Potential for vegetarian-friendly fragrance in France

April 20, 2017
4 min read

Vegan and vegetarian claims are rarely used in the fragrance market in France, in spite of their growing influence on the lifestyles of younger consumers. Almost one in five French 16-24s now claim to be vegetarian according to Mintel data, representing a significant target market for fragrance brands drawn to what is claimed to be a healthier, cruelty-free and more eco-friendly lifestyle.

French Millennials can underpin vegetarian-friendly beauty product growth

The younger generation in France is far more receptive to vegetarian food than their older counterparts. As such, interest in vegetarian-friendly products and formulation is unlikely to remain limited to food in France. In other countries, demand is already widening into beauty and personal care: in the US, almost one in five consumers consider vegan or vegetarian claims important while buying personal care products.

At the moment, French Millennials’ interest in vegetarian products represents an untapped potential which has not been met with the same level of development of related claims in new BPC products as in other developed markets. French brands could consider taking on vegan positioning to meet the changing demands of younger consumers. Likewise, there is room to push animal-related ethical claims to the fore in the product mix where this is possible, with France’s cruelty-free products also lagging behind other key markets.

Potential for celebrity backing

The low share of vegan claims in fragrances in comparison to other beauty and personal care categories as a whole may reflect reliance on animal ingredients (musk, ambergris etc), especially at the top end of the market. Nevertheless, focusing more on botanical and herbal fragrance ingredients will appeal to consumers looking to extend their ethical beliefs to more aspects of their life. Moreover, there is an opportunity for premium brands to explore endorsement with the growing number of high profile international and French-speaking vegans. The actual number of vegans may still be small, but celebrities from the world of arts, entertainment and music are helping develop far wider interest in vegan lifestyles, raising the trend’s profile by adding an element of aspiration.

Safer natural ingredients add to vegan appeal

New vegan fragrances in France could also look to build on veganisms close links to natural positioning. Vegan claims can help overcome consumer preoccupation with ingredient and product safety, as discussed by Mintel’s Factory Fear trend. Natural remains a leading area of interest overall for French fragrance buyers, and brands can enhance their natural credentials through vegan certification. Similarly, many of the new vegan fragrances incorporate organic, non-GMO and sustainable production, features that typically resonate with vegetarian consumers. In fact, Mintel research shows that as many as 41% of French 16-24 year olds have not yet used fragrances with natural ingredients but are interested in trying them.

Looking at international product launches, Benecos Heaven Can Wait is an organic cruelty-free and eco-friendly fragrance that uses natural raw material and aromatic materials from controlled organic cultivation or biological wild collection. Pacifica Persian Rose is a vegan, cruelty-free solid fragrance made with an all natural blend of organic coconut wax and non-GMO organic soy wax with essential oils, while The Body Shop Black Musk is described as the brand’s darkest and most sensual fragrance, formulated with the finest hand-picked ingredients.



Michelle Strutton is Global Research Manager for Household, Beauty and Personal Care at Mintel. She has over 30 years experience analysing consumer behaviour and market research at Mintel. Michelle also provides direction for Mintel’s global analysis and consumer research programme.

Charlotte Libby is Senior Beauty Analyst at Mintel, collating and analysing a wide range of data on the beauty markets, including consumer trends, product sales and new innovations. Charlotte joined Mintel in 2013 as an Analyst across the Beauty & Personal Care and Household sectors and now specialises in Beauty.

Michelle Strutton
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