Understanding what the consumer wants, and delivering on that, should be the natural beauty sector’s single biggest priority.
That’s the very clear view of Holland & Barrett’s head of beauty, Lucy Pottinger, who talked exclusively with Natural Products Global in a special video interview recently.
Interviewed by NPG after the recent Natural Beauty News Roundtable, Pottinger singled out regulation as an ongoing challenge for sector. “I think there’s still a long way to go in terms of regulation. We talk in the industry about how confusing the category can be from the consumer’s point of view – but it was very apparent today that we, as industry, need to get our own act together, so that we can fully understand what it is that the consumer wants, with the backing of course of the regulatory authorities.”
Pottinger says that the sector’s biggest opportunity lies in better understanding consumer demand. “Of course there are the legal elements of this was as well, which we need to listen to and abide by. But it’s also about listening to what the customer wants. That’s not necessarily about whether, for example, a particular chemical might be harmful, but simply the customer saying ‘I don’t want it in my product’. That’s the conversation we should be really tuned into as an industry.
Asked about trends, as we enter 2018, Pottinger comments: “If we’re looking at trends as a broader subject, then I think transparency on label is something going to be big. In terms of ingredients, charcoal is creating huge amounts of interest in store. I also think there’s lots to play for with things like DIY beauty. And that comes back to the transparency element. Customers really want to know what’s in their products, and what better way than by making it yourself?”