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The Fragrance Horizon: 2009 and Beyond

By: Jeb Gleason-Allured, Editor, Perfumer & Flavorist magazine
Posted: January 23, 2009, from the February 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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“The natural and organic market continues to grow at an 8–10% rate,” says Corley. “This may slow a bit over the next 18 months, but it will continue to outpace conventional personal care growth by a 3:1 rate in the United States.” Based on his outlook for this period of turmoil, Corley advises, “Differentiate products in the marketplace, i.e. apply for Natural Product Association (NPA) certification to show consumers [your commitment.] Consider export markets hungry for natural and organic personal care, particularly, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Finally, the consumer now views natural and organic personal care as contributing to a healthy lifestyle and a way they can reduce their carbon footprint. They will continue to expect personal care manufacturers to support ‘green’ initiatives and introduce new, healthy and environmentally friendly products in this category, irrespective of the economy. Something to think about.”

Amy Marks-McGee of Trendincite adds, “Manufacturers, retailers, and consumers alike look for products, services, and practices that are good for us and our environment. Organic and natural ingredients, sustainable and eco-friendly materials, and fossil fuel consumption are a few significant factors being addressed in the fragrance and flavor industry. Organic and natural ingredients are crossing over into both fragrances and flavors and will continue to overlap as new ingredients are introduced. Carbon footprints and food miles as well as the ‘locavore’ movement are apparent in the food segment, but will eventually spill over into the beauty segment as ethical consumers search for locally grown and produced products. Green is not a fad or a trend; it is becoming a lifestyle.”

Mintel’s 2009 outlook report notes, “For many, sustainability has become a deeply held sentiment, central to their lives. And so even as money gets tighter, not everyone will want to turn their backs on a greener way of life. But unsubstantiated claims will no longer be enough for people demanding real evidence of ethical authenticity. ‘Extreme ethical’ will set in with more fair trade ingredients, eco-friendly packaging, charitable initiatives and attention focused on sustainable production. We may even see companies attempt to reduce the ‘water footprint’ of their products, not just the carbon footprint.”

Hughes encourages companies to “have established programs pursuing social responsibility (fair trade), health benefits and supplement style claims, pro- and prebiotic foods and drinks, removal of artificial ingredients and colors based on consumer demand/response to emerging studies.”

Functional Flavors and Fragrances

“Beauty from within is the underlying theme for [many functional flavored and fragranced products] and consumers are slowly beginning to embrace the trend,” says Marks-McGee. “This segment is untapped in the United States, and major manufacturers are just beginning to introduce products. The convergence of health care and nutrition with personal care products and cosmetics is the future. Lines will blur as ingestible products that promote beauty from within enter the market. Consumers are searching for functional products that deliver nutritional, pharmaceutical and beauty benefits.”