Study: Greater consumer understanding of personal care active ingredients drives product development

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The U.S. specialty actives market is on the rise as consumers gain a better understanding of personal care active ingredients and increasingly demand products that deliver results, according to a recent report from consulting and research firm Kline & Co.

The specialty actives market in the United States reached nearly $240 million in 2010 and is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 3.8% through 2015, according to Kline’s recently published study “Specialty Actives in Personal Care 2011: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities.”

“The increasing average age of a U.S. citizen and desire to look younger has raised consumer expectations for efficacy of active ingredients resulting in functionality becoming increasingly important,” stated Anna Ibbotson, industry manger at Kline’s chemicals and materials practice. “Consumers want to see results, and this is reflected in the trend toward more effective finished personal care products.”

She added that, for example, “in the natural products arena, the presence of plant-based ingredients in the formulation used to be enough to encourage personal care consumers to purchase the products. However, consumer awareness concerning product activity has increased, and the product’s function and efficacy are regarded as at least as important as the active ingredient source.”

As the demand for natural concepts continues, this will sustain growth in the botanicals segment, which is currently the largest specialty actives category, with 38% market share, according to Kline. The fastest-growing category is biotechnology products, with an estimated compound annual growth rate of 4.5% from 2010 to 2015. From the functionality perspective, the largest and the fastest-growing group is anti-aging — which includes subfunctionalities, such as anti-wrinkle, firming, moisturizing, skin radiance and age spots — accounting for 56% of the market in 2010.