【DE】VIVANESS 2022: Sustainability top topic in the global market for natural cosmetics

The current analyses and figures on the German cosmetics market verify the trend that has been emerging for years: organic and natural cosmetics have arrived in the mainstream. The products for all areas of natural body and beauty care are available in all commercial channels and have once again gained a lot of variety and visibility on the shelves in all product categories. Various market research results show that natural cosmetics are the only segment in the entire German cosmetics market in 2021 to increase demand and sales. One in three cosmetics buyers opted for natural cosmetics last year. According to market experts, this is due to the fact that these brands credibly meet the ever-increasing sustainability demands of consumers in terms of resource, animal and climate protection as well as in ethical and social matters. High expectations of effectiveness and functionality play a relevant role today. The variety of products and the corresponding level of innovation also attract younger customer groups.



photo: © NürnbergMesse / Hans-Martin Issle


At this year’s uniquely planned Summer Edition International Trade Fair for Natural Cosmetics, VIVANESS, trade visitors can, from the 26th to the 29th July 2022, track down the trends, discover innovations, get an overview of market developments and new products as well as meet around 200 exhibitors from numerous countries.


In order to be able to provide the currently urgently needed humanitarian aid, NürnbergMesse, together with the city of Nuremberg, has set up emergency shelter for war refugees from Ukraine in Hall 3C. The VIVANESS and BIOFACH are therefore moving closer together for the refugees to the Summer Edition. Once, VIVANESS 2022 will get a new location in Halls 8 and 9 and will be integrated into the BIOFACH halls. Trade visitors will find the VIVANESS novelty stand and trends in Hall 8, the joint stand for young innovative companies and the special show Breeze in Hall 9. 2023, VIVANESS will then take place again in Hall 3C.


Natural cosmetics: Sales growth and more buyer reach

The shifts in the German cosmetics market could not be clearer: natural cosmetics also gained buyers in a declining overall market, which led to the expansion of buyer reach. According to the projection of the Industrial Association for Personal Care and Detergents, (IKW), a minus of 3.1% was generated for the full year 2021 and thus a decrease in total sales to 13.6 billion euros. The natural cosmetics sector, on the other hand, was the only one to record growth, by 1.8% to sales of 1.48 billion euros (2020: 1.46). This means that natural cosmetics achieved a share of almost 11% of the German cosmetics market. After the USA, the German natural cosmetics market thus ranks second in the world, followed by France. 1.6 million new customers impressively document the dynamic trend towards natural body and beauty care in Germany alone. “Every third cosmetician used natural cosmetic products in 2021,” emphasizes trend and market expert Mirja Eckert, THE NEW. It monitors the market and publishes the natural cosmetics industry monitor in cooperation with leading market research companies.


Rejuvenation of the buyer group and continuous transformation

In addition to increasing demand, industry expert Eckert sees reasons for the success of natural cosmetics in the fact that natural cosmetics are now available in all distribution channels and thus have arrived in the mainstream. It is very gratifying that more and more young customers are resorting to natural cosmetics and, according to GfK Marktforschung, Nuremberg, there is a rejuvenation of the buyer group. However, the transformation towards sustainability affects the entire cosmetics industry, explains Eckert. All product categories and the assortments would be expanded accordingly. “For some cosmetics groups, certified natural cosmetics today serve as a prioritized field of action in their sustainability strategy,” says Eckert.


GfK expert Dr. Robert Kecskes, showed in the IKW balance sheet conference in December 2021 that the sustainability trend is still strong and that companies with an appropriate orientation give good growth rates. Many people felt that the time has come for a paradigm shift: Society is on the way to transforming from industrial society into a “plus-global” cultural society that is globally open and differentiates itself through product benefits and a value attitude, describes Kecske’s future consumption attitudes. This new sustainably oriented, creative middle class wants a better life in balance and more harmony with nature. At the same time, in addition to a responsible lifestyle, enjoyment, fun and glamour are also required. “Young brands offer this,”

according to Kecskes.


Distribution channels: Drugstore market continues to be the frontrunner

By far the most important shopping centers for natural cosmetics in Germany are drugstores. With strong own brands, traditional brands and newcomer brands, they are making their range greener and greener. Since drugstores are the main channel for beauty care, people often come into contact with natural cosmetics for the first time here as well. With a wide selection of natural cosmetics with and without victories, they meet the expectations of sustainably oriented customers and also win new target groups with topics such as “less waste”, vegan cosmetics or climate neutrality. According to Eckert, drugstore chains, together with the formats of the food retail trade, achieve a market share of over 50% in the natural cosmetics range. Last year, consumer markets in particular were able to distinguish themselves among the LEH formats, which gave a lot of space for natural cosmetics in large drugstore departments, explains Mirja Eckert, THE NEW. The, historically speaking, “primary sales channel” for real natural cosmetics, the natural food trade and reform specialist trade has continued to lose sales. On the other hand, the range receives positive impulses from various e-commerce concepts, which with their complex marketing structures from classic webshop to social media marketing offer a variety of possibilities and, according to experts, could set the tone more and more in the future. In general, the boundaries between online and stationary trade are becoming increasingly blurred. For example, young brands offer online shops the opportunity to explore their potential even before they find their place on the shelves of stationary retail.


International markets are developing positively

In the international context – especially in Asia – digital shopping worlds are much more developed than in Europe and play an important role there. But even in general, the global natural cosmetics markets are developing very positively. According to the study “The Global Natural & Organic Cosmetics Market’ 2022” by the specialized British market research company Ecovia Intelligence, London, global sales of controlled natural cosmetics increased by 4.2% in 2021 to a total volume of 12.4 billion euros. The seals of COSMOS and NATRUE for certified natural and organic cosmetics can be found on more than 36,000 products worldwide. According to the international association for natural and organic cosmetics COSMOS, the strongest increase has continued to be found in Europe so far, but strong growth has also been recorded in Asia. The number of COSMOS certified products alone grew by 35% in Europe to 29,000, in Asia by 23% to over 2,400 certified products. COSMOS Managing Director Katrin Hochberg, explained at the digital VIVANESS Preview & Insights in February 2022 that in addition to Europe, countries such as Japan, Korea, India, South Africa or Australia in particular are launching many new products with natural or organic cosmetics seals. It continues to see great development potential for controlled natural and organic cosmetics and continued growing demand.


Challenges for the international cosmetic markets

Hochberg explained that the biggest challenge is currently in the USA, where almost half of global sales are in the way of a very low certification level. For many international markets, however, the availability of raw materials is often a problem that benefits European brands. With regard to the raw material situation, the growth of certified products is pleasing, of which more than 12,000 now carry the COSMOS signature. At VIVANESS, COSMOS will shed light on exactly these topics “How are the different regions developing” with a congress contribution. “Promising guest contributions come from the USA, India, Korea, Germany and France,” Hochberg is pleased.


Dr. Mark Smith, Director General of the second major Natural Cosmetics Association and sealer, NATRUE, is also convinced that the growth of the natural cosmetics industry is far from complete, but points out that challenges are also waiting: “The market for natural cosmetics will continue to grow, but further activities are needed to underpin our quality standards and ensure better regulation of environmental claims such as “natural” and “ecological” in order to avoid contradictions between claims and consumer expectations.”


“NATRUE has found its permanent place at VIVANESS,” Smith continued. The international trade fair is a key event for us to inform the professional world about the current topics that affect the cosmetics sector from a technical, regulatory and social point of view. The event brings stakeholders together to work together on existing and new topics that affect the integrity, future definition and orientation of this industry,” emphasizes Dr. Mark Smith.

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