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Monday February 6th, 2023
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[study] Organic and natural, a weapon of mass seduction in the cosmetics market

Xerfi has just published a study under the title: "Organic and natural cosmetics in the age of the mass market - Evolution of competition and market growth prospects by 2023"

I am made from organic products, natural ingredients or of natural origin and marketed in recyclable packaging, in bulk or in solid form. Who am I ? An… 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 world of cosmetics will increase by 2 points to 8.5% in 2023 thanks to sales which will jump 12% per year in value to close to 1.4 billion euros at the end of the period, according to calculations by Xerfi Precepta experts. The French indeed want more responsible and better products for health. And there is no lack of growth engines between the considerable development of the offer in the distribution channels, the proliferation of laboratory innovations and the growing weight of Millennials in the consumer population. In this context, enthusiasm for organic and sustainable cosmetics is likely to establish itself as a sustainable 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 spare no effort to install their organic cosmetics in the bathrooms of France. They are thus adapting their major brands to organic, such as Garnier Bio, or creating new ones like La Provençale bio at L'Oréal. The majors in the sector are also competing for initiatives in favor of the environment, such as the new sustainable development program “L'Oréal for the Future”, unveiled in June. For the world leader in cosmetics, the aim is to regain consumer confidence, by demonstrating the authenticity and consistency of its approach, and to take advantage of the clean beauty phenomenon, with responsible ranges capable of meeting consumers' expectations without be as restrictive as organic.

While the conventional giants (L'Oréal with Ushuaïa, Mixa, Cadum and Garnier; Unilever with Dove, Timoteï, Monsavon; Henkel with Vademecum, Le Chat, etc.) 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 capacities to meet the boom in demand. Léa Nature thus inaugurated a new factory in 2019, eventually tripling its production. Pioneers must also focus on expanding their offer while preserving their brand image . Last year, Pierre Cattier marketed his first range of sunscreen, a segment that is still little invested in organic. The adoption of vegan production methods and the implementation of local supply chains are also among the initiatives of specialized brands .

At the same time, we are witnessing the boom of DNVB, the digital native vertical brands , these brands which 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 media. 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 and respect for animals. The most relayed and followed on social networks then quickly arouse the interest of distributors, such as, for example, selective perfumeries and department stores . For example, the Respire brand, created on the web in 2016, has been listed since 2019 in the Sephora and Monoprix stores.

Large-scale distribution, soon to be the first channel

While the crisis as a whole has plagued sales of beauty products (closure of the selective circuit during confinements, simplification of beauty routines, etc.), sales of organic products have in particular been able to count on the maintenance of store activity. organic, supermarkets or pharmacies (its main distribution channels). While the penetration rate of e-commerce in the hygiene-beauty market had remained limited, online sales of hygiene-beauty products of supermarkets (GSA) and the selective channel respectively jumped by 28% and 52% in value last year. And, over the medium period, specialist sellers (organic cosmetics stores, general organic stores, pharmacies and drugstores) have both fostered the emergence and drawn most of the fruits from the growth in sales of organic and natural cosmetics. Their historical legitimacy and the breadth of their offer are of course not foreign.

From now on, the GSAs are on the front line and intend to catch up. The GSA which are also the place of purchase which recruits the greatest number of new consumers. And indeed, 45% of them made their first purchase of organic cosmetics there in 2020. Given the offensive of the giants of the cosmetics industry on organic products, mass retailing has solid assets to reach very high levels. soon to become the leading distribution channel for organic and natural cosmetics : an accessible offer, the exclusive distribution of the organic offer of the giants of the cosmetics industry and the listing of the brands of certain laboratories specializing in organic, such as by So'Bio Éthic or Weleda.

Author of the study: Benoît Samarcq

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