Cities across the globe are getting bigger and the urban lifestyle is becoming more common. An increasing number of working women, longer and less-standard working hours and a more mobile workforce have created a need for new types of flexible, eco-friendly and 'on-the-go' packaging in the health and beauty arena. The most pertinent trends, according to Canadean Intelligence's June 2013 'Innovation in Health & Beauty Packaging' report, are as follows.
Smaller households = smaller pack sizes: changing expectations
Today, more people than ever before live alone. This is true of older consumers and also many young adults, who continue in education for longer, and choose to marry and settle down later in life. According to Canadean Intelligence's latest report, the increasing number of smaller and single-person households worldwide will have direct consequences for product pack sizes.
This group of independent individuals are looking for 'on-the-go' products and flexible packaging. The need for smaller and lighter packs comes in many shapes and sizes, from credit-card-shaped sachets that fit perfectly in the pocket of a pair of jeans through to the innovative recloseable combination packs, such as those containing two treatments in one.
Research reveals that flexible packaging already owns the majority of the market, with a volume share of 58% in 2012. The demand for flexible packaging has grown fast at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9% between 2007 and 2012. The trend towards on-the-go products, lightweight packs and greater flexibility in pack design suggests the use of flexpack and other lightweight plastics will continue to grow. Smaller pack sizes will, of course, further impact upon overall pack volumes because it follows that, as the average pack size falls, the number of packs used per kilogram/millilitre packed increases.
Anti-aging segments: mature economies
The desire to look younger for longer and the anti-aging concept of beauty products has been a major focus of the health and beauty industry for a long time. According to the report, there has been an increased desire among more mature consumers to 'look good for your age'.
The desire to look good is not just a social pressure; the research shows that many consumers believe the signs of aging, and related effects such as the appearance of fatigue, will have an impact on their opportunities in the workplace. This is a particularly poignant factor considering a number of mature economies are currently experiencing periods of high unemployment, plus the fact that retirement ages are being pushed ever further back.
Today, the anti-aging industry is shifting from a curative to a more preventative position, particularly in terms of skincare. A greater knowledge of the causes of aging, such as the damaging effects of the sun and a call for more natural product ingredients, have extended the anti-aging concept into new categories.
Marketers in the non-BRIC regions are already adjusting to aging populations as a result of longer life expectancies and larger numbers of people entering retirement. Those in China and Russia are also beginning to adapt to changing demographic structures. In China, more than a fifth of the population is more than 50 years old. The same goes for many European countries; for instance, roughly a third of the French and British populations are over 50. These changing demographic structures will increase the demand for health and beauty packaging up until 2017.
Top innovators: skincare and haircare
Canadean Intelligence estimates that by 2017 the retail value of the global health and beauty packaging market will be $450 billion. This value will be spread over 200 billion primary pack types, along with 25 billion outer packs and almost 100 billion closures.
Packaging innovation in the health and beauty market will be driven by skincare and haircare. These two categories account for 40% of the health and beauty market, and will continue to witness steady growth up until 2017.
Design before costs: attractive packaging
Creating a visually attractive pack design continues to be important in health and beauty packaging. While tough economic times have rendered cost reduction a more prominent driver in other packaging markets, such as food and beverages, visually appealing pack design is still deemed to be more important than pure cost reduction in the health and beauty industry.
Booming markets: Asia and Latin America
The report recommends that marketers look to Asia and Latin America for new market opportunities. Due to an expanding population and growing numbers of affluent consumers, Asia was ranked as the world's largest market for health and beauty products in 2012, followed by Latin America.
People in these regions now have more money to spend on luxury items, and have been buying health and beauty products more frequently during the last five years. In particular, the demand for premium, high-end, good-quality products has skyrocketed and will continue to do so towards 2017.
Sustainability: recycled plastic
Eco-friendliness and sustainability continue to be important to many consumers, and the use of recycled plastic in packaging can massively improve a product's sustainability profile.
One company that has enjoyed success with its corporate social responsibility strategy is Marks & Spencer. The UK retailer's ethical and environmental code of conduct has seen an increase the amount of packaging made from more sustainable raw materials such as recycled plastics. For example, in its Essential Extracts personal care range, Marks & Spencer used a 300ml PET bottle, a type of packaging that consists of 30% post-consumer recycled materials.
Using renewable materials is another method of improving the sustainability profile of a particular packaging design. Typically, this will include replacing polystyrene (PS) with polylactic acid (PLA) or using plant-based materials. L'Occitane has worked with the plastics packaging manufacturer Promens to launch a new bottle made from plant-based plastic. These Bonne Mère bottles are recyclable and made from renewable plant-based plastic, using the raw material sugar cane.
Canadean Intelligence estimates that by 2017 the retail value of the global health and beauty packaging market will be $450 billion. The Canadean Intelligence report 'Innovation in Health & Beauty Packaging 2013' was published in June 2013 and is available via the Industry Report Store at www.industryreportstore.com.