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Consumers Demand Eco, Individualized and Efficacious

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: November 30, 2011, from the December 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Besides, consumers are more and more informed and demanding in terms of efficacy and visible results, thus we [must still] provide high-tech active ingredients with tested activity and highly sophisticated modes of action.

Naturex: European and Asian consumers are increasingly looking for authenticity. Twenty years ago, the demand for natural products was low. People wanted products that were effective. Nowadays, consumers—in addition to wanting the product they buy to bring a real and visible benefit—are also concerned about environmental issues. The way the ingredients are produced and carried is a matter of interest for the final consumer.

Dow Corning Beauty Care: While we’re seeing more highly individualized products in many markets, specifically for hair care, emerging and developing economies may just recently be moving past very basic hair cleaning and oiling toward more sophisticated care. In some of these regions, populations prefer to stay with their well-known shampoos, and it can be a challenge to help them make the step to conditioners—yet at the same time, they already expect conditioner benefits from their shampoos. In emerging markets, there is a need for more effective, high performance formulations, yet ingredient and development costs are significant factors in determining the products that actually reach consumers.

GCI: How can brand owners leverage ingredients/ingredient types to strengthen their branding and product development efforts?

SL: Many times marketers do not acknowledge scientific research and facts. They label the products as “preservative-free” or “paraben-free,” implying that preservation or parabens are dangerous for the health, when it’s entirely the opposite. [For more, read Controversial Ingredients: One Brand’s Perspective.] [Brand owners] can influence the market by paying more attention to their R&D needs and, from there, educating consumers about the importance of safety in the formulas.