Opportunities in Personal Care Categories with “Natural” Products

Opportunities in Personal Care Categories with “Natural” Products

Sustainability sells! And it is no secret that consumers are interested in sustainability and that their attitudes towards natural products influence the personal care category.

When it comes to marketing sustainable products, however, there are significant differences in growth figures depending on the product category.

This is illustrated by an example from the USA of three heterogeneous categories:

Source: Nielsen Study ” What’s sustainability got to do with it? / Linking sustainability claims to sales”; Total U.S. FDMx; October 2018

In the Personal Care categories, sustainability is experienced in various facets. “Natural” means something different for every buyer.  “Naturalness” is also often promoted on products in various ways — through the quality seals and claims such as “not tested on animals”, “without animal ingredients”, “100% from natural raw materials”, “organic seal”, etc…

Such nature-positioned products have also been on the rise in Switzerland for some time, both with more brand launches and by expanding the product range and distribution.

This is also reflected in the above-average growth in sales over the last two years: while the category developed negatively in 2017 vs. the previous year at -3.6% and then only stabilised again in 2018, natural products recorded above-average growth of 9.6% in 2017 and 7.1% in 2018 compared to the previous year.

Although the entire “Natural” segment is growing strongly, we notice preferences regarding the willingness to purchase. This is shown by the following ranking* based on the claim and label:


1 – 2: Quality labels such as “Öko-Test” or “Stiftung Warentest” usually alternate between 1st and 2nd place with a willingness to buy of 58% to 71%.

3 – 4: “Not tested on animals” and “Dermatologically tested” place third and fourth with 46% to 49% willingness to buy.

5th: “100% from natural raw materials” places mostly 5th with willingness to buy between 32% and 43%.

Sustainable growth with sustainable products can be therefore driven even more strongly in the personal care categories by making the right claims on the products.

*Nielsen Consumer Insights Study “Natural Claims Study Personal Care Category”, Germany 2016 / Study cannot be published

The following studies on the subject of sustainability in personal care are available for download on the right:

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