care at Expo? Look to anti-aging products.

Which way to go: High-end cosmetics? Or back-to-basics personal hygiene products? With a waning economy, that could be a big question at Natural Products Expo West this year. In the past, Expo has been the stage for relentless growth of the natural and organic personal care category, but as shoppers become more cautious about their spending decisions, buyers will be faced with tough decisions about which new products to carry. One trend that might prove recession-proof is anti-aging products, according to market research company Mintel.

“Looking young is extremely important to many women, especially baby boomers, and it’s not an issue they’re willing to compromise on because of tightened budgets,” says Kat Fay, senior beauty and personal care product analyst at Mintel. “Many women see anti-aging skin care as a reasonably priced investment in their appearance and well-being.”

Recession aside, if you’re looking to amp up your store’s personal care section, I’ll be hosting a seminar about merchandising personal care at 2:45 p.m., Friday, March 6, in room 207A. Jon Fiume, of Ritzman Pharmacies based in Wadsworth, Ohio, and Cheryl Hughes, owner of The Whole Wheatery in Lancaster, Calif., will break down the strategies of some of the nation’s biggest personal care retailers, and apply their tactics to naturals stores.

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