More than almost any other fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, the beauty industry is guided by trends. Every quarter a new and extraordinary trend emerges that promises to revolutionise the future of beauty. How is one expected to differentiate between a sustainable trend and short-lived hype?
The answer lies in finding a connection between the ever shifting micro-trends in the market and and macro level consumer needs. While we’re in the midst of a great proliferation of brands, products, services and trends, the new shifts creating sustained growth opportunities for brands and retailers are really nothing new at all.
How and when will a niche trend become mainstream behavior? Nielsen's latest Beauty Report tracks major, persistent changes within three particular dimensions: Natural, Personal and Connected.
Natural beauty is increasingly about what’s not in the product. 15% of skin care consumers want products without artificial ingredients. This aligns with trends we see across FMCG. 53% say the absence of undesirable ingredients is more important than the inclusion of beneficial ones.
These shoppers, who define how healthier and more natural beauty products look like, are younger, more radical, culturally and ethnically diverse consumers, for whom there is no one-size-fits-all solution. In their uniqueness as individuals, they also want products that meet this requirement. So it's not surprising that - in facial cosmetics alone - the number of colors available on shelves has grown 22% over the last 5 years.
Cosmetics and makeup shoppers are more concerned about a brand’s social responsibility than the average beauty & personal care buyer. Three quarters of millennials are also willing to pay a higher price for a product with added social value. This means that the credible authenticity of the brand behind the products is just as important as their individualization and personalization. Within the beauty sector especially, consumers seem to want to identify themselves with the brands they purchase.
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