The rise of the conscious consumer has had a huge influence on the changing FMCG market. As consumer’s become increasingly concerned with sustainability and health, supermarket aisles are having to adapt to the trends.

This movement which began with the health food and superfood trends has now trickled down the aisles and across the supermarket. Rotea Katu-Smythe, category manager, beauty and personal care, at Foodstuffs North Island, has seen the desire for natural products extend aisle by aisle. “First it was food, then cleaning solutions and now beauty products. They are placing greater emphasis on living healthier, more sustainable lives, and their skin, make-up or shaving routine is a part of their lives where they can do just that. We’re adapting to this trend by offering consumers a wide range of all natural and organic health and beauty products.”

Insights from Nielsen reveal that 41 percent of global consumers say that they’re highly willing to pay more for products that contain all-natural or organic ingredients. Once thought of as a more artisanal or luxury segment, the organic beauty market is now becoming a juggernaut of the health and beauty industry. According to data from Persistence Market Research, the organic beauty category will be worth just under $22bn by 2024, which suggests a growth of eight to ten percent per year.

The New Zealand beauty and personal care segments have seen an influx of natural/organic products coming to market in recent years. IRI is reporting a 33 percent growth in the number of natural and organic products available in store. Earthwise is currently New Zealand’s number one growth manufacturer in personal care. This is primarily driven by its brand Glow Lab which gained $3.2 million in over 49 weeks.

Essano is New Zealand’s number one natural skincare brand and this year has released a new range of Clear Complexion skincare, hand soaps and most recently launched a men’s skincare range.

New Zealand supermarket aisles will also soon be stocked with Nature Box, the newest natural personal care range includes shampoo, conditioner, treatment systems, body wash and body lotion. The brand’s packaging is made from 25 percent recycled packaging, and its ingredients are sourced sustainably through nurtured relationships with local farmers to ensure the company is meeting the demands for transparency sought by consumers.

This demand for natural and organic alternatives to personal care isn’t just stopping at skin and hair care. The rise of organic and sustainable feminine hygiene products has skyrocketed in recent years.

Nielsen reveals that 73 percent of global consumers believe that they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment. Rotea Katu-Smythe told Supermarket News that she had noticed this natural trend extend to feminine hygiene products.

“Menstrual cups are gaining popularity with companies like Hello Cup and My Cup are leading the charge. These companies are providing women with a sustainable, feminine hygiene product that not only has a positive impact on the environment but one that also saves them money.”

New Zealand brand Oi recently finalised a distribution deal with American chain Walmart which will see the brand distributed across store throughout the US. “Oi tampons and pads by Organic Initiative are all made from certified organic cotton and certified by BioGro, offering women another healthy and environmentally-friendly feminine hygiene product option.”

Ensuring products are natural and organic is no longer just enough; customers are also demanding brands be sustainable and transparent with where the products come from and what can be done with them after use. Foodstuffs has recently partnered with ecostore to create a refill station where customer can refill their already used bottles.

“We also know that reducing packaging, or purchasing products with sustainable packaging, is very important to our customers. Some South Island New Worlds have an ecostore refillery so that consumers can reuse the same bottle over and over again for their ecostore shampoo, hand wash, body wash, etc., while also doing their bit to reduce the amount of packaging in their lives,” added Katu-Smythe.

Recyclable packaging is a must for natural personal care brands looking to secure a loyal customer base.