A new research from Mintel  reveals that over one third (37 percent) of consumers agree that they were buying more natural and organic personal care products in 2016 than the year prior, including 34 percent of parents with children under 18 in the household.
Young parents are key drivers
According to Mintel, parents are clearly more likely to purchase personal care products that are natural or organic than non-parents, including hand and body lotion (53 percent parents vs 34 percent non-parents), facial skincare (51 percent parents vs 32 percent non-parents), haircare (50 percent parents vs 34 percent non-parents) and body cleansing products (48 percent parents vs 34 percent non-parents).
“Parents are information seekers when it comes to raising their kids and, therefore, could be more aware of ingredients to avoid in their children’s personal care products, as well as their own,” said Jana Vyleta, Health and Personal Care Analyst at Mintel.
Furthermore, nearly seven in 10 (67 percent) natural and organic personal care consumers in the US agree they are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, compared to just over half (54 percent) of non-users. It seems trends toward health and wellness aren’t just limited to diet and exercise and natural and organic personal care products could align with these ambitions as many consumers consider them safer than mainstream products (49 percent) and of higher quality (49 percent).
“Similar to how consumers who are trying to live healthier opt for fresh produce over sweets or wear a fitness tracker to monitor their activity, many also view using natural and organic personal care products as a step toward greater health. Mintel’s 2017 Global Beauty Trend, ‘Active Beauty,’ highlights this move toward overall health and wellness, discussing how beauty brands are formulating products to help consumers in their quest for health and fitness this year,” continued Vyleta. “For marketers, the opportunity lies in convincing non-users by proving that natural and organic personal care products have tangible health benefits.”
According to Mintel, outside of certifications, the most common way consumers know a personal care product is natural or organic is whether or not the ingredients are simple and familiar. Specifically, consumers look at the types of ingredients used (55 percent), whether or not the ingredients are easy to understand (49 percent) and whether certain ingredients are excluded (49 percent).
Consumers also seem to prioritize general ingredient statements when it comes to purchasing natural and organic personal care products as claims such as ‘made with all natural ingredients’ (88 percent), ‘no artificial ingredients’ (86 percent) and ‘contains organic ingredients’ (81 percent) rank as some of the most important claims to natural and organic personal care consumers.
However, some consumers are skeptical as 43 percent of non-users think natural and organic personal care products are a marketing scheme. Nevertheless, the younger generations seem to be more open to the category. The iGeneration  is less likely to view natural claims as a way for companies to charge more money (20 percent) and is most likely to take the do-it-yourself approach. Indeed, nearly one-fifth (19 percent) of iGens say they prefer to make their own personal care products as compared to just 12 percent overall.
“Consumers are more likely to consider general, simple ingredient statements as an indicator that a personal care product is natural than they are certifications. The belief that natural and organic personal care products are safe likely stems from the increasing conversations regarding potential harmful effects of ingredients used in mainstream brands,” concluded Vyleta.