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The Blossoming of Naturals--Marketing and Statistics

Karen A. Newman July 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

How many of you use natural skin care, hair care or other beauty products? How many of you exercise regularly—yoga included? How many of you consider yourself a tree hugger? Well, you don’t have to be a tree hugger to embrace the natural and wellness trend.


The naturals and wellness trend has gone mainstream. It includes beauty, health and fitness, and is expected to grow into a $1 trillion business by 2010. The natural ingredients segment, targeting women ages 35–55 and baby boomers, is growing with the rise of the wellness trend. Even 20-year-olds who want to postpone the aging process are discovering wellness.

Within the wellness trend, naturals have become a key element in marketing cosmetics and personal care products. Consumers are looking for safe products, and naturals are associated with comfort and quality of life. Few individuals have embraced wellness with such business savvy as Nicholas Perricone, MD. Perricone recently opened his New York wellness center where antioxidant teas, the Perricone anti-aging diet and his line of cosmeceutical skin care products are offered.

Looking at the numbers, in 2004, a total of 2,900 new cosmetic and personal care products containing natural or organic ingredients were launched worldwide. Sales of natural and organic cosmetic items are expected to reach $5.8 billion by 2008, which means 9% annual growth. Naturally oriented launches are seen across all categories in the consumer arena: lip plumpers by Jasön, natural nail care by Laboratoires Sanoflore and even baby care such as Little Me Baby Organics by Floraroma.

Brazil’s No. 1 cosmetic company, Natura, is a great example of a cosmetic manufacturer embracing the naturals trend. The company harvests most of its ingredients from the Amazon rain forest under strict guidelines for sustainable growth. The natural beauty care company is growing rapidly and will be present in all of Latin America by next year. In addition, Natura recently opened a flagship store in the heart of Paris and soon will be landing on U.S. shores.

Product categories

Now, natural products can be broken down into a number of categories. An important area for natural ingredients is in the global body care market. Some of the largest manufacturers have launched body soap blends of natural and synthetic ingredients. Among the recent launches to the consumer mass markets include Colgate-Palmolive’s Softsoap Naturals, Unilever’s Suave Naturals and Avon’s Avon Naturals. The idea is that if the product at least sounds natural, it will appeal to consumers.

Skin care. The skin care category is huge and growing. It is expected to account for 60% of the cosmetic market by 2007. Products in this category include anti-aging, acne, sun care and cosmeceuticals.

Cosmeceuticals. A total of 59% of all cosmeceuticals is in the skin care category. Cosmeceuticals are expected to continue growing at 11% annually by 2008.

Anti-aging. Natural anti-aging products are on the rise, with brands such as Reborn targeting men and women of all ages.

Anti-cellulite. The fastest growth market is anti-cellulite products, which grew at a robust 14.2% in 2004. Seventy percent of women are said to suffer from cellulite, and most products that show any promise in helping the appearance of cellulite contain caffeine. All topical anti-cellulite products offer only temporary improvement in appearance.

Sun care. A rise in awareness of the sun’s damage is part of the wellness trend and boosted sun care sales to $4.8 billion in 2004.

Nutraceuticals. Wellness also is driving nutraceutical sales. In response to consumers looking to enhance their beauty from the inside out, major manufacturers such as P&G and L’Oréal have launched nutraceutical lines. Also, the industry is experiencing a functional beverage boom. This segment grew by 18% in 2004 and currently is posting $1.8 billion in sales, both in natural and conventional sales channels.

Despite the high growth numbers, 50% of consumers believe that manufacturers’ claims about nutraceuticals are untrustworthy.

Fragrance. Perfumers constantly are experimenting with capturing and blending exotic fragrances. Natural ingredients are excavated worldwide for perfumes such as Prada’s Intense Deluxe Natural Spray and Yves Rocher’s Neonatura Cocoon.

Men’s grooming. It might take time, but even men catch on, and they are catching on to wellness and skin care to the tune of $18 billion annually. Skin care for men is expected to grow 67% to become a $19.5 billion market.

The spa industry also is accommodating men—its fastest-growing segment—with his-and-her packages, shorter sessions for time-conscious males and retail products designed specifically for men.

Spa retail. Spa retail is becoming an increasingly important distribution channel for beauty products and is expected to reach $700 million in sales by the end of 2005. Natural and wellness products are obvious winners in this sector.

Global markets

Where in the world has the wellness trend caught on? The answer may surprise you.

United States. In the United States, the demand for natural products in cosmetics and personal care is projected to increase 7.5% annually to $1 billion in 2008. The United States experienced the largest number of natural or organic launches in 2004, at 1,022.

Europe. Western Europe is the current leader, based on product sales. Body care is its largest market, at $3.3 billion. Anti-cellulite is its fastest growth market, expanding 112% between 1997 and 2004.

Japan. Japan has the second-largest skin care market in the world. Nutraceutical beauty beverages also are very popular in the East. One popular nutraceutical drink, Kaigen Fushin-san no Biyo Sogo, has a tag line that reads “Drink to make a beautiful face.”

China. China’s $6.3 billion cosmetic market has averaged 20–25% annual growth during the past five years and is expected to reach $36.2 billion in sales by 2010.

India. Herbal is big in India’s personal care market. Basic products, such as toothpaste and creams, often contain natural ingredients.

Natural success

The key to success lies in recognizing and capitalizing on the growing trend toward inside-out beauty, which profoundly affects consumers of all ages and both genders. The naturals and wellness segment attracts a key clientele that the spa industry increasingly is targeting.