Insights for Retailers

Taking a digestive approach to beauty

Shopper behaviour analyst Kantar Worldpanel sees a ‘crossing of lines’ between the health and beauty sectors with manufacturers using their knowledge of one to tap into the other.

Although this is seen as a US trend, based largely on the Korean K-Beauty movement that focuses on health and hydration, the UK and European markets are experiencing a similar shift with products recommended for different complexion factors, hormonal fluctuations and lifestyle choices.

The US trend is towards a more natural look as consumers become more invested in fixing beauty issues instead of covering them up – 66% of 18 to 49 year-old women in the US say they prefer a natural look, up 4% since 2016.

The ‘beauty from within’ trend also finds its source in Asia where the idea of beauty is strongly linked with health and wellness, moving skin and haircare regimes away from a topical approach and towards a digestive one.

Kantar quotes examples from Burt’s Bees whose general manager Jim Geikie promoted beauty “from the inside out” when launching plant-based protein powders, and several mainstream beauty lines adding supplements to skin and hair products.

Consumers get the good gut message

‘Total Wellbeing’ tops the list of Mintel’s trends to watch in 2019 in a consumer landscape driven by themes of privacy, individuality, wellness, convenience and connectivity.

Consumers are treating their bodies like an ecosystem and seeking solutions that complement their personal health and evolving needs, according to the market intelligence giant.

And they are focusing more than ever on improving their gut health: “In 2019 and beyond, growing consumer curiosity with the microbiome shows no signs of abating. From gut-friendly fermented foods to probiotic skincare, consumers will demand products that balance and boost the natural bacteria found in and on the body,” says Mintel.

“Consumers are looking externally to their surroundings and internally towards their physical and mental wellbeing, expecting holistic approaches to wellness. [They are] are increasingly seeking personalisation and, in the UK, as many as 42% of British consumers are interested in a personalised diet based on their genes/DNA.

“Developments in health monitoring, such as skin sensors or ingestible capsules, will satisfy consumers’ demand for this personalised approach, while also building on scientific research in these emerging fields.”

GB packaging attitudes

Two-thirds of British shoppers identify with retailers that clearly demonstrate their commitment towards using less packaging, respect the environment and demonstrate fairness, transparency and integrity. That’s according to shopping analytics firm IRI in its latest European Shopper Insights Survey.

Responses from British shoppers scored higher than their European counterparts, with 73% stating that they would prefer to buy products with packaging that could be recycled and 67% prefer to buy products that respect the environment.

Meanwhile in Ireland, figures from Nielsen show that shoppers there are willing to educate themselves when it comes to environmental awareness and recycling grocery products, but they believe it’s the responsibility of retailers to reduce the amount of packaging.

Half of Irish shoppers actively seek products with minimal packaging (48%), look for products in recyclable packaging (46%) or products with no packaging (46%). But 91% believe retailers should do more to reduce the amount of packaging used on grocery products.

Double boost for organic sales this autumn

While retailers were building on the success of Organic September, research from Paris University* hit the front pages on October 23 apparently showing that people who eat organic food are 25% less likely to get cancer.

The Soil Association reported massive coverage for Organic September which contributed to increased demand for organic produce while grocery sales overall were slowing.

“The consensus across all retail reporting is that food and drink sales have slowed over the past three months but organic has continued to show an overall upward trend,” said SA’s Clem Teagle. “Organic in all of the key focus categories of Organic September (dairy, produce, grocery) outperformed non-organic in September and there were also a number of very strong performances including alcohol, confectionery and eggs.”

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Grocery sector should expect a holiday season second wind

A slightly bigger lull than expected in grocery spending hints at shoppers saving their pennies for the Christmas season, according to Nielsen. Following a record summer of spending, the data analytics company’s figures reveal that shoppers are tightening their purse strings in anticipation for the upcoming holiday season.

Value sales growth slowed to +1.9% during the four-week period ending 6 October, compared to +2.4% sales growth in the previous month. Volume sales at the major supermarkets also fell to -0.6%, down from 0%.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight, says: “The beginning of autumn signalled an objectively disappointing, though not entirely unexpected, slowdown in sales. But keeping in mind retailers had such a strong summer period, it’s likely shoppers are pressing the reset button after a season of excess.”

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Artisan food retailers are missing out on double-digit sales growth

A new report into the UK’s artisan food and drink industry reveals that more than half (53%) of independent retailers and caterers don’t currently sell online, and 35% of those claim they have no intention of making a shift to digital trade.

The 2018 Speciality Market Report, which was commissioned by and launched at Speciality & Fine Food Fair in September, shows that retailers could be missing out on double-digit sales growth from the burgeoning UK e-commerce market.

Three-quarters of those who have embraced an online platform say it has boosted sales and attracted new customers, with 15% of those claiming sales have increased by more than 40% in the past 18 months, and more than half reporting sales rises of up to 9%.

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Why health food retailers can succeed while the High Street suffers

Face-to-face advice from independent health store staff is the foremost factor in keeping high street stores in rude health while the number of casualties in other sectors continues to rise.

Reports two years ago that 46% of Britons say they take vitamins and minerals on a daily basis (Mintel) show that this is a strong segment which is destined to continue its upwards trajectory, according to the boss of a data marketing company.

The global dietary supplements market size was valued at $133.1 billion in 2016 and is projected to accelerate at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6% from 2016 to 2024, says Andy Wood, chairman of Go Inspire Insight. And almost 30% of all organic sales now take place online or on the high street, with the remaining share in supermarkets.

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Mintel identifies teens as the new cosmetics consumers

Mintel’s team of global beauty and personal care analysts has developed an acronym to identify a new generation of beauty consumers. Aged 16-20 (born between 1998 and 2002), they are Approaching adulthood, Video driven, Influencer aware and Digital natives, or ‘AVIDs’.

  • Approaching adulthood: This group is gaining independence, whether by entering the workforce or choosing higher education. They now have money and responsibility to make their own decisions.

  • Video driven: Their beauty education is ongoing and never ending. They grew up with video tutorials on every kind of beauty look, which has encouraged them to be more creative and experimental.

  • Influencer aware: While previous generations grew up with magazines and celebrities for beauty inspiration, along with social media, these pop culture elements are now combined with influencers – aspirational but accessible figures that connect with consumers on a variety of platforms.

  • Digital natives: They are naturally ‘internet smart’ – cautious over data sharing, aware of hacks and concerned about how brands are tracking them. This affects what they share online: mistakenly associated with the ‘selfie generation’, they are actually less likely than their Millennial counterparts to post pictures online.

Charlotte Libby, Global Beauty Analyst at Mintel, says: “Technology has a strong impact on AVIDs’ lifestyles. Besides traditional teenage-related struggles, this generation is facing a new set of negatives that the beauty industry would do well to address.

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Sports nutrition: it's your business

Sales of sports nutrition products through the major supermarkets and independents are set to capitalise on the high protein trend in mainstream foods.

That’s the conclusion in a Mintel report on attitudes to sports nutrition (June 2018) which concludes: “While the growing choice of high-protein food and drink is creating intensified competition, convenient formats and increasing availability in the mainstream are helping to make sports nutrition more accessible. Interest in products supporting gut health and those featuring health-boosting herbs and spices highlights these as areas ripe for innovation.”

While online and specialist retailers dominate this market, new product development focused on convenient formats and indulgent flavours is helping to make sports nutrition accessible to mainstream consumers. However, this remains “a decidedly modest channel in the market”, says the report.

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What customers expect from their favourite retailers

Retailers need to change the way they communicate with customers online or risk alienating them. That’s the conclusion of research conducted by Censuswide for AI-powered customer marketing platform, Ometria.

Three-quarters of people feel most retailers don't understand their interests; the few retailers that are getting this right are setting a high bar for others to follow. Specifically, the report reveals:

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Voracious organic appetite among behemoths

Organic food retailing in the UK could be in line for a shake-up if trends seen elsewhere in Europe continue, an industry commentator has warned.

With thousands of organic food shops, the European retail sector is ripe for consolidation, says Amarjit Sahota, President and Founder of Ecovia Intelligence (formerly Organic Monitor).

“There are many chains of organic and health food shops in Europe, however few have developed a significant presence outside their home markets,” he says. “As the European organic food industry starts to mature, expect to see more such consolidation. The question is whether the retail sector will be controlled by large groups like Carrefour and Amazon or dedicated organic/green enterprises.”

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Overwhelmed, confused and unprepared – menopause survey shows women need your help

The vast majority of women are going into menopause feeling unprepared and fearful of how it will impact their lives, both at home and at work, new research has revealed.

The survey of 1,100 women throughout the UK, conducted by menopause expert Maryon Stewart, has highlighted that 96% felt unprepared for their menopause, while 29% feel overwhelmed or confused and 27% have chosen to journey through menopause naturally but are lacking knowledge.

The research also highlighted that 71% of women are relying on information they get from the internet, while only 12% choose to speak to their doctor and as few as 2% elect to discuss their menopause with a practice nurse as they don’t believe they will receive constructive help.

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Veg Cities are cooking

Veg Cities launched in June following pilots in Cardiff, Birmingham and Brighton & Hove. The Sustainable Food Cities campaign is led by food and farming charity Sustain in partnership with the wider Peas Please initiative of the Food Foundation, Nourish Scotland, Food Cardiff and WWF.

The aim of Veg Cities is to increase the availability and consumption of vegetables. Food partnerships and/or local authorities are working with seven different sectors, from retail and local markets to schools and local authorities. The aim is to encourage cities to take action such as:

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The ‘unstoppable’ market for women’s probiotics

A global report on probiotics for women by Lumina Intelligence lists the UK as one of the world’s most dynamic markets for the product. And it states that Brexit may see the UK shake off the shackles of EU legislation and take a more liberal approach to food health claims.

The report, ‘Women, probiotic supplements and digital immersion’, says the trend for women’s probiotics is “unstoppable” as scientific data builds and is reflected by an ever-increasing number of government-approved health claims in most global markets.

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Is kombucha the new coconut water?

News that Coca-Cola has bought Australian organic kombucha business Organic & Raw Trading Co indicates the rise of the naturally-fermented live culture beverage.

At the same time, a report by Lumina Intelligence on the global kombucha market quotes Statistica figures that show the global market was worth US$1.06 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach just under $2 billion by 2020.

Does this make kombucha the new coconut water? asks Lumina.

Data captured by Lumina Intelligence in 2018 on the kombucha market included 151 brand variants and 76 brand owners across 18 countries. The UK has 11 brand variants, one more than the US which has 10, according to Lumina.

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Technology trend predictions for 2019

The constantly changing face of retail presents a wealth of opportunities and challenges for retailers. E-commerce sales figures continue to grow, and new technologies are shaking up shopping habits. But how can brands keep up? Katie Woodhead, Head of Business Consulting at ATTRAQT, provides some pointers:

By looking in detail at emerging trends, retailers can adapt to the fast-changing shopping market with agility – transforming risks into potential and turning opportunities into conversions and sales. To help in this process, we’ve selected our top three trends that will be shaping the shopping space over the course of 2019. Great preparation is, after all, the key to future success.

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Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and Cyber Week: How consumers make shopping decisions

Love it or loathe it, and whether you consider it relevant to the natural health sector or not, Black Friday and its ilk shattered sales records last year.

Criteo, which works with a growing network of over 18,000 brands and retailers across the globe, says it’s imperative to think about how to better connect with shoppers as they move across devices and channels.

In 2017, mobile transactions were lowest (33%) on Cyber Monday (a work day), and desktop usage climbed, according to Criteo’s monitoring systems. This probably represents the work crowd getting to the office and searching for online deals.

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