Trends shaping personal care industry
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Trends shaping the personal care industry

7:40 AM, 9th July 2018
Consumers today are more knowledgeable and wary of chemical ingredients found in their cosmetic products. (File photo)
Consumers today are more knowledgeable and wary of chemical ingredients found in their cosmetic products. (File photo)

According to a report by Indian Beauty & Hygiene Association (IBHA), the beauty and personal care (BPC) segment in India is expected to touch $10 billion by 2021 growing at an annual rate of 5-6 per cent on the back of evolving consumer awareness and aspirations.

In the past, brands alone would define what qualified as beauty. Now however, with multiple options to choose from, consumers are in the driving seat and have a larger say in the ever-evolving perception of beauty.

In 2018 and beyond, as consumers create their own definitions of beauty, which look beyond age, gender, and body type, brands that try to appeal to the ‘mass’ will miss the mark. Consumers will demand that their individual needs are catered to with multiple options or customizable beauty. Brands will have to embrace inclusivity and address individual beauty concerns, which will result in more personalization of their products.

Elaborated below are some major trends set to influence the sector.

1. Better informed and empowered customers

Using and marketing natural ingredients within personal care products is vital in addressing growing consumer concerns. Consumers today are more knowledgeable and wary of chemical ingredients found in their cosmetic products. Delivering organic products and creating formulas free of chemical ingredients will be key to appeal to the modern consumer. Organic formulations and natural ingredients are fast becoming a standard within the segment.

The growth in the demand for natural and organic personal care products is expected to continue to grow rapidly. The beauty and personal care industry’s approach to natural and sustainable ingredients will have to adapt accordingly. A shift to become more ‘environment friendly’, with the possibilities for creating allergen free, pure and safe ingredients through science could replace the existing system of sourcing ingredients.

This can also be attributed to the awareness among consumers about various side effects caused by using chemical-based synthetic products. Increased realization of the advantages of personal care products made of organic ingredients such as almond, jojoba, palm etc. is a key driver for the segment. Most organic products come with certifications proving that they are made of organic ingredients and do not contain ingredients such as petrochemicals, parabens, aluminium salts etc. These certifications too will help drive sales of these products as consumers have more faith in certified products.

2. Growth in emerging markets

According to a report by KPMG, Asia Pacific represents the largest share (29 percent) of the global personal care products market, with sales fuelled mainly by population growth, urbanization and increased per capita spending power.

The demand for personal care ingredients is being driven by consumers’ rising disposable income and their increased awareness of the benefits of using better quality skin care, hair care, and oral care products. The rising pollution level in several countries is another factor helping the skin care and hair care product segment.

As health and wellbeing become a focus point seen across FMCG from packaged food, personal hygiene to home cleaning, a wider lifestyle shift and an evolving attitude towards home care is in the works. Hygiene terms that would only earlier only be associated with professional environments such as “disinfecting” and “sanitizing” are now commonly used, indicating that household cleaning has become an obligation.

3. Digital technology will make shopping more personal

With so many options on the shelves, time-pressed consumers will appreciate a more easy and efficient shopping experience. New technology can interpret consumers’ behaviour online, determine their product preferences and even offer help. The days of social media being purely social are long gone as companies transform these online interactions into shopper opportunities. Brands will be able to follow and engage their consumers everywhere, to influence their product purchases and helping them navigate the complexities of the beauty aisle. With data on consumers’ every move, brands can offer unprecedented customisation during the shopping experience. But simply selling a great beauty product will no longer be enough; brands must also have a personality and a purpose that align with consumers’ own beliefs in order to win their loyalty. Unlike earlier times, the onus is now on brands to impress consumers with a human-like personality that is personable, relatable and sincere for Millennials and Generation Z.

4. More men in cleaning and grooming

In the last few years, the male grooming market has witnesses impressive growth. The men’s haircare market alone is estimated to grow significantly, with every third male consumer proactively seeking out brands specifically designed for men. This trend is reflected throughout the personal care industry. As beards are now being considered fashionable again, the facial hair trend has picked up significantly in just the last two years, giving a boost to the shaving and depilatory market.

The traditional gender roles of men and women around the house have blurred as more men now fend for themselves at home and take on a greater share of the housework. Young men are more likely now then ever to live alone since they delay marriage. As a result, they have higher levels of disposable income to spend on their upkeep and wellbeing. An increase in the number of males in this space has resulted in brands widening their range of products that men consider as acceptable. Following the shift in balance between the sexes, manufacturers will take into account gender differences and will increasingly look for ways to segment their markets and target consumers more effectively.

5. Growing demand for multi-functional products

Saving time has become top priority. This puts focus on products that enable consumers to either save time through outsourcing tasks or multi-task through more flexible options. For example, detergent tablets are competing with liquid or powder detergents packed in single-dose sachets. Closer home, Cavinkare Pvt Ltd, Chennai headquartered company promoted by C K Ranganathan having turnover of over Rs 1500 crores, launched an innovative 10 minutes creme hair colour - CavinKare’s Indica. A first of its kind low-cost, unisex creme hair colour pack that lets users colour their hair much faster.

The rising demand for multifunctional personal care products will continue to be an important driver of the global personal care market. Products that offer multiple benefits will be popular, especially among consumers who have busy schedules and are cost conscious. For them, such products offer streamlined solutions.

Hence, manufacturers are focusing on developing products that perform at least dual functions. For example, UV protection products, which can also be used as makeup. 2 in 1 products are proving more popular than ever, such as combined shampoo and conditioning products. These products are aimed towards saving the consumers’ time, whilst ensuring that their beauty regime is not compromised. There are opportunities with packaging and marketing claims to highlight the time saving benefit of these products.

To woo over today’s consumers, brands will have to redefine the shopping experience to satisfy the customers’ needs by offering unique, convenient, and technologically advanced offerings. They will have to engage with the Multicultural Millennial online and so on Social Content to influence their buying habits. They can do this by creating informative content by experts instead of brand messages: e.g. blog posts by professionals, providing tutorial and product demonstration videos and even incorporating influencers as a part of their strategy to win over consumers.

Providing a well-designed and seamless online shopping experience can help brands get loyalists instead of one-time consumers. By incentivising loyalty via consistent reward programs, brands can engage and attract high levels of deal-oriented shoppers. By providing their customers with meaningful offers and superior experiences, these programs would have the potential to even foster long-term loyalty.

Source: AVA Chemicals

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