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By: Press on July 27th, 2017

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STUDY: Confusion Over Ingredients in Personal Care Products Impacts Female Buying Behavior

Press  |  Trends & Research

cision logo.jpgCHICAGO, July 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- American women are increasingly evaluating the contents of their personal care products and still walking away confused as to what the ingredients are and whether or not they fit into their personal requirements. In response, shoppers are more willing to comparison shop for personal care products with recognizable ingredients and pay more for those products.The study was released today by Label Insight, the market leader for product transparency. It surveyed more than 1,000 consumers on the importance of ingredients in personal care products, feelings of confusion with personal care product ingredients and labeling and the behavioral impact of this confusion on purchasing behavior.

Consumer demand for personal care ingredient information is on the rise.
Label Insight's 2017 Ingredient Confusion study found that consumers consider ingredients when evaluating personal care products. 68 percent of those surveyed believe it is important or extremely important to consider the ingredients when deciding which products to buy.

Personal care ingredients confuse consumers.
Yet, consumers often do not recognize ingredients on labels. 81 percent of those surveyed do not recognize ingredients on the label of personal care products at least somewhat often. Only 2 percent of women said they always understand what all of the ingredients are.

When buying personal care products, 79 percent of women said they are at least sometimes confused about ingredients listed on the package label. Of those, 45 percent are often, very often or almost always confused.

When considering a personal care product to buy, if the ingredients on the label are confusing:

  • 33 percent of women would not buy the product and look to another product instead
  • 55 percent of women would look at another product to see if they understand the ingredients better
  • 44 percent of women would research the ingredients on their mobile phone while shopping the aisle

Ingredient confusion impacts brand trust and purchase behavior.
The study revealed that when consumers don't understand product ingredients, it impacts their feelings toward the brand, and purchase behavior. 45 percent of those surveyed say they trust the brand less when they see personal care ingredients they don't recognize or find confusing.

When it comes to making a purchase, 61 percent of women are more likely to buy personal care products that contain ingredients they understand or recognize. 53 percent would be willing to switch to a different personal care product if they understood the ingredients in that product better. 49 percent will pay more for a personal care product that contains ingredients they understand or recognize.

Ingredient definitions alleviate ingredient confusion and concern
When presented with a confusing, but harmless, ingredient, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, 88 percent were not familiar with it and 49 percent said they would not be comfortable buying a product that contained it. Once defined as liquid form of vitamin C used in cosmetics and personal care products that enables the vitamin C to penetrate the skin more effectively, there was a 43 percent increase in those who say they would be "very comfortable" purchasing the product.

"While consumer demand for product transparency in food and beverage has experienced a groundswell, our study shows that interest in transparency for personal care products is also on the rise," said Kira Karapetian, Vice President of Marketing for Label Insight. "Women in particular are concerned about what is in their personal care products - from lotion to shampoo to sunscreen - and will make buying decisions based on ingredient data. It will be important for manufacturers to respond and to provide solutions such as SmartLabel in order to address these demands."

SmartLabel™ gives consumers a way to access more detailed product information about a wide range of food, beverage, household, pet care and personal care products. It's fast and easy to use, with a consistent digital format that shares accurate product data directly from the manufacturer. Through online landing pages that are accessible by smartphones, tablets, desktops and by phone, consumers can find product information organized in a consistent manner, including ingredient definitions and the reason each ingredient is in the product. Label Insight is the leading SmartLabel solution provider, powering more SmartLabel pages than any other provider.

Download the complete results of the 2017 Ingredient Confusion study:

download the ingredient confusion study

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About Label Insight: Label Insight is the market leader for transparency, enabling access to complete and accurate product information for more than 400,000 products, representing 80 percent of the top purchased CPG products in the U.S. The company's product transparency engine powers data driven solutions for brands, retailers, researchers, analytics providers, government agencies and consumer applications by capturing and enhancing data contained on the packaging and labeling of food, pet, and personal care products. Label Insight customers use this data to provide greater transparency to consumers; easily participate in industry and government initiatives, such as SmartLabel; create more connected omni-channel experiences; and maximize category growth potential.