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Mintel: 'Down to Earth' beauty will continue through 2011

CHICAGO — Beauty companies will be looking to get "down to Earth" in 2011, according to Mintel, an independent provider of market intelligence.

The "down-to-Earth" trend is closely linked with sustainability and addresses the practicalities of making and marketing green beauty products. Factors include managing price pressure due to varying supply and demand of natural and organic raw materials, and learning to master the challenges of green chemistry, such as the use of sustainable surfactants, "green" solvents and alternatives to parabens, Mintel stated. The free-from formulas that were a major trend in 2010 will further evolve to avoid petrochemically derived ingredients.

According to Mintel, 13% of new skin care, hair care and cosmetics made the paraben-free claim in 2010, up from 5% in 2008. In addition, nearly 9% of new skin care, hair care and cosmetics made the organic claim in 2010, twice as many as in 2007. The all-natural claim was found in fewer than 3% of launches in 2010.

"Paraben-free claims actually outpaced organic and all-natural claims in new skin care, hair care and cosmetics launches in 2010, backing up Mintel's Nu Natural trend that predicted that brands would emphasize results and free-from claims over certification," stated Nica Lewis, head consultant at Mintel Beauty Innovation. "[This year] will see beauty companies placing increased importance on the environment, focusing on sustainable sourcing with attention to maintaining biodiversity. A renewed emphasis on repackaging to minimize waste will also be a factor."

Mintel also stated that, around the world, anti-aging claims still are important, with more than 1-in-4 launches making this claim — up 5% compared with 2009. New skin care products with environmentally friendly packaging also were up 5% on the prior year, showing manufacturers' commitment to recycling and eco-friendly materials.

Added Vivienne Rudd, senior beauty analyst at Mintel, "[The year] 2010 was a year for rebuilding, with new skin care product launch activity almost matching prerecessionary levels. The past year saw [mergers-and-acquisitions] activity resumed, too, as credit markets eased, with consolidation amongst ingredient suppliers and Unilever, Shiseido, L'Oréal, Estée Lauder and Coty all inking deals. This development will influence brands in the year ahead from a marketing perspective linked to the down-[to]-Earth trend, too. Simplifying text and 'stripping back' to tell straightforward, direct stories of plant-based ingredients will be key, and manufacturers who treat consumers as educated shoppers instead of novices stand to benefit."

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