Beauty's Big Chance: NPD Opportunity Areas in Personal Care

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Andy Wardlaw, Chief Ideas Officer

24 Aug, 2020 | 3 minute read

With people’s daily routines thrown into disarray, some sectors of personal care and beauty are struggling to find relevance.

But all is not lost. We’ve found some trailblazing products that point the way towards new growth streams – marking a higher purpose beauty industry with plenty of opportunity areas for new product development in FMCG.

Apparently, we’re not all creatures of habit - particularly when it comes to personal care and beauty regimes.

New research from Walgreens Boots has found that 52% of women have changed their beauty priorities since lockdown – with 82% claiming to be wearing less make up.

And as this recession bites, we’re unlikely to see a repeat of ‘the lipstick effect’ - where women off-set the gloom by donning a bit of lippy. There’s little point when you’re obliged to wear a mask in public spaces! That said, you might want to invest in companies making mascara.

Such a state of flux has led Millie Kendall, Chief Executive of the British Beauty Council, to say “We need to stabilize and reinvigorate our industry and although I do see an immediate shrink in our overall value, it is clear we are rapidly shifting into the future and need to build on what beauty will look like in 2030."

Now is not the time to put product development on the back-burner.

New Priorities

We’ve been having lively debates about what happens next in beauty. It turns out that I work with some seriously passionate beauty aficionados. I’ve learnt lots. I can tell you what a fixing spray is, for example.

This devotion to the category is now being channeled into a special season of content - starting today. It will include an online broadcast on September 24th called 'Winning in Personal Care: Future Trends and NPD Opportunities' – registrations for the free webinar are now open here!

With personal care taking a knock in terms of relevance, we think beauty has a big chance to step up and deliver higher purpose beauty products that play to people’s more macro need states. To this end, we’re backing three emerging demand spaces.

Here they are in brief.

Keep me calm

Could anti-anxiety become the next anti-aging in personal care?

In 2019, the Gallup Global Emotions Survey revealed that the world was more anxious and angrier than it had ever recorded. And then came a global pandemic that put our collective mental health into sharp focus:

We’ve found a huge increase in mood-boosting cosmetics being launched on the fringes in recent years, claiming to calm, enhance mood or support sleep.

This is beauty that supports people’s more anxious outlook, and it’s starting to spill into the mainstream.

NPD Opportunity Areas in Personal Care Aveda Stress Fix
NPD Opportunity Areas in Personal Care Seoulista Beauty Facial

Make me sparkle

“A rose does not answer its enemies with words, but with beauty.”

As the world emerges from this terrible pandemic, tough economic impacts are there for all to see.

The workforce is under enormous pressure and many young people are finding that establishing a career is going to require maximum effort.

We expect rising demand for products that help people stand out from their peers. Products that awaken, energize, improve alertness and leave users literally glowing (see below).

This is beauty that supports people’s more competitive stance, and it’s only just begun.

Give me experiences

The consumer experience economy has come home.

Barely weeks into lockdown, KANTAR World Panel reported that beauty therapy was the experience most people were looking forward to post-lockdown – ahead of eating out, socializing and travel. Sure enough, as lockdown has eased, there has been a rush to get to hairdressers and nail and brow bars.

However, it is clear that lockdown has broken routines and caused some revaluation of priorities. Many people now feel safer trying to replicate the out of home experience in the comfort of their own home.

The concept of a 'brand experience' has never been more applicable in beauty as it is right now. We think Beauty Pie's Oxygen Mask hits the mark. One reviewer calls it the holy grail. 'I absolutely adore this! Use it twice a week as an overnight mask and the difference to my skin is amazing!' Tempted?

NPD Opportunity Areas in Personal Care Beauty Pie Oxygen

Making it happen

Throughout this season, we’ll expand on the three dynamic demand spaces (above) that deliver higher purpose beauty, offering new insights from an exclusive survey. We’ll showcase some of the latest products and trends that have caught our eye and we’ll provide you with our unique sensory insight-led perspective.

We hope you enjoy the content as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together, and we will welcome your thoughts about how the beauty industry can increase its chances of continued success.

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