Beauty brands are moving towards clean, green and sustainable products


What happened in food is happening in personal care, says Kannan Sitaram, FMCG veteran and now investor. Sitaram, who is Venture Partner at Fireside Investment from where he has an overview of new trends and new ventures in the field of consumer goods, points out that just as people are now aware of what they are doing. eat, they have also become very picky about what they eat. put on their skin.

“Today’s consumers want natural, organic, sustainable and vegan,” he says. If the farm-to-plate trade is seeing a slight increase in the food industry, then it is farm-to-table trade in the beauty industry.

Skin food

He thinks that’s why there’s such an explosion of personal care brands pushing the clean, natural, and cruelty-free beauty line. Within Fireside’s portfolio is the toxin-free brand Mama Earth, which has transitioned from baby care to personal care and has seen explosive growth. It also offers The Ayurveda Experience – a content platform that has pivoted to products and brands like iYura and Ajara serving overseas markets but soon launching Varaasa for the Indian market.

The category is booming with a multitude of local brands. There’s Juicy Chemistry, mCaffeine, Arata, Daughter Earth, SkinKraft, Love Organically, Ruby’s Organics… the list is endless. Interestingly, many of these brands were born because the founders felt there was a gap or were personally researching such products.

Take Juicy Chemistry, for example. It was launched in August 2014 by the husband and wife team of Megha and Pritesh Asher. “This idea came at a time when I couldn’t find products made entirely from natural ingredients. It got us thinking, Pritesh and me. And so, Juicy Chemistry was born, ”explains Megha Asher.

Likewise, Dhruv Bhasin and Dhruv Madhok, co-founders of Arata, spotted a gap in 2016 and launched their brand. They say virtually all of the personal care products on store shelves, except a few, contained chemicals. “We envisioned an honest personal care company that would deliver trustworthy and credible products made from the highest quality ingredients that are safe and clean. “

Or take mCaffeine, which launched in 2016. “When we started, the natural / vegan / clean label was turning into a revolution. We believed that what was successful then would be a requirement five years later, ”said Tarun Sharma, founder of mCaffeine. That’s why from day one he says it was a 100% natural, vegan, PETA certified, cruelty-free brand and a clean label focused on sustainable packaging.

Crowded market

Until about 2018 it could have been white space, but today this category is really crowded. You get a feel for it by talking to Prateek Ruhail, co-founder of Vanity Wagon, a market for clean and sustainable beauty care alternatives that started in 2018. “Starting with 10 brands, today the portal s ‘is associated with more than 130 brands, while there are more than 400, ”he says.

Is the clean beauty market big enough to accommodate over 400 brands? Especially since these products are expensive. Sitaram estimates the size of the target market at around 40 million people, which he says is the size of a European country.

Currently, according to industry sources, the Indian beauty segment is worth around $ 10 billion and is expected to reach $ 80 billion within a decade. Within this clean natural beauty is the fastest growing sub-segment.

Ruhail of Vanity Wagon says that the clean beauty market in India is expected to exceed $ 2 billion by 2025. In addition, he says that according to industry estimates, the global clean beauty market is growing at a low. CAGR of 12.07% and is set at 11.5 billion.

Despite its potential, it is evident that in a crowded market, players must differentiate themselves in order to survive. Many have already designed their unique positioning. For example, Sharma of mCaffeine says caffeine is the strongest point of differentiation for the brand. It offers coffee scrubs, coffee bars, coffee shampoos.

Unique approach

SkinKraft takes the AI ​​path to differentiate itself. It’s unique from other brands, says its co-founder and CEO, Chaitanya Nallan, pointing out that unlike the industry’s mass production approach, it offers different formulas for different people. “SkinKraft collects over 30 first-hand information about skin, hair, lifestyle, and more. of a person when a person registers. In addition, SkinKraft also collects information from users in their lifecycle of using recommended products, ”he explains.

All this data is then used in a multi-class classification model to predict the correct formulation. Nallan says that for a three-product diet, it achieved an average accuracy of 72 percent based on comments received.

The farm-to-person approach is a strong differentiator for Juicy Chemistry. “We follow an integrated approach upstream, sourcing directly from small farmers, with whom we work in close collaboration. This ensures that our ingredients retain their bioactivity and that the products are effective when applied, ”says Asher.

And as crowded as it sounds, within beauty and personal care there is an array of subcategories where different brands claim their space. There is medical well-being, in which dermatologically promoted brands play. Then there’s Beauty Plus, where ITC recently launched ITC Dermafique. The question is whether other personal care majors will also launch something or take over any of these startups.

There is also the Ayurvedic ingredient space where Varaasa enters. It will compete with Forest Essentials and Kama, brands that have captured the mind space in this area.

Rishabh Chopra of The Ayurveda Experience admits that right now it’s a bit of a beauty bubble. “It will all depend on who is going to better solve the weed, better source it and deliver efficiency in the end product,” says Chopra. Eventually there will be bloodshed and consolidation, industry watchers believe.

Right now, however, the industry is enthusiastic. “Personalization, personalization, clean beauty, artificial intelligence, e-commerce and beauty technology will become mainstream. Our estimate is that in a decade, 1.7 out of 3 consumers will purchase custom made products. We also estimate that online distribution would represent over 60% of overall distribution globally, ”says Nallan of SkinKraft. He also believes that nutra-cosmetics is a major area that is developing.

Ruhail says new trends in the clean beauty space to watch include skin minimalism, sustainable packaging, and ingredient-based purchases – from vitamin C to hyaluronic acid.


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