Natural Goes Mainstream: Kline Analysis Finds Natural Personal Care Moving to Mass Channels of Distribution
--Clorox’s Acquisition of Burt’s Bees Supports Trend--
LITTLE FALLS, NJ, October 31, 2007 – As the “green” products trend continues to advance, consumer demand for natural personal care products is driving a major shift from niche distribution channels to more mainstream mass retail outlets. This is fueling a sharp increase in sales, according to a newly published study by worldwide consulting and research firm Kline & Company.
“For a long time, natural products have been the domain of health and organic food stores––niche retailers with a core group of loyal customers,” says Karen Doskow, project manager for Kline’s Consumer Products practice. “Naturals are now becoming commonplace in the aisles of national chain grocery and discount stores like Wal-Mart and Target. This will have a major impact on the competitive landscape of the personal care market.”
Kline’s in-depth report Natural Personal Care 2007: Competitive Brand Assessment and Ingredient Analysis indicates that the move to mass retail could help promote a revival of sorts among long-established yet little-known natural products companies like Jason Natural Products and Avalon Natural Products. However, it also makes them prime candidates for acquisition by the major players in the personal care market.
“These small natural companies could pose a threat to the major consumer product marketers, but rather than try to compete with each other, it’s likely we will see strategic acquisitions. Today’s announced acquisition of Burt’s Bees by Clorox is a perfect example,” says Doskow. At first glance, it may seem like an unlikely fit, but Clorox, which is already solidly entrenched in the mass channels, will provide Burt’s Bees access to this wider distribution network, and Clorox gets a foothold in the fastest growing, high-margin segment of personal care.
Key acquisitions could also steer greater regulation of product ingredients, a move which would benefit both marketers and consumers. Currently, the naturals market is virtually unregulated in the United States, which means that authentic natural manufacturers must face off against mainstream imitators and “greenwashing” practices––slick marketing that only sounds natural.
Kline conducted an ingredient analysis for the natural product brands marketed by the 26 key
“Some brands aren’t quite as natural as one may be led to believe,” Doskow says. “Many companies find it very difficult to walk the line between efficacy and being natural.” NaturalPersonal Care 2007: Competitive Brand Assessment and Ingredient Analysis includes profiles of 26 key players in the naturals market, as well as a critique of their raw materials formulations. For more information about this market study, go to www.klinegroup.com/reports/y632.asp or contact Carrie Mellage a +1-973-435-3412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kline is a worldwide consulting and research firm dedicated to providing the kind of insight and knowledge that helps companies find a clear path to success. The firm has served the management consulting and marke research needs of organizations in the chemicals, materials, energy, life sciences, and consumer products industries for nearly 50 years. For more information, visit www.KlineGroup.com.