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Consumer Research


Organic toiletries on the up

Organic toiletries on the up

There have been around 200 new organic and all natural beauty products launched in the UK so far this year according to latest research from Mintel.

This is a huge 170 per cent increase on the 73 products launched during the whole of 2006, and we are not yet half way through the year.

What is more, the UK has seen the largest increase in new organic and all natural beauty product launches of any European country.

Head Consultant of Cosmetic Research, Mintel, Nica Lewis, said,"In line with the growing interest in organic food and drink, demand for all natural or organic toiletries is really taking off, as people become increasingly concerned about what they put 'on' their bodies, as well as 'in' their bodies.”

Although, the UK has a strong history in natural and organic beauty products, with the UK company, Neal's Yard, one of the first companies to offer organic beauty products, now in its 25th year, it is only recently that we have seen a real explosion of interest.

Indeed, in the last few months, Stella McCartney has launched her new 'care' skincare range, successfully pitching her organic products at a luxury level.

What is more, as we have seen in food, Fairtrade is becoming more important in the world of beauty and it is again UK brands, such as Organic Apoteke, that are leading the way here, by creating organic ranges with ethically sourced and Fairtrade ingredients.

In 2006, just over 1600 (1604) new organic and all natural beauty products were launched worldwide, with the UK accounting for under 5 per cent of these launches.  But this year, the situation is very different.

Already in 2007, there have been 1053 new product launched in this sector globally and the UK accounts for no less than 19 per cent of these launches.

Lewis said, "We are likely to see more of these beauty products in our supermarkets and department stores over the next few years, as consumers demand not only organic, but ethically sourced products with a minimal carbon footprint. L'Oreal, which bought the Body Shop last year, is already going a step further with a carbon-off setting initiative and Boots is planning to launch a carbon-reduced range this summer.”

So far this year, the USA has seen the largest number of new organic and all natural beauty products (246), making up some 23 per cent of new launches, closely followed by France with 20 per cent (215 new products) and the UK in third place.

Few major manufacturers have so far launched explicitly all natural and/or organic versions of core existing brands.  This is in contrast to the food market where the likes of Kellogg and Kraft have launched organic variants of top selling lines.

However, this could well change over the next few years, particularly as retailers in Europe are already popularising lower cost, own label beauty products, that are all natural and organic.

Looking to the future, we are set to see more emphasis on the provenance of ingredients, highlighting on the packaging exactly where they originate from - a trend that we have already seen with food.

So whil we find supermarkets and brands naming the farmer that reared the cattle for our steaks, we are likely to see ingredients such as Egyptian fennel, Sicilian bitter orange, Japanese matcha tea or even Peruvian Liana named on our chosen beauty products.
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