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Novel material and energy claims stand out in beauty.

Consumers are increasingly seeking products that respect the environment, and beauty and personal care is in no way immune to this growing consumer need. Indeed according to Minters research, half of U.S. beauty consumers view sustainable practices as important. This increases for respondents aged 25-35 who show heightened levels of agreement with statements about environment and social responsibility as it relates to beauty and personal care products. As this age group also shows heightened levels of interest in beauty and personal care products and a willingness to spend more on these products, brands will do well to ensure they leverage packaging solutions that deliver an environmentally friendly message.

Interestingly, Mintel has found that this younger U.S. consumer group is more likely to see sustainable production as important (53%) than recyclable packaging (46%), which suggests opportunities exist beyond the traditional fallback of packaging in recyclable materials as the sole "green" packaging attribute. As such, many brands are turning to plant-based materials and plant-based printing inks to create packaging that can speak to this need for sustainability and to support such claims in the product itself. For example, Caudalle Contouring Regimen Contouring Concentrate has recently been relaunched featuring a new formula that claims to be a preservative-free, 100% natural plant-based dry body oil designed to firm and smooth the skin. It is retailed in a pack that includes a leaflet printed on recycled paper using plant-based inks.

Other sustainable materials that are finding opportunities in beauty care packaging include: bagasse (a sugar cane waste material that has a natural ivory color), palm fiber (remains of palm fruit after it has been processed for oil), reed fiber (a Japanese innovation that can be composted and returned to the soil), agroresin (made from agricultural biomass), and many other plant based bio-plastics (both recyclable bio-HDPE and bio-PET and compostable plastics such as PLA).

But sustainability is not just about materials; consumers also recognize that energy can come from environmentally "good" or "bad" sources. This has prompted an interesting on-pack claim by beauty company Aveda. The Aveda Dry Remedy range has been relaunched with new formulas, new aromas and new-look packaging. The range includes packaging made from between 59% and 90% post-consumer recycled material depending on pack type or material (HDPE or glass), and in some cases also includes bioplastic. What is more interesting is that all the packs make the strong claim that Aveda is the first beauty company manufacturing with 100% wind power.

Similarly Origins Plantscription also highlights energy source on pack. Origins Plantscription skincare products are formulated with natural and certified organic ingredients and 100% natural oils, and do not contain parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, PABA, petrolatum, paraffin, DEA, or animal by-products. They feature anogeissus, which helps bring a sigh of relief to the appearance of aging skin without irritation. The product retails in a recyclable and FSC-certified pack made with 50% postconsumer recycled fiber and using only renewable energy sources.

It's not just where energy used in product and packaging construction comes from that is important. Beauty brands are now highlighting their efforts in reducing energy use. Muller M-Lady Pink Leopard shaving foam features a gentle formula that is claimed to offer a rich, creamy foam for a smooth shave. This product is suitable for daily use, comes with an Orange Blossom fragrance, and retails in a recyclable 150m1 pack, which claims to be easy to handle and has been made using less energy than alternative packs.

Looking to the future, Mintel predicts that sustainable packaging material innovation will continue to be a strong focus in beauty, with the target being to convert waste materials into the premium and high-quality packaging materials that consumers have come to expect in the category. But also expect to see more energy claims as consumers look beyond just what they have in their hand to understand every environmental aspect of where it came from.

Written by Viktonja Gnatoka, global packaging analyst, Mintel
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Title Annotation:Environmentally Responsible Packaging
Author:Gnatoka, Viktorija
Publication:Beauty Packaging
Date:Apr 1, 2014
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