Global sales of natural beauty and personal care products rose 5.4 per cent in 2021 to reach US$12.5 ($18.6) billion, reports Ecovia Intelligence. But the UK-based specialist researcher warns that 2022 may deliver slower growth because of a surge in raw material prices, rising inflation and economic uncertainty.

North America and Europe remain the largest regional markets for natural and organic beauty and personal care products. But the Asia/Pacific region has the highest growth rate.

High investment is coming into the Asian natural and organic products market with large cosmetic firms launching their own lines, whilst the financial community is investing in established brands, says Ecovia.

COSMOS and Natrue remain the gold standards of natural and organic certification. More than 40,000 natural beauty and personal care products worldwide are certified by the Big Two Europe-based organisations. But there are now more than 30 standards worldwide, notes the researcher.

L’Oréal and Unilever are the top multinationals in the natural and organic personal care market. Either, releasing new products from established brands such as Garnier and Kiehl’s, or acquiring new brands in the sector such as Thayers Natural Remedies and Youth to the People.

Debuting natural and organic versions of bestsellers is another strategy fuelling the market. Colgate-Palmolive, for example, launched its first COSMOS-certified vegan toothpaste in 100% recyclable plastic tubes in Australia in 2021. Hailed as an industry first, the product’s HDPE materials are based on the same plastic used to make 2 litre milk bottles and other recycled plastic containers.

Omnichannel distribution has been a major driver of growth in the natural and organic personal care market, says Ecovia. The category has long moved away from traditional sales channels such as health and organic food shops in nearly all major markets, even though they remain important in North America and Europe. The sector is well-established in department stores, specialist beauty retailers and pharmacies.

During the Covid-19 pandemic e-commerce and digital marketing have boosted sales and have become increasingly important channels in Australia and worldwide.

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