Personal care accounted for 38% of the total organic non-foods category. Total sales for the category, which include supplements, household products/cleaners, pet food, flowers and fibers, grew 32% to $744 million in 2006 (see T-1).
Some major beauty manufacturers recently tested the waters in the prestige arena and in alternative channels. For example, Gucci Group-owned YSL Beauté recently unveiled an organic treatment line by designer Stella McCartney, and Groupe Clarins took a minority stake in the natural brand Kibio.
In addition, smaller, yet niche brands are emerging in unusual places. LAVANILLA Laboratories developed a fragrance line with the claim of being a healthy fragrance. The products are made with essential oils, natural botanicals and have “super antioxidant technology” that claims to help skin stay young and rejuvenated, unlike the alcohols in other perfumes. The line has three fragrances: Pure Vanilla, Vanilla Blossom and Vanilla Grapefruit.
Organic bath, body and skin care marketer Erbaviva LLC has teamed up with Target Corp. to introduce Erbaorganics, a National Organic Program (NOP) certified organic skin care line for moms and babies. The line is billed as all-natural skin care and it features 12 products.
Horst Rechelbacher, a self-described “ecological activist,” shook up the salon industry in the late 1970s with the founding of Aveda Corp.—a natural, eco-friendly beauty company. Now he’s preparing to break ground with another line, one that reflects his sharply evolved homegrown philosophy. By teaming up with salon company Regis Corp., Rechelbacher has created a head-to-toe organic personal care and cosmetics line called Intelligent Nutrients by Horst. The joint venture, Intelligent Nutrients LLC, plans to distribute the products exclusively to salons.
All of these companies have a common driver—producing green products to respond to consumer demand. The growth in natural and organic personal care products has presented many challenges to the ingredients suppliers. Not only must the products be functional, increasingly sophisticated and affordable, but they must also be “healthy” and free of parabens, phthalates and other questionable ingredients.
Today, even the fragrance or scents used to add value to the product are subject to the same scrutiny as the personal care base or other components contributing to the finished product. Here I will examine how fragrance and health are now intimately linked in the product development process at most personal care companies. In addition, I will explore, from a formulation and marketing perspective, how certain natural and organic fragrance components are valued as much for their perceived healing and therapeutic properties as they are for their olfactive contribution to personal care products.
Other topics discussed: Regulatory Challenges, The Natural Product Building Blocks, Building a Healthy Fragrance