The major trigger for consumers to start using natural and organic products is concerns over health, according to a recently released consumer behaviour report.
The report – by London-based research consultancy Organic Monitor – is the second edition of the UK Consumer Insights
report – which was first conducted in 2007 – and shows a significant increase in awareness of synthetic chemicals in cosmetics and toiletries, thus driving growth in the natural and organic personal care products market.
90 per cent of UK buyers of natural and organic personal care products said ‘avoidance of synthetic chemicals’ was important or very important to them.Specific chemicals were identified by respondents as ones to avoid
. For example, almost two-thirds of buyers stated they look to avoid parabens, while 19 per cent of buyers wished to avoid phthalates and lanolin, compared to just 3 per cent in 2007, highlighting increased consumer awareness of synthetic chemicals.
43 per cent of buyers say they look for symbols and logos on personal care products, which represent ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ certification, up from 33 per cent in 2007. The Soil Association logo, associated with organic products
, is sought out by 30 per cent of buyers. 21 per cent of buyers said they look for the Fairtrade symbol, however this logo represents the presence of certified Fairtrade ingredients – not certified finished products. This therefore conveys consumer confusion about elements of certification.
All respondents said they are willing to pay more for certified products. 72 per cent said they would pay up to 20 per cent for certified products. 12 per cent of buyers would be willing to pay a premium above 30 per cent.
Although the number of organic product brands has mushroomed in the UK, with established brands such as Weleda, Dr Hauschka and Jason Natural comprising most sales in every product category.
The internet is now the prime source of information on natural and organic personal care products
, overtaking friends and family recommendations. In 2007, a quarter of consumers said they heard about such products via ‘word of mouth’. 35 per cent now get information from hand-held devices and computers – putting emphasis on the major influence digital communications are having on consumer behaviour.
Key findings from this Consumer Insights
report will be revealed at the upcoming Sustainable Cosmetics Summit in Paris on 24-26 November – the sixth European edition of the event, hosted at the Paris Marriott Champs-Elysées hotel and organised by Organic Monitor.