How can beauty companies make the most of veganism’s rising popularity?

August 20, 2018
3 min read

As the British health food chain Holland & Barrett recently announced plans to open vegan-only stores, as well as stock more vegan food and beauty products, Mintel’s Global Beauty and Personal Care Analyst Andrew McDougall assesses the opportunity presented by the increasing popularity of veganism in the beauty sector.

The market for vegan products is booming, in line with growing consumer concerns about the ethical and environmental impact of animal-related products and a desire to buy products that align with the issues people care about.

The trend still has room to grow within the food industry, but it’s emerging strongly within other sectors too, particularly the beauty and fashion categories. Earlier this year, British retailer Superdrug opened a dedicated pop-up store in London to highlight its extensive range of vegan beauty and personal care products, highlighting a growing appetite for such products.
Veganism is growing rapidly around the world. According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), vegan launches more than doubled in the past five years, growing by 175% from July 2013 to June 2018.

With this growth, more people are becoming aware of the types of products they consume and this extends to beauty.

Brands should highlight products with natural ingredients, and their general compliance with a vegan lifestyle. It comes off the back of clean eating growing in popularity, leading to clean beauty – as consumers want to align all aspects of their lifestyles. New product development in ethical toiletries is on the rise and ethical consumerism is rising as a trend in the beauty sector. Vegan- and animal-friendly credentials are important ethical considerations that will help new brands build a loyal following, and established brands win new users.

Our research shows that young consumers (Gen Z and Millennials) are driving these lifestyles, with a growing desire to follow a plant-based diet. Younger consumers are also very informed on what is in their products and ethical and natural factors are very important to them.

As consumers in general strive to be healthier, this has led to more people adopting a plant-based diet, so the likelihood is they will want to align their beauty routine with the rest of their lifestyle. Having a whole store/aisle dedicated to vegan beauty is also likely to appeal to shoppers who will appreciate being able to shop freely without having to check labels to see if a product is vegan.

The vegan trend appears to continue growing as consumers monitor their impact on the planet, so we expect it to continue in the future. There is also room for expansion for beauty retailers, echoing the idea of free-from aisles, which are now commonly found in stores, using displays dedicated to values like “vegan”, “cruelty-free” or “carbon-neutral” to help consumers differentiate products and brands. Digital tools can also prove beneficial, particularly in helping shoppers navigate large online product inventories or comparing products based on the causes they support.

Here are some recent examples of innovative vegan beauty products picked by our analysts:

Orveda Glow Activator: A vegan prebiotic emulsion that can be used daily as a moisturiser or primer and that “works with skin, not against it”

Credit: Orveda

Kaia Naturals The Takesumi Detox Overnight Dry Shampoo: The vegan formula uses deodorising charcoal to absorb sebum, sweat and odour overnight

Credit: Kaia Naturals
Andrew McDougall
Andrew McDougall

Andrew is a Global Haircare Analyst at Mintel, analyzing the haircare market, identifying and tracking the latest trends and product innovations.

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