SOURCE: Packaged Facts

Packaged Facts

September 29, 2009 11:17 ET

Personal Care Products and Sustainability: A Market Update

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - September 29, 2009) - Market research firms Packaged Facts and The Hartman Group have joined forces to publish a series of reports tracking current consumer attitudes and shopping behaviors in relation to "sustainable" consumer packaged goods.

The second volume in the just-completed series, "Consumers and Sustainability: Personal Care," reports that "natural" remains a meaningful reference point for a variety of sustainable personal care products, even if the term has lost significance in other packaged good categories. Moreover, attributes such as "chemical free" and "not tested on animals" are frequent considerations for purchasers of conventional and sustainable personal care products alike.

Sustainability means different things to different people. Asked to identify what the term means to them, consumers most frequently respond "the ability to last over time" and "the ability to support oneself." Sustainability is also strongly associated with environmental concerns, whereby consumers are being challenged to develop and express an "eco-consciousness" in their daily habits and purchases. But using "eco-conscious" or "green" as synonymous with sustainability unduly limits the frame of reference; these older terms fail to acknowledge the variety of social, economic and environmental issues that real-world individuals believe to be important to sustaining themselves, their communities, and society at large.

According to "Consumers and Sustainability: Personal Care," adoption of sustainable products often mirrors the health and wellness progression that The Hartman Group has previously reported, in which consumers first consider the impacts of things in the body, followed by on the body, and finally around the body.

Many consumers have, of course, modified their purchasing of higher-priced sustainable products in response to the current economic downturn. Even so, tradeoffs and cutbacks are less likely for product categories that sustainability consumers view as essential to their quality of life, including personal care products. Therefore, according to Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts, natural and organic personal care products "should post 6%-9% sales growth rates in the United States in 2009 and 2010, by which time an improving domestic and global economy will spur the market back to double-digit gains."

The "Consumers and Sustainability" series draws on an online survey of 1,856 U.S. adults consumers conducted in September 2008 by The Hartman Group, as well as qualitative research on sustainability in three markets (Seattle, Dallas, and Columbus) during August 2008. Packaged Facts provides a market update based on Packaged Facts' "Natural and Organic Personal Care Products in the U.S." (July 2009), a Packaged Facts February 2009 online consumer poll, and Experian Simmons national consumer surveys fielded November 2008 through June 2009. In addition to Personal Care, the consumer markets covered by the "Consumers and Sustainability" series are Food and Beverage, Household Cleaners, and OTC Medications and Supplements.

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About Packaged Facts - Packaged Facts, a division of Market Research Group, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. To learn more, visit: Follow us on Facebook at

About The Hartman Group - The Hartman Group, located in Bellevue, Washington, blends leading-edge customized research and consulting to understand the subtle complexities of consumer behavior. Since 1989, Hartman Group has been listening loudly to the underlying motivations and behaviors that move the needle for our clients. To learn more about how Hartman Group stays sharply focused on how consumers live, shop and use brands and products visit:

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