Clean beauty has gained traction in the health and beauty market, with niche retailers like Oh My Cream growing consumer awareness and setting the standard for the transparency of ingredients and ethical practices. However, while consumers buying health and beauty products find ethical and sustainability claims appealing, value for money is weighted with greater importance as financial pressure continues to squeeze spending.

To drive spending, retailers must ensure they are sharing sufficient information regarding clean beauty to enable consumers to make informed decisions by understanding the difference in quality. Customers will therefore feel more justified to spend on these items over lower price-point, basic alternatives.

When asked which single factor was the most important when shopping for health and beauty items, 32% of consumers stated that value for money was the most vital, compared to 9% of those who chose retailer ethics (which includes animal testing and working conditions). 2% selected product sustainability (such as type of packaging and locally sourced materials), according to GlobalData’s September 2023 monthly survey of 2,000 respondents. Retailers cannot drive sales or remain innovative in this sector if consumers feel that they must choose between having an ethically sourced, clean health and beauty product, and one that is deemed good value for money. Retailers must therefore ensure that they are promoting brands that cater to these claims and have a broad pricing architecture, as this will provide consumers with an accessible entry point into the clean health and beauty market.

The chart above shows the proportion of consumers who stated that they found various claims the most appealing when buying health and beauty products. The figures may not sum to 100%, as respondents were able to select more than one option. Credit: GlobalData.

35% of consumers stated that “cruelty-free” was an appealing claim when buying health and beauty products, with the “natural” claim coming a close second. Retailers hoping to expand their clean beauty offer must focus on highlighting ranges with these claims, such as creating edits for “natural” or “cruelty-free” products to make these easier to find in-store and online. For example, signposting “cruelty-free” products on the website landing page will increase accessibility and awareness of these health and beauty items, making it easier for consumers to explore products that they might otherwise struggle to find.

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