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new naturals: a total holistic experience

2013-03

The trend to organic products is spreading to personal care and home care. Ingredient awareness and negativity is making more consumers turn to new, natural ideas for their products. But just another natural ingredient and a new scent that perfumers feel conveys this ingredient and therefore “fits the concept” won’t be enough for today’s savvy consumers – brands that want to offer natural today will have to offer a new “TONE” = “Total Natural Experience”.

It won’t just be about finding more exotic ingredients with an active role (although this will often be a central part of the rational authenticity of the story), it will also be about creating a new experience – from the packaging through to the formulation as well as the fragrance. Brands will need to know:

  • What are the different facets of the sensorial impression of being “more natural” in my category?

  • How can my product communicate authentically safe, friendly to the planet, and inspire, excite and trigger interest in my brand?

  • How far can/should the natural claims go? Which are most relevant to the category and the brand?

  • What does the active ingredient evoke in terms of scent, colour, skin feeling during and after use…?

  • And quite possibly… how does this differ from region to region? (For instance in India women are actively asking for VEGAN cosmetics!)

Products with natural ingredients have become more popular over the last few years but many consumers haven’t been that interested in “authentic natural” products, sold in separate channels and often marketed in a more austere manner. Missing emotionality, many mainstream consumers perceive (or experience) these products as less effective and less pleasurable to use. For the new generation of “TONE Naturals”, the consumer doesn’t want to compromise on pleasure or performance. Brands could gain traction and a real competitive edge – if they also create a new “emotional” and “sensorial” authenticity that re-defines what is means to be “natural”.

We specialize in helping brands understand the link between the sensorial and the emotional. We recommend you explore the sensorial implications of a Total Natural Experience with your consumers at the very outset of a project. Let them participate as early as possible; to help you put together a well-rounded, consumer-driven brief for formulation, scent and design development. As a bonus, this early learning provides the authentic consumer language that can make a powerful selling story. 

Have confidence in your consumer. Then they will have confidence in you.

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CASE IN POINT – CHINA and SKIN CARE

The latest MINTEL report shows that consumer attitudes in China also reflect a market demand for natural products. Some 80% of urban female consumers in China say that they “always check the ingredients of skin care products before buying them” and a massive 90% claim that they are “getting more concerned about the safety of skin care products”. Jane Henderson, global president, beauty and personal care division, at Mintel, said “The advantage of natural and organic skin care products is not just about avoiding the use of artificial chemical ingredients or even harmful ingredients, but rather applying a concept of ‘fully nutritional’ and ‘fully comprehensive’ treatment to increase the skin’s healthiness. These green skin care products will certainly be a major skin care trend in the future,” Henderson explained.

The research also reveals sun care as a category ripe for capitalizing on the demand from Chinese consumers for natural products in beauty, with over a third (36%) disagreeing that natural and organic sunscreens are not as effective as chemical ones.