Vivaness: the event for natural beauty professionals
by Karin Heinze (comments: 1)
Picture: a good presentation of natural cosmetics in the German organic supermarket Landwege Lübeck attracts consumers. Photo © Karin Heinze
In Germany 13.6bn € was spent on beauty and personal care in 2016. The German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association (IKW) headquartered in Frankfurt released the figure in December 2016 and informed that the industry’s turnover was EUR 200m (1.6 %) higher in 2016 than in the previous year. Fact is that the range of organic and natural cosmetics is largely responsible for this. According to an analysis carried out by the Düsseldorf-based (D) market research institute Information Resources GmbH (IRI), natural cosmetics are still the main growth driver in the cosmetic and personal care segment. This is because products from the “laboratory of nature” meet consumers’ needs for “cocooning” and well-being in our fast-paced day and age, but also for naturalness and sustainability.
Natural cosmetics are performing excellently
Analyses carried out by various market research companies show that, from 2012 to 2015, the turnover generated by natural and organic cosmetics and personal care products increased by several times as much as the increase for the rest of the market. According to IRI, the turnover generated through food retailers, drugstores, perfumeries and department stores rose by 9.2 % last year, and, compared to September 2015, natural cosmetics achieved an astonishing increase of 9.9 % or a good EUR 25m in September of last year. Together with near-natural cosmetics (6 %), which have also made good progress, organic and natural cosmetics (9 %) now account for around 15 % of the German cosmetic market, worth EUR 13.6bn altogether in 2016.
Organic and natural cosmetics are ubiquitous
Natural personal care products have long been more than just a niche in the market. As well as from natural food stores, natural cosmetic specialist stores and health food shops, the brands of German natural cosmetic manufacturers can be purchased from many traditional sources, ranging from drugstores to chemists and perfumeries to food retailers and department stores. In addition, the extensive spectrum of classic certified natural cosmetic suppliers is supplemented by the brands and products of a number of innovative start-ups. Many companies don’t just operate in the German market, but have had success in neighbouring European countries for a long time too. Natural cosmetics made in Germany also enjoy a fine reputation on other continents, and a German natural cosmetic company that exports to over 20 countries is no rare thing.
Picture: natural and organic cosmetics are available in all kind of shops, e.g.in the German drugstore chain Budni. Photo © Karin Heinze
The modern consumer wants natural ingredients and sustainability
“Cocooning”, selfness and well-being are trends in our fast-paced day and age, and the affordable luxury of surrounding oneself with beautiful things, keeping oneself fit and healthy and doing something to benefit one’s body is part of this. The modern consumer is not just interested in themselves, however. Market researchers are constantly calling Generation Y the consumer type that is dictating the market, and 25- to 35-year-olds place great value on naturalness and sustainability. Christoph Knoke, managing director at IRI, believes that, along with the expectation that natural cosmetics will not contain certain problematic substances, this generation’s awareness of the need for naturalness and sustainability is reflected in the ever-rising demand for these products. He sais, “This trend is likely continue for a long time yet.” The wishes of the new responsibility-conscious consumer are wonderfully compatible with the basic values and product philosophies adopted by natural cosmetic companies, which revolve around using natural resources carefully and contributing to the health of customers and the planet. Sustainability is a top priority of these companies.
Sustainability rewarded and concrete development assistance
One natural cosmetic pioneer, Weleda, received several awards in 2016 for its dedication to aiding sustainability. The most recent of these were the Sustainable Beauty Award, which it was presented with in Paris, and the German Sustainability Award in the “Most Sustainable Brand in 2016” category. The jury praised the company for being a “strong and consistent sustainability brand”. The top five nominees in this category included another natural cosmetic manufacturer in Lavera, which has also published a sustainability report for the first time and been certified in accordance with the strict ZNU (Centre for Sustainable Company Management) standard “Sustainable Businesses”.
Picture: Natural and organic cosmetics are trendy because of their sustainability. Photo © Karin Heinze
Simply by using organic raw materials, natural cosmetic companies are helping organic agriculture to progress successfully all over the world. Handling valuable plant oils and extracts from Africa, Latin America, India and even local farms, a number of raw material projects and a network of trade partners supply the natural ingredients for the products made by Dr. Hauschka, Lavera, Logona, Primavera, Speick, Weleda and Co. Fairness and social responsibility and respect for nature are always given the attention they deserve. For that reason, it would not be wrong to describe many of these international trade relationships regarding organic raw materials as concrete development assistance and active environmental and climate protection. Some German natural cosmetic companies also work with development assistance organizations or political parties, which often leads to close relationships that last many years.
Products with a background
A “secret” that the natural cosmetic sector has long been aware of is now being discovered by trend researchers too. It is the fact that every good product has its own unique story. Company and product philosophies are more popular today than ever, and, in our modern digital age, the Internet of course plays a big role. At this year’s Natural Cosmetics Conference in Berlin, Parisian trend researcher Pascale Brousse explained that very specific communication via images and viral marketing are likely to bring success these days. She added that linking food with cosmetics is also in fashion, as are themes such as superfoods, vegan products and gluten-free alternatives.
On the other hand, Dr Robert Kecskes, an expert from the Society for Consumer Research (GfK), which is headquartered in Nuremberg (D), advises manufacturers trying to make products to suit the lifestyles of millennials and “iBrains” to think about paradoxes of everyday life. He says these customers want products that are ethically correct and transparent, yet convenient and effective at the same time. They must also take animal welfare (vegan) and wellness into account. He believes making these contrasts a reality in products is not the biggest challenge, however. It is much more important to communicate them and practise them authentically as a company. His advice for when it comes to finding a modern marketing strategy is to adopt a “lean-forward” strategy on social media that actively involves potential customers on equal footing. They shouldn’t reveal all the brand’s secrets though. He says, “A bit of mystery must be retained in order to make people curious.”
Picture: new products on the stand of Biogarten, German distributor specialised on natural and organic cosmetics. Photo © Karin Heinze
Supporting young enterprises and innovation
Besides the Novelty Stand highlights for visitors are the “Young Innovative Companies” pavilion, the stand for “newcomers” in the German natural cosmetic industry and also Breeze a presentation involving young international brands with path-breaking concepts. Professionals will be looking for the latest trends, innovations and newcomers to the market – including some real inside tips.