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Kira Karapetian

By: Kira Karapetian on March 1st, 2018

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Super Trend: Superfoods in Personal Care Products

Trends & Research

Portion cups and spoons of healthy ingredients on wooden table-525343-edited.jpegNot only are American consumers taking a greater interest in the ingredients being used in their food and beverages, but they’re also beginning to care more about what’s being used in their personal care products. Studies show that shoppers are looking for products with recognizable ingredients and they’re willing to pay more for items using “better-for-you” ingredients. But as shoppers continue to vote with their wallets, personal care good manufacturers are continuing to look for opportunities to tap into the burgeoning “natural personal care” product market.

According to Nielsen’s Future of Beauty report, products featuring natural claims generated $1.3 billion in annual sales last year. Sales of natural beauty products have outperformed “conventional” beauty products for some time. In 2017, products featuring natural claims represented 3.1% of the U.S. personal care market, generating $1.3 billion in annual sales last year.

So what is the next big trend in the natural personal care product market? Superfoods! These ingredients are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and phytonutrients, which have a range of topical benefits. The number of personal care items including superfoods like honey or coconut oil only continues to grow; the number of personal care products making a claim about containing a superfood increased by over 1000% from 2016 to 2017.

Superfood Trends in Personal Care Products - Label Insight results.


We took a look at personal care items like shampoos, soaps and lotions to identify the top three superfoods to note. The results?

We’re all going nuts for coconuts

Known as naturally antibacterial and antifungal, coconut oil is widely praised as an excellent moisturizer and beloved due to its notable scent. According to Nielsen Product Insider, powered by Label Insight, personal care items containing coconut oil have experienced a 28% dollar growth. We identified nearly 13,000 products containing coconut oil. The top items containing coconut oil include body soap/bar soap (2,628), body creams and lotions (2,503) and shampoos (2,002).

Exotic fresh avocado on black slate with copy space-081243-edited.jpegAvocado is not just for your toast

The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in avocado oil are used to moisturize and soothe the skin. Avocado oil includes antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents similar to that of coconut oil. According to Nielsen Product Insider, spending on products with avocado oil has increased 31% over the last two years. Of the 31 different categories that now contain this ingredient, body cream and lotions are growing the fastest (21% of personal care products).

There are currently over 6,000 personal care products using avocado oil on the shelves and more than 1,400 of those products are made with organic avocado oil.

Turmeric spices up the personal care product industry

Turmeric, which is traditionally found in Indian cuisine, has long been known for its reported health benefits. Curcurmin, the antioxidant extract found in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties. This superfood is also used to help reduce acne and any resulting scars. We found a total of about 650 products using turmeric: 408 items cited turmeric extract as an ingredient and an additional 157 products use turmeric.

Unsurprisingly, face creams/lotions was the largest product category investing in turmeric (180 products), with body creams and lotions next in line (90 products) and body soap/bar soap (64 products).

Honey: No longer just to sweeten tea

Honey has been used both as food and medicine since ancient times; in fact, Stone Age paintings have depicted human use of honey. Honey is naturally antibacterial, so it's great for acne treatment and prevention and it’s chock full of antioxidants which helps slow down the appearance of aging. We found more than 4,000 personal care products with honey as an ingredient; 2,999 cited honey as an ingredient and 1,176 listed honey extract.

Body creams and lotions are largest product category of personal care items - we found 724 items that listed honey as an ingredient. Body soaps/bar soaps were close behind (597 products).

Why product transparency matters: helping customers feel beautiful, inside and out

It’s clear that the popularity of using superfoods in personal care items is only going to continue to grow. Consumers are continuing to invest in products that are made with natural, “better-for-you” ingredients. Savvy brands will recognize these trends and not only produce products that tap into this growing market, but also provide transparency about the ingredients being used. Brands that provide greater transparency and show authenticity are the ones who will win consumer loyalty and trust, and reap the benefits of a better relationship with their customers.

Nielsen Product Insider is available to non-food manufacturers and retailers in the U.S., along with the food and beverage view, which has been adopted and is in use by a major U.S. retailer and household name FMCG manufacturers. This first-of-its-kind solution is powered by Nielsen Retail Measurement data and Label Insight’s ingredient and attribute data to transform on-pack ingredient information, as well as drug and supplement fact panels into measurable attributes.