Innovation continues within the personal care ingredients industry with a significant number of new product launches at both In-Cosmetics and the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) Suppliers’ Day that happened recently. Examples include Eastman who promoted a natural emollient for leave on skin care products and Kobo launched a non-nano zinc oxide.
Product launches covered a plethora of materials from traditional to more specialty ingredients – for example botanicals targeted towards anti-aging and anti-wrinkle applications exploiting the cosmeceuticals trend. Companies are still actively exploring botanicals supporting Kline’s predictions in 2008 that the botanicals market would outpace industry growth in 2009 and beyond. The US and EU specialty actives market is valued at nearly $650 million, with botanicals accounting for around 30% of the market. With skin care being the largest personal care finished products market and recording the strongest growth in 2007 and 2008, the opportunities for botanicals remain significant.
In recent years the trend from extracts to substantiated actives within the botanicals market has clearly been observed with an increasing number of substantiated actives launched each year. The next step in the development of this market segment is expected to be by companies differentiating themselves with ‘organic certified’ or ‘ECOCERT certified’ products as natural no longer appears to be a strong enough marketing message. Greening of the industry and naturals was also a strong theme at both shows, with Cognis Care Chemicals launching a portfolio of green chemicals and Evonik launching an Ecocert certified biodegradable thickening agent based on natural raw materials.
Discussions with show attendees confirmed that the industry is being bolstered by mass and direct trade classes, with premium product sales significantly affected by the downturn in the economy as consumers trade down on selected items. However, there is consensus that consumer interest remains in anti-ageing products, people still want to look good despite times being tough, as well as the use of natural ingredients. Kline research estimated US sales at the manufacturers’ level in the natural personal care market of over $2 billion, with a gain of 19% from 2007. The European market is bigger at around $3 billion and had year on year growth of 15% from 2007.
Through these challenging times personal care ingredient suppliers need to continue to work closely with finished product manufacturers to help develop new products and innovate existing products as consumers look for the best offer in terms of price-performance. The message remains clear to personal care ingredient suppliers: innovate, innovate, innovate!