‘Self-care’ is a relatively new term in the marketing dictionary but comes with a great deal of commercial weight. The idea is that consumers are now selecting products or services based on their ability to reduce stress and anxiety, rather than the more logical decision-making processes of weighing up cost-benefit analysis.
What self-care looks like in practice is more difficult to define because it tends to be more subjective. To one individual, self-care might come in the form of a gym membership intended to support mental health through activity. To another, it might be consuming indulgent snack products.
One of the most obvious areas to find the self-care trend in action is in the personal care product market. To the self-care driven consumer, personal care products represent a chance to add a touch of luxury and escapism to otherwise everyday routines. Overall, the self-care market has boomed from a global value of $10bn in 2014 to $450bn by the close of 2020.
So, what does the growth of self-care tell personal care product formulators?
Creativity is king
A driving force behind the rise of ‘self-care’ is the desire for experiences. Consumers are seeking fresh new products that intrigue and delight. The most direct routes to offering this are of course through ingredients and application innovation.
As consumer needs shift and evolve, personal care brand owners and product formulators have enormous scope to get creative and create experiences in new and existing products. Oil blends are one way that formulators can create category disruption, designing products to stand out on crowded store shelves, while maintaining supply chain simplicity.
An oil blend seems simple in concept but presents more advantages than might be expected. Oil blends combine multiple high–quality ingredients, combinations of carrier oils and essential oils, into one SKU. This approach comes with significant benefits in manufacturing such as the streamlining of storage, handling and auditing, but for product developers, it can unlock new levels of creativity.
Infusing fresh flavours or aromas into personal care products and harnessing the powerful qualities of natural oils can instantly boost the perceived value for the consumer. Oil blends also simplify range expansions and provide a faster route to market than would otherwise be possible.
Added nutrition in personal care
‘Self-care’ is closely tied to mental wellbeing but is also connected with physical health. As consumers become more engaged with their health and wellbeing, one surging trend to note is that shoppers are looking for stronger nutritional profiles in the products they purchase. This drive includes personal care, cosmetic and hygiene products.
This growing demand is closely related to a similar consumer need for products to ‘do more’ and play multiple roles. Brand owners looking to engage with today’s switched-on consumer are becoming more selective with ingredients. Formulators are aiming for fewer total ingredients in formulations, adhering to clean label principles, but with boosted nutrients overall.
To achieve this, many formulators are looking to the natural world – plant–based oils and ingredients that can instantly boost the nutritional profile of a personal care brand. Coconut Oil is a great example; as well as a distinct aroma that evokes tropical surroundings, the oil contains around 92% saturated fatty acids, is naturally rich in antioxidants, and contains vitamin E, which is believed to have strong anti-ageing qualities. In addition, Coconut Oil is also known to have well-documented anti-inflammatory properties – ideal for sensitive skin formulations.
Another great choice is Jojoba Oil, which also has anti-inflammatory properties. As well as keeping skin feeling soft and supple, Jojoba Oil contains Vitamin B-Complex which helps protect and repair the skin, as well as Gadoleic Acid, a non-comedogenic that keeps skin pores clear for free flow of oxygen.
‘Premium’ still captures attention
Products that can convey a luxury experience in personal care are strongly resonating with today’s anxious consumer. There is rapidly growing appetite for products that use high quality ingredients and innovation to offer escapism and allow the user to ‘switch off’ from everyday stresses and strains.
Global intelligence agency Nielsen has taken a closer look at consumer interactions with premiumisation. Findings in its Global Premiumisation Report found that over half of shoppers reported that premium purchases make them feel good, and 42% of consumers were happy to pay higher prices for organic, authentic ingredients.
For personal care product developers, this demonstrates the strong commercial potential of natural oils and ingredients. A powerful example would be the renowned Stephenson Soap Base collection available from Kerfoot Group.
Including melt & pour bases, bath butters, liquid soap bases, lotion and shampoo bases, the collection makes it easy to create a product that conveys luxury and quality. Whether looking to create a premium soap bar or develop a decadent lotion or moisturiser, the selection available from Kerfoot Group is backed by the company’s strong reputation for quality, authenticity and technical expertise.
Product formulators can tap into the commercial value of ‘self-care’ by understanding the driving forces behind its growth. It’s a significant change in consumer behaviour that factors experience on an equal footing with other elements of the product value proposition. Sustainability, traceability and branding still play a key role, but to capture the attention of the ‘self-care’ focused consumer, brands must harness product formulation to turn everyday products into an ‘event’.
Looking to create personal care, hygiene or cosmetic products that engage today’s mindful consumer? Discover how simple it can be with Kerfoot Group.
As part of the global Avril Group, Kerfoot Group has an enviable portfolio of oils and ingredients for the food, personal care and health and nutrition industries. This offering is backed with leading technical expertise and the stockholding to deliver on time, every time.
The experienced Kerfoot Group team can help brand owners and product formulators quickly and effectively create formulations that speak to the demands of today’s consumer, while supporting the unique needs of manufacturers.
Why not get in touch to discover more today?