The future of natural cosmetics looks increasingly positive. The latest research on natural personal care products are booming, with sales doubling between 2002 and 2005. According to reports from the Organic Monitor, the personal care market is currently growing at 20 per cent, far out-stripping growth in almost all other sectors of the market. I think this is also because organics are becoming more accessible due to consumer demand.
I think that already people’s perceptions are changing; consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their health and want to learn more about alternative medicine and environmental factors. This has reflected in the natural cosmetics boom as people are slowly questioning the products they buy and consciously choosing products not based just on price. Consumers are also turning to natural and organic products as they become aware of the possible dangers of parabens, phthalates, SLS and other synthetic ingredients in cosmetics.
As consumers are becoming increasingly savvy, natural cosmetics manufacturers have to (obviously) be thinking a few steps ahead of the consumer. Yes at the moment we are seeing a huge boom in organics brands and even mainstream brands bringing out their own natural/organic/mineral ranges, but cosmetics brands need to think beyond just the products.
I believe that there will be huge changes in packaging over the next decade. This will be heavily consumer driven as people will be seeking out environmentally friendly packaging; packaging that is sustainable and recyclable.
I also believe that consumers are going to seek out ethically sourced products. This will be become important to people in their final decision making process. Just look at mainstream chocolate brand Cadbury, they have recently been certified Fair Trade for sourcing cocoa from Ghana. I believe more and more manufacturers will carefully research where they get their raw materials from and ask the tough questions, including what countries the material comes from, is it ethically sourced and is it sustainable.
In the near future there will be more innovative concept stores specifically for natural and organic products. Yes we have natural food stores at the moment but I believe more brands will open up their own concept stores on the high street in high traffic areas and shopping centres. I think that department stores will feature a store within a store and put a heavy focus on natural and organic – it is already starting to happen with the city stores of major city department stores in Australia. As demand grows and evolves department stores will also introduce their own private label natural and organic brands.
I think there will be a strong focus on laws changing on what you can and can’t say with certified organic and natural products due to mass consumer confusion. This will take priority with all certification bodies and government departments including the ACCC. I hope that all certifying bodies can come to a united conclusion with what is acceptable and what’s not for the customer’s sake.
Miranda Bond, guest blogger and CEO, Inika
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