NATURAL Personal Care Trends
Mother Nature delivers the goods and
smart marketers cash in.
By Darrin Duber-Smith, MS, MBA & Mason Rubin
Even the most casual observer of economics and poli- tics knows that the last five years have not been kind to most businesses and consumers. To add insult to
injury, recent data point to further economic stagnation in
the near future. So why does it look like natural personal
care executives are having so much fun? Because they are!
The natural personal care industry is still experiencing
double-digit growth, according to a recent report by industry
observer, Packaged Facts, which pegged the market at $8 billion in 2011, expanding at a healthy 10% clip. Since many different market research firms publish reports on the industry
and the definition of what is “natural” is widely and liberally
interpreted, many different growth rates and industry sizes
have been reported over the years. But they all have one thing
in common—double-digit growth rates every year, four to five
times higher than the mainstream personal care market.
Quantitatively, as an industry gets larger it becomes
more difficult to achieve higher growth rates. This is the
nature of all industries as they eventually mature. But the
steady performance in the natural personal care sector is
maintained by several important trends.
Seems like we’ve been talking about aging forever. But the
conversation is far from old—no pun intended. The aging
Baby Boomers, the largest and wealthiest generation in history, are still flush with cash compared to every other generation. Most important, they are still concerned about how
they look as they age. The result is a very vibrant market for
anti-aging products across all personal care subcategories.
Most of these come in crème form, but we are also starting to
see a proliferation of serums (more concentrated than crèmes)
and powders. This trend will likely continue for at least another
decade as the Boomers become elderly and eschew vanity, while
a much smaller Generation X becomes more interested in this
product category. Barring an invasion of middle-aged immigrants
from France over the next decade, the growth rate in the U.S.
anti-aging category will likely slow due to mathematical realities.