Natural is still a mystifying term in the industry, yet it’s ubiquitously perceived in the public domain as healthier or better. But this proverbial iceberg runs deeper below the surface. The definition is still being defined by the FDA; but while that’s happening, the conversation within the industry is shifting from what’s natural to what’s transparent.
Consumers are savvier than ever about questioning what they consume, and simultaneously they are met with an influx of information. Consequently, this information, notably in F&F, is subject to dilution with negative or false perceptions due to a lack of understanding in the scientific arena. With innovation, transparency and sustainability as main arteries in a globalized and digitized F&F market, strengthening the public’s trust in science is an opportunity to evolve.
In a 2016 Label Insights surveya, nearly all consumers (94%) stated that transparency would determine their brand loyalty. The survey also found that 73% would pay more for a product that offers complete transparency. Interestingly, more than half of consumers said their perception of healthy foods is based on their own personal definition.
On a micro level, NPD datab indicates that 20% of consumers would wear more fine fragrances if they could find a natural one, and 12% are willing to pay more. So, it’s clear that companies moving towards transparent labeling are a step ahead in helping consumers define what’s healthy (and natural). Read more about natural products on page 22.
Companies like Unilever and SC Johnson are leading the industry in its ingredient disclosures to the public; in the start-up realm, fragrance brand Phlur has pushed transparency for natural and synthetic ingredients in its products. Biotech is also booming and changing the way consumers think about natural ingredients and sourcing.
Which raises the question: how can science and innovation in F&F rebrand itself to be palatable and compelling to the public? Some food (or scent) for thought. I hope you enjoy this issue.
With warmth from New York City,