Insight: The Top Four Personal Care Packaging Trends

Consumers are continually changing the way they interact with and discard their personal care products. Find out the top four trends in this market here.

From skincare to fragrance and from bath products to oral hygiene, consumers are continually changing the way they interact with and discard their personal care products. Whether you're a manufacturer or a product marketer, you know how important it is to stand out from the crowd whilst also reflecting the changing needs of the consumer with your packaging.

In our new bulletin, Smithers Pira explores the top four personal care packaging trends you need to know about to make sure your products stay ahead of the curve.

1.) Sustainability

Consumers are becoming more environmentally aware and these concerns are leaking into their personal care purchases. These days, consumers are actively seeking out signs on packaging that show the manufacturer has an environmental conscience. Understanding how this commitment to sustainability can be communicated on packaging is increasingly key to attracting consumers.

However, herein lies the challenge for a large portion of the personal care market. Luxury products, relying on the perception of exclusivity and prestige for sales, experience a potential disconnect here as brand owners often do not want to associate their high-end goods with recycled materials. An example of a company successfully balancing these two concerns is luxury packaging producer Toly Products Ltd, and their new Zeta Biozone range. Optionally available in two environmentally friendly materials, PLA and Eastman's Tenite cellulosic polymers, Zeta Biozone are able to satisfy varying groups of consumers without losing its luxurious image.

2.) Convenience

A growing number of consumers balance their personal care routines with increasingly busy lifestyles, meaning that products offering ease of use are most likely to succeed.

As a result, there is a general movement towards PET (polyethylene terephthalate) usage, which allows for product flexibility on-the-go. Manufacturers are also using gravity to ease dispensation, a technique which has been adopted across the board.

Easier to open caps, closure devices, packs which stand up better in the shower, portion control devices and 'handleability' are all innovations which are responding to a consumer's desire for convenience and ease of use. For example, Unilever's Lynx Detox Deep Clean Shampoo features an innovative button operated cap, designed for speed and ease of use in the shower.

3.) Male grooming

The growing popularity of male grooming, particularly in emerging markets, is increasing the global demand for male hair care and facial skin care products. Shaving, aftershave and antiperspirants have been the traditional products most in demand by men, and these items are now being joined by a plethora of skin and hair care products. This trend is usually driven not so much by a desire for attractiveness, but by a professional or social situation coupled with a desire to proclaim one's status or differentiate oneself from the crowd.

Therefore in this new, tentative market, branding attributes hold significant value. The importance of building brand affinity as well as awareness and loyalty feature heavily in the brand owner's marketing activities as consumers look for the reassurance of established brands for their daily personal care routines.

Preservation of quality is a packaging pre-requisite to ensure the product remains fit for purpose for the duration of its use. Pack functionality is also very important in this sector, as the time-poor male consumer looks for more practical and simple application from their packaging. Ergonomics can also act as a differentiator to support and build the brand during product usage.

4.) Value-added products

As new developments continue to occur in the fast-moving personal care packaging sector, consumers are increasingly expecting added value in the cosmetics they purchase. Packaging companies should meet this expectation through the addition of innovative techniques, such as integrated applicators.

Across all categories, these dispensing systems have become a key way for brands to differentiate products and offer consumers additional value. Brands are introducing products with dispensing applicator tips that directly apply formulas to the face or other target area, including items such as sponges, brushes and roll-ons. Applicator tips have found their way into many different beauty segments, with skincare being one particularly suitable application.

Aptar's Caresse applicator is a leading example of such an applicator. A bi-injected, flexible applicator that works like a fingertip, the Caresse provides a gentle application which also massages the skin.

If you need to know more about consumer packaging trends, our full, comprehensive report, The Future of Personal Care Packaging to 2018, instant access is available here.

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