The trend of green cosmetics is growing, with a turnover of 1.6 billion


The demand for green cosmetics is growing and turnover reaches 1.6 billion: a sector that today represents about 15% of the cosmetics sector and which will be increasingly strategic for the future of the supply chain.

“In recent years we have witnessed a growing emphasis on cosmetics with a natural and sustainable connotation both in terms of the market and in terms of attention from public opinion and the media. Between 2019 and 2018, for example, growth can be estimated by about 5 percentage points, “he tells Benedetto Lavino, vice president of Cosmetica Italia. Not only. “The operators of the sector, questioned on what were the keywords with which we look to the future, indicated ‘sustainability’ and ‘natural / organic’ as points of growth; further demonstration of how much the products with natural connotation and sustainable are increasingly a strategic part of the cosmetic supply chain “, he adds.

So much so that Cosmetica Italia wanted to dedicate an internal commission to the definition of parameters that would allow to classify and quantify the green cosmetics market, refining those used in previous surveys. Also because a univocal normative definition does not exist to date.

“From a regulatory point of view – explains Lavino – all cosmetics, whether natural or not, must comply with the rules of the European Regulation 1223/2009 which guarantees the safety of products and, in this way, protects the health of the consumer. For 2020, Cosmetica Italia, in order to allow statistical surveys on the sector and, in particular, on the constantly growing trend of products with natural connotations and oriented towards environmental sustainability, felt the need to trace a classification perimeter by identifying two areas“.

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This is that of ‘Cosmetics with natural / biological connotation’, characterized by graphic or textual elements that communicate their natural / biological connotation, in line with its formulation composition (i.e. the presence of a high number of organic or origin ingredients natural) and that of ‘Cosmetics with connotation of environmental / green sustainability’, characterized by graphic or textual elements that communicate the connotation of environmental / green sustainability in areas that may concern its entire life cycle and / or the corporate policies of the company towards sustainability.

“On the basis of the classification perimeters we have defined, the value of the turnover of cosmetics with natural and sustainable connotations was equal to 1,654 million euros in 2020. Specifically, the value of cosmetics with natural / organic connotations is 778 million. euro, while that of sustainable / green cosmetics is 876 million euro. The overlap of the two groups, that is companies that adopt processes or produce cosmetics linked to sustainability and those that manufacture cosmetics with natural / organic connotations, reaches 925 million euros “, explains Lavino.

A market that, in 2020, wins a 15% share of the cosmetics sector which, according to the latest survey by Cosmetica Italia, is at 10.5 billion euros.

“In particular the distribution between sales channels of this type of product is transversal: 44.7% of the consumption of cosmetics with a natural and sustainable connotation is attributable to the mass market, followed by professional hairdressing and beauty salons (18.7%) and perfumery (11.2% ). The weight of direct sales (e-commerce, door to door and by mail order) is also significant, representing 10.3% “, he adds.

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As for the weight of the different product categories, those for hair and scalp represent 33.1% of the turnover of cosmetics with a natural and sustainable connotation, followed by skin care (30.6%) and make-up (23.2%).

The consequences of the health crisis inevitably weigh on the entire sector. “Like most of the production companies in our country, even the cosmetics industry has had to deal with the difficulties and the reshaping of the balances dictated by the pandemic – underlines the vice president of Cosmetica Italia – This is demonstrated by the preliminary surveys for 2020 which return data largely with a negative sign, albeit to a lesser extent than in an initially hypothesized scenario; the global turnover of the sector is close to 10.5 billion euros with a contraction of -12.8% compared to 2019 and market values ​​also drop domestic (-9.6%) and exports (-16.5%) “.

However, the cosmetic remains an indispensable asset in everyday life, as the pandemic itself reminded us, an ally to accompany the gestures of hygiene and self-care; the countercyclical nature of the sector is linked to these characteristics “, he concludes.


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