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ORGANIC PERSONAL CARE
Capitalizing on this growing sector
A NEW GROWTH CATEGORY FOR PERSONAL CARE
The emerging organic personal care sector, which posted $9 billion in global sales in 2011, is one of the largest growth areas in the personal care industry. Manufacturers are faced with many options when pursuing certification or label claim validation for organic personal care products. This paper details the status of the current organic personal care market and highlights the standards and product label claims most relevant to consumers, regulators and retailers.
CURRENT STATE OF ORGANIC PERSONAL CARE
The U.S. organic industry has enjoyed phenomenal growth over the past 30 years, increasing from $1.9 billion in sales in 1980 to $37 billion in 2011.
In the organic personal care industry, innovation
and leadership have catapulted sales as the result of rising consumer awareness of the potential impact personal care products may have on health and the environment. In 2011, growth in organic personal care reached 9.5 percent, and organic non-food sales in 2011 surpassed $2 billion, making it the fastest growing category in the organic industry, according to the Organic Trade Association.1
Drivers of this growth trend include increased consumer interest in reducing and eliminating chemicals (such as parabens, phthalates and aluminum salts) suspected of being harmful to human health and the environment, as well as the national movement toward more sustainable products and practices.
As consumer interest in organic personal care products grows, so does the need for national standards for certifying these products and validating organic label claims. The National Organic Program (NOP) of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets standards for organic foods, but it does not currently have a specific standard for organic personal care products.
The USDA’s limited resources and industry prioritization have hampered its ability to develop organic certification criteria for this product sector.
1 OTA 2012 Organic Industry Survey
Consumer Trends for Organic and Personal Care Products
> 76% of consumers prefer a product that has been independently tested and certified as sustainable or green.
> 73% prefer products with certification marks.
> 70% read detailed product labels for personal
> 43% are highly concerned about the quality of personal care products.
> Half of all consumers and 61% of safety- conscious consumers recognize the USDA organic certification mark.
> Independent certification marks on organic products are important to 39% of all consumers and 50% of safety-conscious consumers.
> Independent certification marks on personal care products are important to 34% of all consumers and 41% of safety-conscious consumers.
Source: Independent survey conducted on behalf of NSF International, 2012.
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