Xerfi has just published a study entitled: "Organic and natural cosmetics at the time of the mass market - Evolution of competition and market growth prospects by 2023".
I am made with organic products, natural ingredients or natural origin and marketed in recyclable packaging, in bulk or in solid form. Who am I? A... organic and/or natural cosmetic. Clean beauty" is now the subject of a real craze in France in a rather depressed hygiene-beauty sector. At the risk of sometimes bordering on greenwashing. Today, sales of organic and natural cosmetics (+8 % to 972 million euros in 2020) represent 6.4 % of the market. Tomorrow, their weight in the universe of cosmetics will increase by 2 points to 8.5 % in 2023 thanks to sales that will jump by 12 % per year in value to approach 1.4 billion euros at the end of the period, according to the calculations of Xerfi Precepta experts. The French want products that are more responsible and better for their health. And there is no shortage of growth drivers between the considerable development of the offer in distribution channels, the abundance of innovations from laboratories and the growing weight of Millenials in the consumer population. In this context, the enthusiasm for organic and sustainable cosmetics has every chance of becoming a lasting phenomenon. And the giants of the conventional hygiene-beauty industry intend to take advantage of this windfall after a first failed foray into this niche in the early 2000s.
And they are working hard to get their organic cosmetics into the bathrooms of France. They are adapting their major brands, such as Garnier Bio, to organic formulas, or creating new ones, such as La Provençale Bio at L'Oréal. The sector's majors are also competing in terms of environmental initiatives, such as the new sustainable development program "L'Oréal for the future", unveiled in June. For the world leader in cosmetics, it is a question of regaining consumer confidence by demonstrating the authenticity and consistency of its approach, and taking advantage of the clean beauty phenomenon, with responsible ranges that can meet consumer expectations without being as restrictive as organic products.
If the giants of conventional cosmetics (L'Oreal with Ushuaïa, Mixa, Cadum and Garnier; Unilever with Dove, Timoteï, Monsavon; Henkel with Vademecum, Le Chat...) are redoubling their efforts to convert the organic and natural cosmetics market to the mass market, the pioneers have not said their last word. The latter are still in the lead in terms of market share. They will nevertheless have to roll up their sleeves. First, they will have to increase their production capacity to meet the growing demand. Léa Nature has thus inaugurated a new factory in 2019 to eventually triple its production. Pioneers must also focus on expanding their offerings while preserving their brand image. Last year, Pierre Cattier marketed its first range of sun cream, a segment that has not yet been fully developed by the organic sector. The adoption of vegan production methods or the implementation of local supply chains are also among the initiatives of specialized brands.
At the same time, there is a boom in DNVBs, the digital native vertical brandsThese brands originally developed exclusively on the Internet to ensure their promotion and distribution. Several factors explain the extent of this phenomenon. Beauty is one of the most shared topics on social networks. Consumer mistrust is also conducive to the emergence of new brands that can stand out and claim strong values in favor of health, the environment or respect for animals. The most relayed and followed on social networks quickly arouse the interest of distributors, such as selective perfumeries and department stores. As an example, the brand Respire, created on the web in 2016, is referenced since 2019 in Sephora and Monoprix stores.
Mass retailing, soon to be the main channel
While the crisis as a whole has weighed down sales of beauty products (closure of the selective channel during confinements, simplification of beauty routines, etc.), sales of organic products have been able to rely on the continued activity of organic stores, supermarkets and pharmacies (its main distribution channels). While the penetration rate of e-commerce in the hygiene-beauty market remained limited, online sales of hygiene-beauty products in supermarkets and the selective channel jumped by 28 % and 52 % respectively in value last year. And, over the average period, specialized retailers (organic cosmetics stores, general organic stores, pharmacies and parapharmacies) have both favored the emergence of organic and natural cosmetics and have reaped most of the benefits of the growth in sales. Their historical legitimacy and the width of their offer are of course not unrelated to this.
From now on, supermarkets are in the front line and intend to catch up. GSAs are also the place of purchase that recruits the largest number of new consumers. And indeed, 45 % of them made their first purchase of organic cosmetics in 2020. Given the offensive of the giants of the cosmetics industry on organic, mass distribution has solid assets to become the first distribution channel for organic and natural cosmetics in the near future These include: an accessible offer, exclusive distribution of the organic offer of the giants of the cosmetics industry and the referencing of the brands of certain laboratories specialized in organic products, such as So'Bio Éthic or Weleda.
Author of the study : Benoît Samarcq