Consumers are looking for premium brands and premium brands are the most successful worldwide. Premium products grew by 21% in Southeast Asia, by 23% in China between 2012 and 2014 and 26% in the USA from Apr 2015 to Apr 2016 across the home care and personal care categories, (Nielsen, 2016a). Different factors helped the growth of premium products:
- Economic growth of middle class: Middle class is massively growing especially across emerging countries (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, etc) and by 2030 (Reuters, 2012) will almost count 5 billion people worldwide (two times the current middle class population). This will encourage people to access a many different products and to expand their shopping basket with highest probability to trade up for premium products.
- Urbanization: many people will move from the countryside or rural areas to cities and towns (from the current 2 billion to 5 billion by 2030, Nielsen, 2016b) gaining access to more services who will help to raise the premium products consumption. For instance, even more people will access Internet to be informed and buy and even more people will access convenience store or specialised stores to purchase premium products.
- Digitalization: At the beginning of 2017 more than half the global population uses a smartphone, almost two-thirds has a mobile phone, more than half of all mobile connections are now ‘broadband’ and arond 20% of the world’s population shopped online in the past 30 days (We Are Social, 2017) Thanks to this data and thinking about the massive digital future growth more and more consumers will be affected by the effects of the omnichannel. The combination of different and many touchpoints any time and anywhere will make information more accessible and, as a result, many consumers more influenced by advertising, educational information, promotions, etc.
- Wider offer available (private labels and brands). If in the past only manufacturers offered premium brands in last 10 years we saw a new phenomenon showing how even retailers could launch premium labels on the market moving from aggressive promotion and discounting to better and higher quality in their offer (especialy on food and beverage).On top, we can also talk about the rising of local brands and smaller countries which, although a different impact depending on the countries and regions, massively contribute to increase the percentage of premium products on the market.
1. What are consumers looking for?
According to Nielsen (2016a) many reasons encourage consumers to buy premium products. Results are different across different countries, regions and consumers generations:
- Overall there is no always a correlation between highest incomes and premium products purchase rate. Indeed, the study (Nielsen, 2016a) shows how in many countries and regions a better salary doesn’t always influence the attitude to spend more.
- Price is not the only attribute consumers link to premium products. Only 31% of global respondents declared to think about a premium product when the price is high. On the other hand quality and performance are considered a plus. Quality and performances change depending on the product category we are talking about. For food quality is made by the ingredients used to make that product, while for a home care product by the effectiveness of a formulation. Other factors are the design or the brand name. The bottle design for a detergent or the brand awareness might be decisive to encourage consumers to purchase a product in a certain category regardless the quality and the performance. Even sustainable attributes are relevant especially among the youngest generations (Millennials and Generation Z).
- Social aspirations and status are important: many respondents, especially in emerging countries, declared that buying premium products increases their self-esteem, feel them better or more confident about themselves as individual or as members of social groups.
2. Private Labels vs brands: what’s the status?
The relevant growth of the premium fmcg products on shelf has been also facilitated by the launch of premium private labels. From the report (Nielsen, 2014) we can see how Europe, North America and Oceania, are the main region wolrdwide in terms of private labels presence. In Italy (Il Sole 24 Ore, 2016) premium and bio private labels products generated €1.32 billion (13.2% of the total private label segment value of the market in Sept 2016, respectively + 14% and +16.1%, vs Sept 2015). On the other hand low cost private labels lost share (-22% in value vs Sept 2015) only representing 2.6% of the total private label segment.
Figure 1: Premium Private Labels products in Italy, branded “Top Esselunga”
Local retailers massively invested in brand management and innovations in recent years building a high brand equity across different categories, with the main goal of creating store loyalty and getting better trade terms conditions vs manufacturers. However, there are categories (such as personal care) showing highest and similar value share across different regions around the world.
For brands the premium fmcg path is almost mandatory. Brands should continue to raise investments in brand management through marketing investments in communication and innovations, to better communicate the uniqueness of their value proposition and make their brand equity stronger. In order to do so, heavily marketing research investments looking for new and unmet needs among consumers are required to get the right consumer insights.
However perception of brands vs private labels even for premium products changes depending on the region and on the country. In Europe, Latin America, North America and Oceania, there is a high qualitative perception of private labels, considered as key SKUs able to drive brand differentiation and store loyalty. On the other hand the situation is completely different in Africa, Asia and Middle East, where consumers show the highest willingness to pay premium prices for brands. Most of the respondents still consider buying private labels too risky.
3. Management Implications
- Only some products can be upgraded (Nielsen, 2016a): Personal Care is the main category across many regions showing highest differentation and innovations rate vs other products categories. Regardless this trend, differences and opportunities across categories are different depending on the country and on the region. Premium perceptions are not the same worldwide for all products and categories.
Figure 2: Premium’s Value share per Category across different global regions (Nielsen, 2016a)
- Think global act local: Differences are relevant depending on the market and the region we are taking into account. This implies how even marketing strategy should be locally adapted to support the launch of a premium product on the long-term, depending on the market area to be served.
- Focus on digital and optimize your in-store visibility: In order to get highest results and makes the product successful an excellent quality, distribution or price are not enough. Firms and professionals need to find the right communication. Depending on products peculiarities firms need to find a balance between touchpoints showing highest awareness and trials (typically TVCs and high store visibility) and touchpoints showing a high degree of persuasion (e.g. digital). In many cases both brands and private labels are still struggling to achieve these goals.
Il Sole 24 Ore (2016), Private Label, la corsa è premium, December, http://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/impresa-e-territori/2016-12-09/private-label-e-corsa-premium-110740.shtml?uuid=ADFrDIGC
Nielsen (2016a), Moving on Up, December
Nielsen (2016b), The Dirt on Cleaning, April
Nielsen (2014), The State Of Private Label Around The World, November
Reuters (2012), The Swelling Middle, http://www.reuters.com/middle-class-infographic
We Are Social (2017), Digital in 2017: Global Overview
Considered one of the top trends will shape the FMCG industry in 2017, mature consumers phenomenon may have important implications for FMCG, where both manufacturers and retailers need to rethink their products and services in order to be more attractive for the mature segment
In 2015, around 1,6 billion people worldwide aged 50 and over and by 2050 this number might double by approximately reaching 3,2 people (AT Kearney, 2013).
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Sum up :
• Mature segment will represent a key segment in coming years
• Many FMCG manufacturers and retailers are already massively investing for mature consumers
• Mature consumers are not all the same [/mks_pullquote]
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Therefore, what it is sure, it is that FMCG professionals will face with a population that will be healthier, older and even wealthier. Indeed, R&D improvements in the drugs production, clinical trials and medical researches progresses in the fight of serious diseases will allow people to live longer and healthier. This fact will have relevant implications in terms of wellness; firstly people aged 50 and over will increase their presence at work, by representing a relevant share of the total workforce, especially in developed countries. Secondly by working longer, and by continuing to earn and spend wages, they will represent the richest segment in many countries.
1. What mature consumers want
A research made by AT Kearney (AT Kearney, 2013), with a sample of 3,000 consumers (aged 60 and over) interviewed, shows all consumption characteristics of the segment:
- A clearer and easier product packaging: for many consumers the pack of many products would not be clear enough. Most of them claim to have a better product description in the front of pack where, often, the label showing the type of product is too small and not visible. Moreover even the packaging itself would be too complicated to open in many cases, by generating confusion for mature consumers.
- Need of more assistance and services inside the stores: many mature consumers would like to get more help from clerks inside the store (most the products are hard to reach on shelves, because they are either too high or too low). This need is against what we are recently looking at (i.e. many retailers which are dawnsizing their stores, especially in developed countries, by also reducing the number of employees). They would also claim the need of more services (i.e. more places to sit down and where they could relax throughout their shopping experience as coffee areas) even in the so-called proximity stores (the preferred store format by many consumers interviewed)
- Shopping behaviour is different vs younger generations: although the differences across markets and global regions, mature consumers show a different buying behaviour. They would be more willing to spend more for branded products (and less for promo items and special offers) by also purchasing a smaller number of items. Additionally they would prefer shopping during weekdays, early in the mornings and with more frequence during the week since they love shopping by looking at it as an alternative way to spend their free time
- Technology is always more relevant: the number of mature consumers facing to the Internet and to the digital devices world is increasingly growing. Across many markets consumers claim to start shopping online (through home delivery service) and most of them would like to be well informed at home and in-store during their shopping experience.
2. Are FMCG companies and retailers really paying attention to matures segment?
Procter and Gamble divested all its food and beverage brands by focusing more on beauty and personal care brands: In 2014 P&G announced that it would have sold around 100 brands (i.e. Pringles to Kellogs and pet food brand sas Iams, Eukanuba and Natura to Mars and Spectrum Brands from across its portfolio to focus on its top most profitable brands. With this choice P&G would be focus more on beauty and personal care brands (at the top of the mature consumer shopping list). Pantene, for example, shows and important range of Age Defy, a specific range focused on 50 or older women, offering shampoos, conditioners and advanced thickening treatment
Unilever is increasingly becoming a personal care companies. Indeed, although Unilever massively divested in the Foods business as of 2014 by selling 7 foods brands just in 2014, it always remains the main congloemerate company in FMCG. The following graph 1 shows this trend at Unilever, representing the food category decline in terms of turnover in 2015 vs previous years.
Graph 1: Unilever Turnover trends across the last 4 years within the 4 Unilever categories
Source: Unilever Annual reports (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
Dove, for instance, launched Pro Age, offering body wash, cream and deodorants for women between 50 and 65 years old.
L’Oréal showing an important range of products for mature consumers, especially with L’Oréal Paris, offering anti wringle creams, hair colour and hair care products. Thanks to the 2015 massive campaign “L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect campaign”, showed how mature consumers represent a massive opportunity to boost sales in coming years.
Many retailers across many markets in order to value the proximity service in center urban areas are offering a free (or in many cases a cheap) home delivery service (depending on the final shopping bill) both if they shopping in-store or online. Most of them are also investing to semplify their online service as well as the usability of their applications and websites to make easier the navigation for baby boomers and more mature consumers.
Others try to better satisfy simple but relevant needs for old consumers. Main example are the Japanese supermarkets where the local giant retailer Aeon launched floors inside their supermarkets fully thought for the mature segment: larger aisles, more accessible shelves, relaxing areas inside the store, personal shoppers help consumers to pick up the shopping until the parking and escalators are slower to avoid accidents.
3. Management Implications
- Mature consumers need different and specific strategies to be satisfied: from a manufacturer perspective older consumers need to have easier packs and clearer information on them. Even the communication should be direct and simple, without being so much refined. From a retailer perspective mature consumers need bigger stores with more services inside. Online they need something easy and quick to be used and understood
- Mature consumers are not all the same: as per other important segments what we generally showed above does not reflect the overall market. Significant differences remain across consumers coming from different markets, with a different age, education and digital access. Just to stay in Europe we cannot classify equally 50s British consumers with 50s Italian consumers as consumers are equally browsing online and buying FMCG products online
- Mature consumers represent a significant growing segment for coming years: in order to raise sales and value FMCG manufacturers and retailers will need to dedicare more energies and time to this segment, the only one growing (especially in developed markets) both in terms of number of people and in shopping value. As mentioned in this article, mature consumers will represent the main workforce and the richest segment for next decades, especialy in developed markets.
AT Kearney (2013), Understanding the Needs and Consequences of the Ageing Consumer
Unilever Annual Reports (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your healthy.
Probitics are gradually shaping the beauty business
While the term ‘probiotic’ is well established in food, where probiotics are considered as live microorganisms able to grow and form a colony that can have a beneficial effect, in cosmetics this is still not very widespread. However, the beauty industry is also considering the fact that our bodies, and particularly our skin, would profit from better nourishment. The beauty industry would also profit, of course, of this new trend and the opportunity is estimated to become a £5.58bn global industry by 2020
There is no doubt that probiotics are trendy and proof of this is the success of two brands, the South African ESSE and the North American Mother Dirt
According to Trevor Steyn, the CEO of ESSE, the company had a turnover of US$3.5 million in 2015 and is growing at an impressive 300% per annum. Currently ESSE markets two oil-based products – Sensitive serum and Probiotic serum (€70 to €150) – containing live microorganisms that have been inactivated by freeze-drying and stabilised by encapsulation. The probiotic bacteria are activated when they come in contact with skin moisture. As a company, ESSE will remain focused on skin care but through its other brands would look to explore opportunities in key markets such as toothpaste, hair care and cosmeceuticals to treat skin issues such as acne, rosacea and eczema.
The Mother Dirt adventure began with the launch of their AO+ Mist in June 2014, the first product for the skin made with live bacteria. According to Jasmine Aganovic, the company CEO “Mother Dirt was created to rethink health. It’s the first time anyone has created products to nurture the good bacteria of the skin. Our AO+ Mist is now followed up with other products that have been formulated, screened and tested for their friendliness to the skin biome, now the he company is currently exploring the potential of the bacteria in the treatment of eczema, rosacea, and other inflammatory skin disorders.
Challenges and next steps
Products containing fermented and probiotic ingredients are mainly orientated to the premium beauty market. Keeping probiotics alive through manufacturing and distribution is challenging. Products need to be sold under aseptic conditions and it is necessary also to protect the bacteria from excessive light, moisture heat or cold. This causes several operational challenges and constrains the type of packaging that can be used. ESSE uses a recyclable double glass unit that contains a bag in which the product is contained, while Mother Dirt uses pharmaceutical grade plastic packaging which is fully recyclable
Therefore there is no doubt that ‘probiotic’ ingredients are becoming a revenue generator for many manufacturers of cosmetic products. However, taking into account the recent EU-wide ban on using the word ‘probiotic’ on food packaging, ingredient manufacturers need to be aware of the effect of potential regulatory changes that might come in place in the medium to long term and affect the use of probiotics in cosmetic formulations Although future remains unknown, topical probiotic products are now on the rise thanks to the trend for wellness in the beauty industry.
Discover now how beautech devices will shape the beauty industry !
Health tech received a major boost, as manufacturers unveiled a slew of snackable wellness solutions and advanced trackers that keep the whole body under surveillance. Consumers’ continuing pursuit of wellness is taking a new turn: the wellness digital. As they seek to create wellness cocoons that can protect them from threats to their health, environment and emotional state – wherever they are. These 12 innovations will be use in the future by the grocery industry. Indeed, nowadays the consumers are paying attention to the wellness and their wish is to improve the quality and well being of their daily life. In this article you will see how modern technologies and can improve the consumer’s sleep, sportings activities or even mental health !
Fitness and sportswear
Example: Activity listener– Misfit Specter
Benefit: Tracks activity and sleep, and syncs with Misfit’s mobile app over Bluetooth
How it works: Details of pricing and availability have not yet been confirmed.
Example: Ombra by Canadian sportswear startup OmSignal
Benefit: Measures and reports back on fitness metrics such as distance, heart rate and calories via the company’s OmRun platform
How it works: The OmBra gives instant feedback to the user via the accompanying app, allowing them to measure the effects of their training and workouts
Pocket health check/monitor
Example: Refit Card
Benefit: Lets users check their pulse and stress levels when the card is behind their smartphone.
How it works: The batteryless, near-field-communication based ECG monitor – a world first. It is developed by by South Korean health-tech company Solmitech. Price: $49
Example: San Francisco-based Sproutling, has developed a health sensing wearable device for babies. The device retails for $299, but the site currently shows that its sold out. Users area able to put their name in for a device on the waitlist.
Benefits: Designed to give insight into a baby’s wellbeing and predict sleeping patterns.
How it works: It tracks a baby’s heart rate, skin temperature, motion and sleep position. This is possible thanks to a wearable sensor in the form of a hypoallergenic anklet. Besides, it monitors room temperature, humidity, sound and light. Then it provides clear indicators of the optimum environment for sleep, as well as sending real-time updates to smartphone app.
Treatment and therapy
Example: Quell, a wearable band. Lets users check their pulse and stress levels when the card is behind their smartphone.
Benefit: That relieves pain, measure sleep duration and quality
How it works: Relieves pain by stimulating the user’s nerves, has been updated with an Overnight Therapy mode that will measure sleep duration and quality
Example: Fineck by Beijing studio Veari, is a wearable for the neck that tracks subtle movements via an app.
Benefit: Targeting people who experience neck strain and discomfort, tracks the neck activity and warn consumer when they are in a bad posture for too long. It also encourages consumer to adjust and exercise their neck muscles via app-based games and prompts.
How it works: Based on motion sensing.
Smart sleeper thanks to wellness digital
Example: Sleep Number’s bed mattress
Benefit: Track your heart rate, breathing and movement during sleep, and recommend when to go to bed and when to wake up to gain the most benefit
How it works: It Bed features sensors that track movement, heart rate and breathing, and then suggests ways to improve the user’s rest patterns – such as improved levels of firmness, comfort and support for their mattress
Example: A San Diego-based startup company, Hush, consists of 3 engineers have create the smart noise cancelling ear buds.
Benefit: To help deliver a peaceful sleep regardless of our surroundings.
How it works: Hush reduces sound in two ways: The sound eliminating foam provides passive noise reduction as a first sound barrier. The in-ear speaker plays a track to mask any residual sound that the earplugs do not block out.
Mood and mental health
Example: Brain-sensing headbands –Muse, created by Canadian tech company InteraXon
Benefit: The brain sensing headband helps you get the most out of your meditation practice by giving you real time biofeedback of what’s going on in your mind.
How it works: The headband uses brain-sensing technology to measure whether your mind is calm or active, and translates those signals into guiding sounds. Use the app to monitor your progress.
Example: Simi hormone-tracking
Benefit: Help women predict their future moods and fertility.
How it works: A saliva-based monitor and app analytics, through its calendar interface, the prototype can issue a warning when the user might be grumpy – handy for important meetings.
Example: Oxie – the first, smart, neck-worn air purifier
Benefit: It purifies the surrounding air from smoke, microorganisms and allergens.
How it works: Sleek enough to fit under your shirt collar, it places you in an “invisible bubble“
Example: The coiled Fervent Carpet rug, Dyson
Benefit: Fight Allergy, Mitest kill, bacteria kill
How it works: The rug is fitted with hydraulic connections that plug into domestic radiators, allowing it to heat up to 60⁰C every few month to kill off dust mitest. Soon to be released in Japan, British brand Dyson’s latest humidifier combines its bladeless technology with ultraviolet light to kill off 99.9% of waterborne bacteria.
So, the disruption in terms of wellness is everywhere and the digital is definitely the future of the grocery market !
The sharing economy is linked by a shift in consumer priorities, including an experience-led culture and the increasing importance of value for money and convenience. Companies such has Uber or Airbnb have completely embraced this new trend and are considered has pioneers. The sharing beauty, is step by step as well invading the cosmetic business and will represent a huge pocket of growth for the beauty players.
Unilever is a one of the pioneer of the sharing beauty
In beauty and cosmetics, Uniever has made clear that it is betting on the sharing beauty to play a key role in the future of the business. Already in 2016 Unilever has acquired men’s shaving subscription service, Dollar Shave Club, and has invested £500,000 in the UK’s leading on-demand beauty app Blow Ltd.
This Blow LTD app provide fast beauty on demand « Expert blow dries, make-up & nails to your home, hotel or event » but has an omni-channel strategy. Which includes an e-commerce platform retailing an independent selection of products used and recommended by its professional network. The company is leveraging its expert credentials to reach consumers who value that knowledge.
Quality is prefered over price
For now beauty subscription boxes such as birchbox and on-demand beauty services, which send local professionals to your home at short notice, have been at the centre of the industry’s attempt to capitalise on the growing trend for collaborative consumption.
The beauty boxes and on-demand beauty apps undeniably promote community collaboration and convenience, along with the experience element, but are they offering value for money? The beauty treatments are the point of differentiation, which means quality remains primordial for success and is less likely to be compromised over price. For example, services offered by The Glam App in both the UK and the US are not dissimilar in price, and, in some cases, more expensive than conventional beautysalons.
On-demand applications are growing
Brands are becoming increasingly aware of consumers’ attempts to become better versions of themselves and are looking to engage in activities that will help transform them in some way. Beauty treatments fit naturally with these demands, offering an experience as well as visible transformational results, which is producing an appetite for on-demand.
Apps such as Priv have gone one step further to benefit from the wellness trend by offering not only traditional beauty services, but also fitness and yoga classes in the home too. Priv is the first of its kind to provide a rounded ”transformational” package, and as the lines between beauty and wellness continue to blur there will be further opportunity for on-demand beauty to position itself this way.
How the sharing beauty could be profitable for FMCG brands ?
The FMCG players that on paper seems to be very far from this trend could use it as new channel of distribution. In fact is these on-demand apps were able to leverage their local networks and logistical agility to provide the same instant gratification in distributing products as with professional services. Then it could prove beneficial for FMCG brands that cannot exercise the same flexibility, speed or convenience in their delivery options.
Interested in beauty disruption ? Discover how beautech devices will shape the market !
As of today the beautech, global beauty devices market, is set to grow from $19.4bn in 2014 to $54.2bn in 2020
In fact always more brands are investing in developing technologies to bring innovative new devices to market. The Beautech, smart and intelligent devices will dramatically shape product development and future routines of the beauty market. Therefore, professional devices are empowering beauty consumers who are seeking cheaper, but no less effective alternatives to salon and clinic solutions, offering devices they can use in their own hone whenever they want.
Hereunder is a selection of the hottest beautech nnovations:
1 – Panasonic Beauty Premium Booster Mask
The Panasonic Beauty Premium Booster blends technology and cosmetics, as well as steaming tools with the traditional beauty mask. This high-tech face mask promises to moisturize and maintain the health of skin. It can be combined in a beauty routine with skincare products and could be a great value adding to premium brands either in a ritual at home or in a spa/beauty salon.
2 – The ‘DermLite’ smart skin scanner
It enable consumers to track the health of their skin using the simply device and their existing smartphone. The ‘DermLite’ allows users to detect skin changes sooner and even take photos of it with the medical-grade optical lens for comparison or sharing with a health care professional. This tool is a potential combination for pharmaceutical and premium health brands to increase their diagnostic potential and personalize their beauty routines.
3 – Biologic Micro Current Eye Mask & Eye Patch
Biologic micro-current can replenish electric energy to skin to re-stimulate the vitality of cells. It will fight the wrinkles and make the skin more elastic and pampered. The devices need to be applied 3 min per morning/evening and the benefits can be increased with the following application of a beauty serum.
4 – Breathometer Mint
Simply place Mint in your mouth, let it automatically draw a sample of the air in your mouth and within seconds the Breathometerapp on your smartphone will let you know the quality of your breath, as well as how hydrated you are. This tool is a potential diagnostic device for toothpaste and mints brands. like Signal or Colgate.
5 – 3D Printing Make-Up
It all starts with a simple, intuitive mobile application where the user can choose from a library of dozens of pre-set looks. Once chosen, the look can be previewed on an image of the users face, and if they like wha they see, they simply place their face into the printer, it scans their facial geometries and then 3D prints the make up onto their skin in just 30 seconds. Professional make-up artists and premium brands can use it in their diagnostic to increase their precision and client satisfaction, the application can also be potentially linked directly to a e-commerce website for a in-home sotion.
6 – iRestore Laser Hair Growth System
The iRestore Laser Hair Growth System is engineered to be an effective means of stopping hair loss from occurring and helping to reinvigorate hair follicles to promote natural growth.The helmet uses a series of non-invasive laser that are focused on the scalp to penetrate the upper level soft skin and help to nourish the follicles. This enables the scalp to be a healthier environment for hair to continue to grow and a place for old follicles to begin growing again.
7 – Color-Matching Dye Machine
The conceptual ‘Color Pick’ Hair Dye Machine would be able to scan the person’s current hair, given the option to go darker or lighter, then provide the perfect amount of dye needed. This is a tool that professional brands like Schwarzkopf Professional,L’Oreal or Tigi can propose to their hairdressers clients as a combination to their dying portfolio.
Smart beauty is on the move !
As of today L’Oreal is investing a lot in this smart tech and just recently announced a strategic investment in “Founders Factory”, a multi sector digital accelerator and incubator, which will allow L’Oreal to deeply connect itself to a global ecosystem of world-class start-ups and entrepreneurs operating in the field of beautech.