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Cosmetics and food: cross border trends

May 14, 2013

In a world where consumers are increasingly informed and connected, traditional segmentations seem to lose their meaning and the boundaries between product categories seem to blur partially. Influences are moving fast from a product category to another and larger societal trends affect all markets. These are the influences that Cosmetics Inspiration & Creation and NutriMarketing, two agencies specializing in trends and innovation consultancy, chose to explore in a study on emerging trends where cosmetics, food, health and wellbeing collide.

“We have entered a hybrid society. By combining their information sources, drawing on many influences to satisfy their desires, consumers tend to question traditional segmentations,” said Leila Rochet-Podvin, director and founder of Cosmetics Inspiration & Creation and co-author of the study. In a context, marked by the rapid, and sometimes contradictory, evolution of consumers’ needs and desires, brands seeking innovation must open up their eyes as much as consumers do.

Cosmetics and food: cross border trends

The two agencies have completed their reflections by many examples of innovative products and retail concepts illustrating the numerous cross-references between food and cosmetics. For instance, they highlight the use of common ingredients or common references to the purity and benefits of certain waters as well as the power of the marine world. Food and cosmetics have also come together to praise sugar, but also fresh and local products, and even sensuality.

Ten trends to follow

On this basis, Leila Rochet-Podvin and Béatrice de Reynal suggest following ten trends that are likely to have a strong influence on these two sectors in 2013.

The first two trends (GRIN’IFIC and iControl) refer to the increasing penetration of technology, science and information in the daily lives of consumers. The rise of homo numericus is also reflected in the consumer’s desire to seize power and become a strategist of its own personal affirmation and desires.

The following two trends (Senstory Gamers and Hyperlife & SuperStress) highlight the quest for higher aspirations, customization, and calm in parallel to accelerating bulimic lives, with multiple sides and fully interconnected.

The fifth (Clean & Pure) and sixth (Healthy) trends are two complementary sides of the same search for well-being and health, with in the one hand, the desire to preserve oneself from any source of poisoning, and a strong willingness to detoxify oneself, and in the other hand, the search for wellness and health, the willingness to feel good in one’s body, the quest for a new balance between health and beauty, as well as assumed healthy ageing.

The next three trends reflect the major global economic and demographic changes. The rise of Asia results in a sort of Eastward rush, with the growing influence of Far Eastern fashion and lifestyle, including Japan and Korea. “What happened with BB Creams will not remain an isolated case,” sayid Leila Rochet-Podvin. “Consumers in Europe and North America are increasingly sensitive to the ancestral values and roots of Chinese culture, even if they reject the current outrageous consumerism of the country,” she added. Similarly, the increasing proportion of seniors in several societies (today almost 1 in 10 people are over 60 years old, by 2050 1 in 5 people will be over 60) and the growing ethnic diversity of populations should encourage brands to change the way they address these two issues.

Eventually, Sustainably True, the tenth and final trend identified by the two agencies, continues the organic and natural trend but with an increased demand for transparency, stronger attention to communities and to the origin of products and their human signature. The resources of the planet are still perceived as exhaustible, but consumers have grown increasingly suspicious towards greenwashing practices and they demand more concrete actions. To be noted also, a rise of sustainability concerns among luxury brands.

In conclusion, Cosmetics Inspiration & Creation and NutriMarketing recommend putting consumers at the centre of the innovation process, to enable them to resume a meaningful purchase, allowing to express themselves, to realize their personality (“upgrade the ego”), but also to provide them with a really attractive value (“desirable benefit”), while reintroducing the emotional dimension of the shopping experience (“re-enchant”).

“This is more or less for brands to return to common sense and the courage to assume their role in society rather than talk about it, in short to achieve the role of the one who will shape its market,” said the two authors of the study.

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