The convenience factor
Swipe, wipe, roll, travel and pack. All of the usability found in the mainstream market is entering the natural space to appeal to a range of convenience-focused consumers. That, plus a focus on natural and effective ingredients, makes these alternatives increasingly appealing. Such products range from on-the-go deodorant wipes to single-pack nail polish removers, roll-over wrinkle busters to delicious collagen-boosting chews. The emergence of this trend supports the desire for innovation not just in formulations but also delivery systems that makes natural easily integrated into a fast-paced lifestyle.
Down with triclosan
Triclosan has been a major red-flag ingredient for safe personal care advocates—and recent media attention and negative studies have raised awareness among even mainstream consumers. While the Food and Drug Administration still hasn’t taken action against this potent antimicrobial, brands have. Recent mainstream reformulations have focused on removing triclosan, and the uptick in negative research even over the past year should encourage the continuation of that trend.
Big picture: This ingredient could be one that helps move the needle when it comes to safety of even conventional cosmetics.
While a smattering of well-branded natural personal care brands have addressed the needs of the male shopper, the vast majority of companies have focused on women looking to slow the hands of time and young moms considering the importance of putting pure products on their children’s bodies.
However, new market research by New Hope Natural Media has shown that experimental, health-conscious young men are should be a target consumer segment for natural and organic personal care products. Focused on cutting-edge trends and living a healthier lifestyle to age well, these shoppers are encouraging outside-the-box branding and nontoxic formulations in the male personal care space.
Products that feature edible ingredients are no strangers to the natural beauty space. But today there are more SKUs to choose from than ever, as food-inspired beauty products expand beyond basic food ingredients like strawberries, cocoa, carrots, grapes and oats to more closely mirror what’s happening in the natural and organic food sector. This includes a focus on special diets (gluten free, paleo and raw), fresh (small batch, refrigerated) and superfood ingredients such as açaí, coconut, ancient grains, hemp and chia.
Scientific advancements and clinical research are raising the bar for brands striving to compete with conventional powerhouses. And more and more companies are recognizing the importance of this focus.
According to Mintel, more than half of manufacturers acknowledge that science-backed bioactive claims are “very important” to product development. Companies focused on results-oriented products realize that research-backed ingredients are key. The latest trend is brands conducting studies on finished products to provide you and your customers with the greatest proof of efficacy.
The millennial shopper has been the object of many a brand’s and marketer’s attention, but companies spotted at 2014’s Natural Products Expos were identifying an opportunity to fill a gap and educate even younger consumers about making healthier choices. Such brands are empowering young males and females to make smarter decisions about the products they put on their bodies at a critical time in their lives—when brand loyalty is developed and when they first start using skin care. Can you say, customer for life?
Ingredient spotlight: moringa
Global inspiration isn’t going anywhere in the natural beauty space; in fact, tapping ancient natural remedies remains a cornerstone of natural beauty’s success, highlighting the industry’s ability to capture (and bottle) natural remedies that are time-tested (and, increasingly backed by science, too). So it’s always refreshing to see new/old emerging ingredients enter the space.
Made from the pure oil of the moringa plant--native to Africa and Asia—this ingredient's nutrient profile includes vitamins A, C and E, plus loads of fatty acids. Expect to see many more “what’s-old-is-new-again” ingredients leaving their mark on the industry in ’15.