No growth in organic grooming products in 2009

Posted on January 5th, 2010 by Gina

I have seen the future of “green” personal care products and the situation stinks.  First, Cosmetics Design, a trade association for cosmetic formulation and packaging companies, recently reported that despite all the hoopla over natural and organic products, there has been NO GROWTH in the organic beauty products market in 2009.  “The study, conducted amongst 1,000 respondents aged 18-75, found that there has been virtually no growth in the consumer base since 2008.”

How can that be true, you ask?  Researchers from Tabs Group who were commissioned to do the study, point to three major problems:

  1. Price. It costs more money to make a product out of natural ingredients rather than synthetic, and consumers pay for it.  “The price for non-organic products is often 50 per cent lower than an organic equivalent…”
  2. Efficacy. Consumers are not getting the results they want from so-called organic products.  They are paying a large premium for products they find equivalent or less than traditional products.
  3. Give a damn. People don’t.  We think recycling our plastic bags is important, but don’t much care about our shampoo.

Horst M. Rechelbacher

I have a fourth variable the researchers didn’t get to: Smell.  Real, natural, certified, no-bull-organic products smell terrible.   They have no fragrance and no fragrance-blockers. Frankly, decomposed plant matter just plain smells bad.  Case in point – salon brand Intelligent Nutrients by Horst M. Rechelbacher.  Released with great fanfare as the truest, most natural, cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-die, certified, organic hair and skin products ever produced, Intelligent Nutrients are gathering dust on salon shelves because folks can’t whiff without wheezing (I did!).  Rechelbacher is the founder of the fabulous-smelling Aveda products, which are quite natural themselves.  He sold Aveda to Estee Lauder back in 2003 and used at least some of his proceeds to buy a farm in Wisconsin where he grows his own plants to use as ingredients.  But nonetheless, his good intentions have not paid off.  His loss stinks.

Mintel, a research company that provides intelligence on a variety of consumer products, including beauty trends, says we can expect eco-friendly products with descriptions like “free from” and “sustainable” in 2010.   “Nu Natural” is the description they give the vision of companies and consumers who are “less focused on certification and more focused on results”.

And they will smell better, too.

2 Comments on “No growth in organic grooming products in 2009”

  1. LookinGood

    Jules, someone once taught me the Latin phrase “De gustibus non est disputandum,” which means “There’s no arguing with taste! (Gina)

  2. jules

    Interesting post – as someone who works in the biz, the question is — what might make people care? Climate change and other “green” issues have the same problem. People are more worried about recycling one soda can than they are about their oil consumption.

    Yet in other categories, it’s a bit of a different story. Red Bull. Tastes like hell, expensive – people love it.

    What do you think, Gina?

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