The 2024 edition of Vivaness, Europe’s leading natural and organic beauty trade show, took place from 13th to 16th February 2024 in Nuremberg, Germany, together with its sister fair Biofach, the largest organic food trade show in the world. Both events hosted 2,550 exhibitors from 94 countries (154 for Vivaness), with a total of 35,000 trade visitors from 128 different countries. The event owes part of its success to the importance of natural and organic cosmetic products in Germany, where the certified natural beauty segment alone represents more than 10% of the entire beauty market [1].

Slow recovery

Indeed, organic and natural beauty is part of the mainstream in Germany, thanks to very wide availability across all major distribution channels, strong private label brands and affordable price ranges for many lines. For almost 20 years, the certified natural beauty segment has been growing constantly in Germany, registering a CAGR of 6.5% over the past decade. However, in 2022, the sector recorded its first recession in years, with a 3.5% fall, to EUR 1.43 billion. In 2023, the market began to recover in value, growing by 2% thanks to price hikes.

According to market research company GfK (Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung), which presented its latest retail figures at Vivaness 2024, more consumers are buying natural and organic beauty products but they are purchasing fewer items per store visit. In addition, consumer loyalty is decreasing as customers, struggling with a shrinking disposable income, are switching to more affordable private label brands.

Actually, natural and organic private label beauty brands registered a 15.2% value increase in 2023 while other brands (which account for 70% of the entire natural beauty value market) dipped 1.2% during the same period.

Nevertheless, consumer interest in organic and natural beauty and personal care products remains high in Germany. Drugstores continued to be the most important retail channel for organic beauty – 88.9% of certified and non-certified organic beauty in Germany was sold in the drugstore channel in 2023, according to market researcher Circana, which also presented its findings at Vivaness 2024.

Innovation from indie beauty brands

While Germany’s main certified natural and organic brands and their private label counterparts were instrumental in developing and growing this segment over the past two decades, and still continue to drive R&D today, the influx of indie brands which started around ten years ago has added a much-needed element of innovation and creativity to the industry.

At Vivaness 2024, some of the most interesting product launches came from the indie brand section. Like Swedish brand Dak Matter which offers stylishly-packaged organic cosmeceutical scalp care for various scalp conditions like psioriasis or seborrheic eczema.

German indie brand Afrolocke manufactures hair care and styling products for textured hair while Finnish brand Luonkos focuses on solid beauty with a twist: the brand’s face cleansing cakes are solid cleansing oils rather than bar cleansers.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) beauty brand Shaoyuan from Southern Germany presented its new refillable makeup products in beautifully hand-crafted porcelain jars as well as new colours in its Flower Lip range of embossed lipsticks.

And Swiss newcomer brand Aromastick produces aromatherapy inhaler sticks: Each of the eleven variants features a careful blend of organic essential oils for a specific treatment purpose – sleep, focus, nausea, balance, relax and so on.

Other major trends visible at Vivaness 2024 included that perennial favourite, plastic-free bathroom beauty. At least half a dozen exhibitors featured solid and powder-based bath and body care as well as oral care.

Sensitive skin was another key focus area, with microbiome/barrier care launches from several exhibitors, including i+m Naturkosmetik from Germany, which has just launched a Barrier Cream formulated with pre- and pro-biotics. Swiss brand Farfalla introduced five new face care products in the Derma Pro Biome range for sensitive, irritated or mature skin. And Bulgarian beauty brand Wooden Spoon’s most recent new launches include the Silver-A cream, a buttery skin care balm for atopic skin formulated with anti-bacterial silver powder.

In 2025, Vivaness will no longer be a stand-alone fair and will resume as a section of the larger Biofach event. Beauty brands will be gathered in the Vivaness Area (Hall 4A) of the trade show from 11-14 February, 2025.