Consumers across the globe consider personal care products formulated with natural products as being better for them, however there are still concerns over the efficacy of natural ingredients, finds a new report from the independent market analyst Datamonitor.
More than half of global consumers (52%) believe that natural ingredients are better for them, according to Datamonitor’s July/August 2010 consumer survey, indicative of a ‘healthy halo’ that consumers feel they get from using natural rather than synthetic ingredients, which has driven the market for natural personal care products. Consumers believe that synthetic ingredients can irritate the skin due to the chemicals used such as phthalates, parabens and triclosan and are increasingly looking for natural alternatives.
This pursuit of healthier ingredients is also reflective of a broader concern over the ingredients used in personal care products, an extension of a trend used in the food and beverage industry. Globally, Datamonitor found that 57% of consumers were either extremely concerned, or somewhat concerned about knowing the ingredients used in cosmetics and toiletries. There is however a significant knowledge gap, as the Datamonitor survey also found that just 16% of global consumers considered themselves highly informed about the impact of chemicals used in everyday products on their health.
Despite the growing concern over the ingredients used in personal care products, consumers were also found to be ambivalent over the efficacy of natural ingredients in personal care. Just 37% of global consumers agreed with the statement health and beauty products formulated with natural ingredients are equally as effective as non-natural products, whilst 44% neither agreed nor disagreed. This would suggest that marketers still have some way to go to convince consumers that natural ingredients are just as effective as synthetic ingredients.
Matthew Jones, consumer trends analyst at Datamonitor, says, “Shoppers will not be prepared to sacrifice performance benefits when it comes to personal care, particularly as many are actively seeking to minimise the time spent on personal hygiene/grooming. Price is also a factor, as consumer will find it difficult to justify any price premiums when there is doubt as to whether they will even see good results”