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Organic Monitor Shows Imports Growing in Nordic Market

Posted: July 13, 2010

Imported brands are capitalizing on high growth in the Nordic market for natural and organic cosmetics. New research by Organic Monitor finds that although the market is expanding by about 15% a year, few Nordic companies are interested in natural and organic cosmetic products.

Organic foods are well-established in the Nordic region, with the market share reaching 5% of total food sales in Sweden and Denmark. However, natural and organic cosmetics have much lower adoption rates with below 2% market share. Organic Monitor finds a major factor behind low interest from cosmetic companies is the success of the Nordic Swan eco-labeling system. Perceived as the official eco-label of the region, the Nordic Swan is present on a wide range of cosmetics and toiletries.

With Nordic companies focusing on the Nordic Swan eco-label, consumers are turning to imported brands when seeking ‘chemically clean’ cosmetics. Natural and organic products are coming into the region from North America, Australasia and Europe. Organic Monitor finds that imported brands comprise up to 95% of natural cosmetic sales in countries such as Finland.

A growing number of companies are adopting a segmentation approach to market entry, targeting specific channels and/or consumer groups. For instance, the U.K. firm REN Skincare has made inroads by focusing on beauty retailers and department stores. Aveda, the leading American brand, is concentrating on hair salons and spas.

The first-ever report on the Nordic Market for Natural Cosmetics gives a detailed analysis of this emerging market. Healthy market growth rates are forecast to continue, with growth driven by new product launches and increasing distribution. As has happened in other European countries such as France and Germany, retailer private labels are expected to have a major impact.