Natural beauty in sync with healthier lifestyle trend
In just the past few months, Walmart announced plans for a naturally positioned color cosmetics line called Found. CVS has pumped in more than 2,000 natural, organic and naturally inspired items, such as Organic Doctor and Burt’s Bees cosmetics into 3,000 doors. And earlier this year, Target substantially built out its natural assortment and dubbed natural skin care as a business contributing double-digit percentage sales lifts.
Sales of natural beauty products expanded 9.2% from 2016 over the year before, according to recently published statistics from Kline. Natural beauty now accounts for 12% of the total cosmetics and toiletries market in the United States.
Fueling that rapid ascension is a checklist of factors, according to Kline, ranging from consumers paying more attention to the ingredients they put on their bodies to overall healthier lifestyles. While formulas don’t have to — and often can’t — be 100% natural, what shoppers want are those that are “free from” many ingredients they deem toxic. Among those on the list are parabens, phthalates and formaldehyde donors.
Categories that are the fastest growing in the natural space include facial treatments, hair care products and personal cleansing, according to Kline’s Natural Personal Care 2016 report. A little slower to move the needle are deodorants and antiperspirants, makeup and fragrances. But that could change going forward, especially as more makeup brands debut with natural positionings.
An example of a promising new natural cosmetics line comes from the venerable Burt’s Bee’s franchise. The Clorox-owned brand has sold lip cosmetics for four years, but now has a full assortment of face, lip, cheek and eye. It rolled out in September to Walmart, CVS, ultabeauty.com and Whole Foods. It also will be sold on Amazon, and Target will test it early next year.
CVS is going even deeper into natural makeup — it is testing Mineral Fusion, a line sold primarily in natural grocers, in 500 of its doors. Maly Bernstein, VP of beauty and personal care at CVS, said natural products don’t cannibalize from existing beauty lines, and she’s happy to offer mass market options to natural lines that specialty retailers stock.
K-Beauty also is intertwined with natural because many of the lines are comprised of natural ingredients or better-for-you formulas. The natural and K-Beauty skin care business are riding off the growth of each other as they both have ingredients consumers are hunting for, retailers said. Unilever recently snapped up Carver Korea for about $2.7 billion, proving the powerhouse company wants in on the K-beauty boom. The newly minted CVS in Times Square includes a K-Beauty pop-up shop within the store, featuring nearly 500 Korean beauty products across skin care and beauty, including cosmetics, masks and personal care products. Earlier this year, CVS rolled out its K-Beauty HQ to 2,100 locations, featuring an assortment curated in partnership with Korean beauty expert Alicia Yoon of Peach & Lily.
Regulating natural brands
The absence of regulatory standards in the United States impacts the natural beauty landscape. But John Matise, co-founder and CEO of Éclair Naturals, is among those seeking to change the status quo.
Offering a full range of body care products that are non-GMO, cruelty-free, vegan, soy-free and organic, Éclair Naturals is a key industry supporter of the Personal Care Product Safety Act, introduced by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine. Matise has visited Washington, D.C., twice to lobby for the bill, along with a mixture of major beauty companies and smaller entrepreneurial brands.
According to Matise, although the personal care products industry continues to grow rapidly, the current FDA regulations have not been updated in nearly 80 years. Fourteen hundred ingredients in Europe and about 600 in Canada are regulated in personal care. Currently, the United States only regulates 11, he said.
“My hope is that the newly introduced act will serve not only as a safeguard for consumers, but as a catalyst for positive change in the personal care product industry. This piece of legislation sets forth a new and urgently needed standard of transparency and trustworthiness for businesses; and, once it is passed, I believe any company manufacturing products made with harmful ingredients would immediately search for alternatives just knowing that they are under review,” Matise wrote to the Senate in support of the Personal Care Products Act.
The quest for natural is expected to continue to mushroom. Euromonitor International identified ethical and healthy living as two of its megatrends shaping personal care, and focused on probiotic-based beauty as an area to watch.
Walmart exec encourages the industry to seek the bigger picture
Walmart’s Shawn Townzen told a group of sales and marketing executives that his company’s buying teams are focusing on the ‘bigger picture” as the chain seeks to maintain momentum in an increasingly-complex retail arena.
Speaking in Bentonville, Ark. at a Mack Elevation thought leadership conference, Townzen, who is a VP and DMM, personal care, said that industry executives must align with Walmart’s philosophies and be ready to change on the go as the chain’s blueprint evolves.
“Walmart buying teams are focusing on ‘bigger picture’ thinking, driving more from the core assortment, while reducing out of stocks on high performing items,” he said. “Walmart wants to be the most trusted retailer in the industry.
“Walmart’s business plan focuses on running great stores – delivering consumer value – being great merchants and providing convenience to all shoppers,” Townzen noted. He also discussed, in detail, that Walmart’s merchandising strategic priorities include, “driving sales with an EDLP value proposition, resetting the cost structure and accelerating the multi-channel experience.
“The line review is the epicenter of the assortment decision-making process. Suppliers must show up with ammunition to win the moment. The best manufacturers are introducing true innovation – not product renovation. It’s important to know the difference,” added Townzen.
This was Mack Elevation’s fourth conference of the year at Walmart and Mack stressed that it gave industry officials an opportunity to think outside the box.
“We all love predictability and feel stress during moments of personal or professional disruption. There are competitive threats, disruptive challenger’s and business risks everywhere,” said Mack. “Your advantage is not forever; it must be earned every day. Your leadership style must be open, enthusiastic and contagious. If you want to see a company change, first personally change. How are you showing up?”
Mack shared the research of Daniel Goldman, reminding forum participants that “moods travel from the leader, through the organization to the bottom line financial results. Optimistic cultures enhance creativity, efficiency and encourage collaboration. These cultures are both aspirational and safe; allowing for truth-telling. We must learn to embrace the tension of creating a blend of candor & optimism.”
Next year will be the 10th year of the Elevation Forum group. To learn more about the Elevation Forum and other events visit www.mackelevationforum.com.
The Emerson Group names new president
WAYNE, Pa. — The Emerson Group recently named 30-year industry veteran Ed Morgan to the role of president. Morgan will lead Emerson Group Field Sales, as well as the Emerson Walmart team.
The Emerson Group is a forward-thinking consumer products equity organization, which manages CPG brands in excess of $3.8 billion and holds equity positions in small- and medium-sized brands.
Morgan has been with Emerson since 2005, coming out of the supplier community where he called on Walmart for Bayer and Novartis, among other OTC vendors.
With Emerson, Morgan's responsibilies have included leading new business development, brand management and marketing.
Morgan earned a business degree from the University of Missiissippi and resides in Bentonville, Ark.