Green Is the New Black: Innovations Abound in Natural Ingredients for 2009.
JUST LIKE THE little black dress is always in style, natural products are now a staple of the household and personal care market. As a result, the growing demand for greener goods has marketers from prestige to mass hustling to incorporate eco-sourced ingredients into their brands--for the good of the Earth as well as sales. In fact, the natural personal care market in the U.S. jumped 19% to $2 billion in sales for 2008, according to a recent study from market research firm Kline & Company, Little Falls, NJ. Furthermore, the Natural Marketing Institute of Harleysville, PA found sales of natural/organic personal care jumped 7% to $8.4 billion for 2008 across all retail and direct-to-consumer channels. "Major marketers are in an excellent position to leverage the naturals proposition that began with the smaller niche players," says Carrie Mellage, director of Kline's Consumer Products practice. "Manufacturing economies of scale, a stronger position for negotiating supplier agreements, and well-developed distribution channels will allow master brands like Unilever's Dove and Colgate-Palmolive's Softsoap to ride the naturals wave even during lean times." And the demand is there. At least two out of three beauty product users say they are interested in some form of "eco-beauty" products being either natural, organic, green/eco-friendly, or socially conscious/responsible beauty SKUs, according to a report from Port Washington, NY-based marketing firm The NPD Group, Inc. "Whether the consumer demand is driven by the desire to save the planet, concerns about product safety and potential health risks, or just being 'on-trend,' being part of the current environmental movement makes good business sense," said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global beauty industry analyst at NPD. The use of botanicals is growing 8% in the U.S. and Europe--according to Kline & Company's study, "Specialty Actives and Active Delivery Systems for Personal Care 2008"--outstripping the average 5.4% growth of other specialty actives. In fact, the increased use of botanicals is one of the major changes in the cosmetics and toiletries industry in recent history, according to Kline. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Issues in the Industry Traceability, authentication of ingredients, regulatory issues and the ambiguity in the definition of "natural" are all prominent issues in today's natural ingredients market, according to Dr. Lakshmi Prakash, Ph.D., vice president of innovation and business development, Sabinsa. Sabinsa's latest ingredient targeting such matters is Saberry, an anti-aging superfruit that recently received Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status, according to the company. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A big challenge is to source active materials in an environmentally sensitive manner, said Dr. Walter Smith, who is president, science and technology, Active Organics. To gain a competitive advantage, his company often has to source unique materials, which have been only recently commercialized. "We usually buy crude extracts and do the final processing ourselves, and a challenge is to minimize the carbon footprint and the overall environmental impact of the process," said Dr. Smith, whose company recently rolled out Actimatrix, a mushroom extract with dermal stimulating properties; Actismoothe, an extract of cordyceps sinenis and coriolus versicolor that quells inflammation; and Actilipid, a wheat and forskolin extract for barrier repair. "The science of natural product chemistry has advanced so much that everyone is expecting miracles from natural products," said Dr. Smith. "As a supplier, that means we have to ensure that our products live up to a higher efficacy standard. This involves more development work and product testing, which means more time and money." Some suppliers are taking a worldwide approach to going green. For example, Arch Personal Care Products, South Plainfield, NJ, has formed a partnership with the Centroflora Group of Brazil for global distribution. According to Lisa Bouldin, director of marketing at Arch, Centroflora Group, founded in 1957, is the South American leader in production and development of standardized botanical extracts. "The Arch-Centroflora alliance provides us with a sustainable organic botanical extract portfolio (trade named PhytoTerra) comprised of products from Brazil offered with full traceability of the produced extract, guaranteeing the safety and highest quality of raw materials," Ms. Bouldin told HAPPI. "This effort will also offer committed companies the unique ability to source botanical extracts through Partnerships for a Better World. This program brings together industry, consumers and small rural producers by promoting family-sized farming and sustainable agricultural practices, which helps aid both the economy and environment." This outlook is also big with marketers. "In my opinion, truly natural products are safer, more pleasantly fragrant and they work better. To me, natural is, more or less, it just fell from a tree or grew from the ground," said Bill Whyte (a.k.a. Badger Bill), chief executive officer, The W.S. Badger Company, Inc., Gilsum, NH. "Once you process something originally natural such as a fruit, flower, root or herb, with chemicals, it becomes a stretch of the imagination to still call that botanical natural." For example, Badger uses organic virgin coconut oil in its new Coconut Vanilla Every Day Moisturizer. "Most coconut oil on the market is derived from the dried flesh of the coconut, which requires further refining, bleaching and deodorizing, resulting in damaged oil," said Mr. Whyte. "Badger's virgin coconut oil is fresh-processed--usually within an hour of cracking the coconut--which locks in the nutrients and the distinct aroma volatiles. This gives our moisturizer its signature exotic tropical fragrance. That is something a chemically processed ingredient cannot deliver." "In essence, all of our ingredients are minimally and naturally processed in this way," added Mr. Whyte. "Though the extraction method varies from ingredient to ingredient, we work with suppliers that use the gentlest extraction methods--such as cold-pressing--to insure that the botanicals and oils in our products are as fresh as they can be." The Body Shop also features coconut-infused body care products. According to the company, its Coconut Body Scrub and Coconut Body Butter--part of its "Summer Essentials 2009" SKUs--both feature Community Trade organic virgin coconut oil from Samoa. Additionally, the body butter contains Community Trade cocoa butter from Ghana. The Body Shop's Community Trade program fosters trading relationships directly with marginalized communities around the world to source high quality natural ingredients, according to the company. Exotic sourcing is indeed a top trend in natural ingredients for 2009--as seen at Cosmetochem, who rolled out its Outback Spirit Botanicals range. According to the company, it is a partnership between Outback Spirit Pty., creator of the brand, and Cosmetochem International AG, and features exotic Australian fruits and plants redolent of the vast and wild Australian Outback. The ingredients are also derived from an ethical supply chain. For more on this collection, see page 64 in this edition of HAPPI. Efficacy Is Everything Despite the growth in naturals, some consumers view natural products as less effective as compared to products that are based on the latest scientific technology, noted Lynn Mazzella, senior vice president of Origins Global Product Development and Sustainability, New York, NY. Her company uses therapeutic plant actives, such as white tea to protect the skin from age-accelerating environmental stressors, and rhodiola, to correct and re-firm the skin in a handful of skin care products. One of the key launches at Origins this season is Youthtopia Age-Correcting Serum with Rhodiola, said to visibly improve facial contours, lift and firm and minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles. The company will roll out Brighter by Nature Skin Tone Correcting Serum, said to be a natural alternative to laser resurfacing, this August. The product aims to help eliminate the appearance of stubborn dark spots and dullness in the skin with yeast extract, vitamin C, Japanese basil leaf and salicylic acid. Joshua Onysko, founder and chief executive officer of Pangea Organics, Boulder, CO, which sells it products at Whole Foods and Wegman's, agreed with Ms. Mazzella that efficacy is a key concern in the green personal care market. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "The biggest issue is that the natural personal care market for the most part only exists on paper; when you look closely at what the market considers to be natural there really is nothing natural about it," he told HAPPI, adding that it's rare to find an organic or natural product that actually stands up to its claims. "At Pangea, if it doesn't work better than their prestige counterparts, we don't put it out. Organic ingredients have 40% more antioxidants then their conventional counterparts--therefore, with proper formulation, it should work better." Pangea's most recent rollouts include Himalayan Geranium & Pomegranate Balancing Oil, which fights premature aging with a combination of essential and base oils derived from whole, organic, cold-pressed vegetables, seeds and nuts that are akin to the skin's natural composition, and Turkish Rose & White Tea Eye Cream, said to contain all of the essential vitamins to protect, soften and nourish the delicate skin around the eyes--including rose, one of the world's most precious flower oils with the essence of 2000 petals in every drop. Some marketers are swapping out ingredients to improve their product lines for 2009. For example, at Kiss My Face, the brand replaced ceteareth-20 with tapioca in its Potent & Pure Clean for a Day, an 83% organic soap-free facial cleanser. It also substituted rice protein for wheat protein previously in C the Change and UnderAge anti-aging serums to address wheat and gluten sensitivities. "Several other changes were made to add nutrients like aloe to some of the formulations, but these were not to make them cleaner--just to add benefit," said Lewis Goldstein, vice president of marketing, Kiss My Face, Gardiner, NY. Defining a Movement With claims of greenwashing and misleading labels, the household and personal care industry is working hard to find a common ground in setting standards and guidelines for natural products--one step at as time. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "Every company involved in the natural trend has set their own standards and each set deviates from the next," noted Victor Low, marketing executive, botanicals, Croda Inc., Edison, NJ, which recently introduced a variety of natural ingredients--from phytessence cimicifuga (black cohosh), a Native American anti-inflammatory to soothing South African Crodarom red bush (rooiboos). Tom Kovats, vice president of Centerchem, Norwalk, CT--which debuted Xeradin, a moisturizing sage extract grown in extremely dry conditions--agreed. "The biggest issue confronting the naturals market today is determining a 'global' definition and harmonization of what is natural and organic," he told HAPPI. "The industry is working on the COSMOS standard, but until it is completed globally, it will continue to cause confusion and dilute the legitimacy of the terms." The COSMOS standard which is being developed at the international level by ICEA (Italy), BDIH (Germany), Bioforum (Belgium), Cosmebio/Ecocert (France) and Soil Association (UK)--will define minimum requirements and definitions for organic and/or natural cosmetics. According to Mr. Kovats, its establishment has been a step in the right direction. "By establishing a European standard, the industry has begun to address the key issue facing the market, a patchwork of definitions and certifying organizations. Hopefully, a global standard can be established shortly." Mr. Kovats' sentiments were echoed by makers of finished products in the industry, including Weleda. "Today, more than ever, we must protect the integrity of our industry. With the rise and exploding demand for natural and organic products, we must transparently inform consumers as to what it means to be truly natural," said Jennifer Barckley, director of communications, Weleda North American, Palisades, NY, whose company recently rolled out a Wild Rose Facial Care Kit. "Our customers are faced with 'greenwashing' by companies, and it is our responsibility as businesses that make up our industry to give customers what they deserve: transparency and truly healthy products." New certifying organizations and labels are forming--both internationally and domestically--to help in that effort, such as NaTrue (of which Weleda is a founding partner), The Natural Products Association (NPA) and NSF International. The NPA developed a certification program in May 2008 to identify and distinguish truly "natural" personal care products with its Natural Seal, while the NSF recently introduced its Personal Care Products American National Standard, NSF/ANSI 305, which defines labeling and marketing requirements for personal care products that contain organic ingredients. Prior to the NSF standard, the USDA certification--created for the organic certification of food--was the only organic standard in the U.S. According to NSF, its new certification allows the "contains organic" designation for products with organic content of 70% or more that comply with all other requirements of the standard. The NSF standard is designed only for "contains organic" claims, and allows for limited chemical processes that are typical for personal care products but would not be allowed for food products covered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP). NSF/ANSI 305 also requires companies to state the exact percentage of organic content based on the requirements of the standard. Like the NOP regulations, the NSF standard includes requirements on organic ingredients, material, process and production specifications and labeling. However, the NSF standard allows for these organic ingredients to undergo certain chemical processes--methods considered synthetic under the NOP. For example, NSF/ANSI 305 allows saponification to be used in soap production as long as the ingredients that are being combined to make the chemical change are organically derived. In other words, NOP certified ingredients must be used to create the chemical reaction. "Although interesting is too mild word, I think all manufacturers who sell their natural products both in the U.S. and worldwide, as we do, find that virtually every country has their own different and unique set of certification and labeling requirements," said Mr. Whyte of Badger, whose company participates in the NOP. "That can be quite challenging." For the consumer, there are different levels of green. For some, a few natural ingredients are enough. Others are on a mission to scout out that familiar, two-toned USDA Organic circular stamp on the label. According to the NOP, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not define or regulate the term "organic," as it applies to cosmetics, body care or personal care products. The USDA regulates the term "organic" as it applies to agricultural products through its NOP regulations. Once certified, cosmetics, personal care products and body care products are eligible for the same four organic labeling categories as all other agricultural products, based on their organic content and other factors: * 100% Organic: Product must contain (excluding water and salt) only organically produced ingredients. Products may display the USDA Organic Seal and must display the certifying agent's name and address. * Organic: Product must contain at least 95% organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt). Remaining product ingredients must consist of nonagricultural substances approved on the national list or non-organically produced agricultural products that are not commercially available in organic form, also on the national list. Products may display the USDA Organic Seal and must display the certifying agent's name and address. * Made With Organic Ingredients: Products contain at least 70% organic ingredients and product label can list up to three of the organic ingredients or "food" groups on the principal display panel. Products may not display the USDA Organic Seal and must display the certifying agent's name and address. * Less Than 70% Organic Ingredients: Products cannot use the term "organic" anywhere on the principal display panel. However, they may identify the specific ingredients that are USDA-certified as being organically produced on the ingredients statement on the information panel. Products may not display the USDA Organic Seal and may not display a certifying agent's name and address. Juice Beauty, creator of patent pending, organic juice-based skin care sold at stores like Sephora, is raising the bar with the introduction of its new USDA certified Organic Collection. Additionally, Juice Beauty's entire collection meets California Organic Products Act (COPA) regulations, which state that products cannot be labeled organic unless their total content (minus water) exceeds 70%, Juice Beauty's chief executive officer and "head juicer" Karen Behnke told HAPPI. Cutting-Edge Product Rollouts Whether incorporating natural ingredients into already-existing product ranges or rolling out a product in a novel, greener package, marketers are stepping it up for 2009 to capture the attentions of the eco-friendly shopper, from CVS to Sephora. Targeting the at-home formulator, luxury boutique brand L'Occitane recently debuted Ma Creme--an Ecocert-certified moisturizing lotion that one can prepare and keep in a refrigerator for ideal freshness. Users combine a sachet of a preparation rich in plant oils with spring water in a kit-provided glass jar, add a concentrated preparation of organic olive tree extracts, mix and store. Naturals purveyor Lush also debuted a "fresh" SKU--a treatment for tresses called Hair Doctor that has a shelf life of three months and needs to be kept refrigerated. According to Aimee O'Donnell, Lush product trainer, New York, NY, the Hair Doctor must be refrigerated because there are no synthetic preservatives and the combination of seaweed, glycerine and veggie oils (almond, jojoba and coconut) has a slim chance of spoiling. "The probability is small, but refrigerating the product will help minimize it further. Plus, it feels extra refreshing and tingly out of the fridge," she said. Revamping a current product line to match the growing need for greener ingredients is also a big trend in the marketplace. Procter & Gamble is reintroducing a variety of its best-selling personal care products for 2009 revitalized with natural ingredients. Olay's bath and body range now features Olay Botanical Fusion, formulated with "scents and ingredients inspired by nature," such as shea butter and Olay Body Wash Plus Tone-Enhancing Ribbons with mica minerals. Pantene's Nature Fusion shampoo contains anti-aging extracts from the cassia plant; while Clairol Natural Instincts features an antioxidant-rich, ammonia-free formulation. Unilever's Vaseline also supplemented its body care collection with an "Aloe Fresh" formulation with 100% aloe, according to the company. Victoria's Secret added the Naturally skin care collection to its personal care roster this Spring, featuring combinations such as acai berry and magnolia; grapefruit, lime and mint; blackberry and tonka bean; vanilla and sandalwood and honeysuckle and white patchouli. According to the company, each formulation in the 30-product range starts with a unique water base infused with 34 essential minerals to nourish and support skin, and uses patented, time-release encapsulation technology to ensure sustained delivery of ingredients. One With Nature--a popular line of natural soaps sold at Whole Foods markets--also is tapping the body care market this season with a new line of body lotions that feature Dead Sea minerals, muds and salts combined with vitamin E, aloe and shea butter. A portion of profits is donated to Friends of the Earth Middle East-a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the preservation of the Dead Sea. And who can forget the superfruit craze. Noah's Naturals, a personal products line sold at Wal-Mart, recently rolled out its new acai body care range. The collection features washes, creams and polishes containing extracts from the popular anti-aging Brazilian superfruit combined with other natural ingredients such as jojoba, shea butter and coconut oil. David Babaii for WildAid, the eco-friendly hair care line created by actress Kate Hudson and her hairstylist David Babaii, also has entered the mass market with a recent distribution deal with Rite Aid and Sally Beauty stores nationwide. The range is made from an exclusive blend of "exotic and wild, natural and renewable ingredients" including blue algae, white ginger, cupuacu butter and volcanic ash. A portion of sales are donated to WildAid, the Global Wildlife Conservation Organization. Hair and body shampoos are indeed categories seeing more and more natural ingredients in new formulations. In response, Evonik recently rolled out Antil Soft SC, a novel liquid multifunctional thickening agent for rinse-off products that reduces moisture loss of skin after surfactant treatment and improves foam creaminess, according to the company. It is PEG-free, based on natural raw materials and readily biodegradable, which conforms to Ecocert standards, said Evonik. Innovative designs are also on the rise in the green category. Evolution of Smooth (EOS) entered the lip balm with two USDA-certified organic lip products: Lip Balm Smooth Sticks and Lip Balm Smooth Spheres. Packed with antioxidant-rich vitamin E, soothing shea butter and jojoba oil, EOS lip balms are packaged "soft-to-the-touch" and the Smooth Sphere resembles a small toy ball but it doesn't bounce. A Greener Tomorrow Mintel, a Chicago-based research firm, predicts that there will be many opportunities for growth in green markets during the next few years. Though the recession is expected to impact sales through 2009, Mintel forecasts 19% growth for green products overall through 2013. Markets including green personal care and environmentally friendly household cleaners are expected to perform especially well. "We expect to see more personal care companies participating in sustainability practices and 'greener' initiatives, more and more brands moving to paraben-free products, and more retailers dedicating space to natural products," noted Ms. Mazzella of Origins. Dr. Smith of Active Organics predicts "active naturals" as well as "combination products" will be the next big thing in the green domain. "Beauty from within" will be a rising trend in the industry, according to Dr. Prakash of Sabinsa. "The synergy of beauty from the inside and out segments will grow phenomenally," she told HAPPI, adding that detailed research into molecular mechanisms in skin hydration, aging and skin pigmentation would set the trend for personalized beauty care. In the end, the demand for more natural ingredients is in turn improving the marketplace itself. "We are seeing a growing trend in the very things that used to be standard: quality, authenticity, the use of high quality natural ingredients and no chemicals," said Mr. White of Badger. "The most important selling point, in my opinion, is that spectacularly natural, authentically crafted products work better and are better for you. This is especially true in the case of custom formulated, truly natural personal care products. When the botanical ingredients are minimally processed and formulated with thoughtful intention, nothing but good can come of it." Ecocert Opens U.S. Office in San Francisco ECOCERT--the environmental certification body created in Franc, e in 1991 and recognized by government authorities in more than 80 countries--announced on Earth Day that it now has a location in the U.S. The Ecocert Standards for Natural and Organic Cosmetics were released in 2002 following a two-year consultation process involving scientists, consumers, industry leaders and governmental representatives. Manufacturers, distributors, brand owners and any operator wishing to use the Ecocert name on labels and marketing material must apply to and be duly inspected and certified by Ecocert. The new office is located in San Francisco, CA. More info: (415) 773-5320, info. Earth-Sourced Color Cosmetics Are Still on Trend BESIDES SERUMS, SOAPS and sprays, natural ingredients are all the rage in color cosmetics--and at every price point. In this genre, one of the biggest color cosmetic mass market rollouts of 2009 is Almay Pure Blends, a hypoallergenic line made from 97.5% natural ingredients including a complex of antioxidant fruit and flower extracts housed in eco-friendly packaging. In addition, the brand recently added a Volumizing Mascara to the line, which uses lotus, orchid and acai extracts and natural waxes nourish and soften lashes. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Revlon also recently bulked up its ColorStay Mineral collection with new Finishing Powders featuring coordinated talc-free three-shade marbleized pigments. Natural color highlights and illuminates and soft pearls play with light. Maybelline New York is also adding on to its Earth-sourced cosmetic offerings with two new products for Summer 2009, a Mineral Power Bronzer and Illuminator. Even Max Factor got in on the naturals trend with its new Vivid Impact Lipcolor, infused with shea butter for a moisturizing finish that feels like lip balm. According to the company, the lip product is made up of more than 60% conditioners and moisturizers. Mineral category leader BareMinerals recently debuted its 100% Natural Lipglosses and Lipliners, which combine natural oils, butters, flower extracts and mineral colorants to optimize the effect of each ingredient while delivering rich creamy color, texture and shine with no artificial dyes or preservatives. Sunflower, sesame, jojoba and pomegranate oils are cold pressed to preserve their natural benefits and then combined with Brazilian cupuacu butter, rice bran wax and honeysuckle, among other ingredients. The blend is then heated to ideal temperatures and combined in a proprietary "nine phase process." After being heated, the ingredients are slowly brought back down to room temperature while stirring by hand. This delicate balance of processing and temperature control allows optimization of each ingredient and contributes to the formula's buttery texture, cushiony feel and superior color payoff, according to the company. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Cargo Cosmetics revolutionized eco-friendly beauty with its PlantLove lipsticks, the first-ever environmentally friendly lipstick in a compostable tube made entirely from corn. Now, Cargo has expanded PlantLove to an entire line and is said to be the only prestige brand to be given the eco-distinction of Ecocert. The collection features everything from eyeshadows to bronzers. Another popular naturals cosmetics brand, Tarte, is adding on to its colorful roster of offerings with the EyeQuatic collection for Summer 2009--a set that includes three "mermaid inspired" Lock & Roll Creaseless Cream & Powder Eyeshadow Duos in tangerine, turquoise and purple as well as a deluxe-sized Lights, Camera, Splashes! Waterproof Mascara. The eyeshadows are formulated with aquamarine and other mineral pigments, while the mascara uses beeswax as a waterproofing agent and carnauba wax for a smooth application. Tarte also is adding some shade extentions for the season: a new Rise & Shine Lip Stain/Lip-Enhancing Gloss in Berrylicious with the brand's signature T5 superfruit complex and an EmphasEyes High Definition Eye Pencil in Charcoal, which contains palm oil in its formulation. A list of new ingredients from industry suppliers begins on p. 56 Melissa Meisel Associate Editor