According to global information firm the NPD Group, sales of ‘prestige’ vegan beauty products in the UK saw an increase of 38% in the 12-month period from February 2017.
The total market for natural prestige beauty products was valued at £124 million in 2017 and accounts for 26% of prestige women’s face skincare.
Driven by social media and campaigns like Veganuary, the popularity of a vegan lifestyle has grown as consumers embrace a more wellness-oriented lifestyle, says NPD, which although it found an increase in the number of vegan brands notes that most have limited distribution. Vegan beauty brands only make up 1% of women’s face skincare, but growth is well above the category, at 38%.
“There has certainly been a rise in the number of vegan brands in prestige beauty and this coincides with consumers adopting a more conscientious approach when purchasing products, looking closely at the underlying philosophies and actions of the brands,” says Helen Duxbury, senior account manager, NPD UK Beauty. “They not only investigate ingredients and efficacy, they want to know about traceability, and how animal friendly they are. Vegan and cruelty-free are two of the big issues for customers in 2018, but still remains a niche segment of the skincare market.”
The market has also been boosted by the growth of natural beauty. Natural brands (including organic, naturally-derived and vegan) are growing at 16%, well above the market growth of 7% in the 12-month period. The top five product sectors for naturals are anti-ageing, cleansers, moisturizers, eye treatment and masks. The biggest contribution to growth from natural beauty products is with anti-ageing (18%), cleansers (14%) and masks (39%), which are all ahead of the category, according to NPD. Natural cleansers in particular perform well, accounting for 18% of sales, compared to all cleansers at 11%.
NPD has found that ethics are now becoming increasingly important to individual brands, with more consumers aware that if a brand is selling in China then their products need to be tested on animals. Having a clear stance on these ethical issues can provide a valuable boost to sales. For instance, it says, beauty brands with cruelty-free certification account for 20% of the women’s face skincare and grew by 18% compared to the overall category which grew only 7%.
Duxbury concludes: “The popularity of vegan is undeniable and brands are now capitalizing on the movement. In the past year we have seen solid growth and a stream of new launches in this sector. Whilst most of these are in limited distribution, we are also seeing an increase in mainstream brands offering a vegan range or who are fully vegan, such as the launch of Super Food Skincare by Elemis, which is not only vegan, it meets consumer demand for super food ingredients. We believe the trend for beauty products that not only help consumers look good but feel good about their purchase too is set to grow in 2018.”