Wellness, Clean Labels Key to Personal, Sun & Baby Care Success  8/4/2017

At last month’s Sun Care, Baby Care, and Personal Care, Grooming, Oral & Travel/Trial EPPS meetings, it was clear that consumers preference for cleaner-label products still remains strong. In fact, according to interviews with buyers and sellers attending these sessions, they are getting even more granular in their search for natural and organic ingredients and healthier options (more “picky,” as one attendee put it). “People are realizing that what they put on their skin, and on their baby’s skin, goes into their bodies,” according to one buyer.

Indeed, this is consistent with the findings of a recent Nielsen study based on its Label Insight research, which revealed that sales of products with a natural label claim grew 9.1 percent over last year. And personal care products with naturally-derived ingredients from botanicals that were paired with a natural label saw double-digit growth.

Sun Care
At our Sun Care EPPS, in addition to cleaner ingredients, attendees interviewed said consumers are looking for items with more specific benefits, such as healthy skin, formulations to use when playing sports, dermatologist-approved ingredients, and non-GMO. This extends to packaging, as well, with environmentally-safe packaging the preference among these consumers.

The two Buyers Choice Award winners are examples of suppliers who were addressing these trends. Crown' Laboratories' Blue Lizard line, which took first place, delivers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection in a mineral-based, water-resistant, SPF 30+ formulation that comes in a variety of formulations based on some of those functions mentioned above, including sport, sensitive skin, products for babies, and those specifically for the face. On top of this, its patented BPA-free Smart Bottle changes colors in the presence of harmful UV rays, reminding users to cover up.

Baby Care
The Baby & Infant EPPS also reflected this wellness trend, as consumers seek more gentle and chemical-free ingredients that are safer on babies’ skin, like Buyers Choice Award finalist Bio-Spectra’s Attitude Baby Wipes, which in addition to using natural ingredients, are also are made from plant-based materials that are biodegradable and compostable – safer for the baby and safer for the planet, which is a must when targeting Millennial moms (Bio-Spectra also was a finalist in Sun Care for its Attitude natural sun screen.). First place winner Hush Baby addresses wellness in a different way; its Hush Hat is designed to calm babies down so that they can get more healthy sleep.

The baby and infant category is one area in which social media provides a wealth of opportunities in which to engage consumers, and according to attendees helping to drive the category and the ability of brands to better tell their stories. This was a key area of focus of ECRM’s educational session for this EPPS, during which Marlea Clark, EVP of Marketing & Insights for Women’s Marketing, discussed how brands can leverage mobile and social media to better connect with moms. (Click here to download the slides)

“The one thing that remains constant to mom is how important her mobile phone is to her,” says Clark. “For brands, what's important is that she is spending so much time on that phone on social, sharing, learning about products, learning about brands, and getting her friends’ and her family’s opinion about brands, so she can buy the best products for her family."

Personal Care
Finally, products with cleaner ingredients were also trending at the Personal Care, Grooming, Oral & Travel/Trial EPPS, with charcoal and essential oils -- particularly those oils with anti-bacterial properties -- making their way into an increasing number of products like skin care and oral care.

But this wasn’t the only trend noted among attendees. Men’s grooming products were very prevalent this year, including wipes (a very popular item at the EPPS) as well as products for shaving and beard maintenance – not surprising with the popularity of beards among Millennial men. (Along with man-buns, but they are covered in our Hair Care EPPS). In fact, both the finalist and first place Buyers Choice winners for this EPPS were shaving-related products.

Speed Razor took first place with its body and head razor for men and women that is designed to fit in the palm of the user’s hand, and has two opposing sets of blades, allowing the user to shave in two directions. Finalist Legacy Shave’s Evolution Brush universally attaches to shaving cream/gel cans, to provide users an enhanced shaving experience using its brush lathering technology.

What’s Next in E-Commerce
Attendees of all three EPPS sessions had the opportunity to hear Jordan Rost, VP of Consumer Insights for Nielsen’s E-Commerce Measurement practice discuss what was next in e-commerce for retail. “We’re really in the phase now where things are becoming more accessible,” says Rost. “technology enables that, apps enable that, we can buy anything at a moment’s notice, and that’s fundamentally changing the way that consumers are shopping.”

He also discussed how automation – including data analysis and machine learning – are making the process of e-commerce easier and enabling new business models for brands across the sun care, personal care, and baby care categories. (Click here to download the slides).

He also outlines some recommendations on how brands can leverage upcoming e-commerce opportunities. Among them:
  • Brands need to understand the unique needs of key consumers across all channels and categories
  • Digital execution is a cross functional effort and requires full company support
  • FMCG companies need to be open to collaboration across the digital supply chain


Below are videos of Nielsen's Jordan Rost and Women's Marketing's Marlea Clark -- click the icon in the upper-left of the video player to see the full playlist.

Tony Giovanini

SVP of General Merchandise

Tony can be reached at (440) 528-0416

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