How to innovate cleansing baby care products

The baby care sector represents lots of opportunities for personal care brands and manufacturers. We look at 4 ways to innovate in this lovely market and present some solutions for consumer trends for cleansing and whole body applications that can benefit your brand. Read on...

Overview of the baby care market

The global value of the baby personal care market size in 2019 was $5.67 billion with an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2% from 2020 to 2027. The reasons behind this significant market growth rate are largely attributed to rising concerns over baby health, increasing baby personal hygiene awareness among consumers and the growth of the organised retail sector.

According to Grand View Research, a tightly regulated babycare market ads complexity, requiring high innovation and product development costs, followed by extensive product testing costs, inevitably resulting in the high pricing of the end product to recoup the initial research and investment costs. The International Journal of Research in Social Sciences found that 36% of consumers prefer quality vs 26% of economically priced products.

Below we outline key considerations for innovating on-trend baby care products:

Sustainable beauty and skincare ingredients

1. Addressing wellness, sustainability and eco issues

Brands performing well are those that are listening to what consumers want. Product characteristics that address health and wellness, promote sustainability and demonstrate strong eco-credentials are big winners with switched on, motivated ecologically aware consumers. The baby personal care market, like so many other segments across the cosmetics and personal care industry, is driven by product quality. Brands that don’t listen and adapt to the demands of the modern consumer will get left behind in the wake of the brands that do.

There is also a growing demand for natural and sustainable baby personal care products. According to Mintel baby care report, new product developments and innovations have capitalised on the growth of on-trend hygiene, immunity support, protection and wellness themes, while more established natural formulas have sought to stand out more.

Mintel reveals that in the UK, a quarter (26%) of parents of 0-4 year olds show interest in purchasing baby personal care products that promote emotional wellbeing.

Consumer interest is undoubtedly fuelling the momentum of eco and natural claims being made by brands. This is evident in the growing popularity of eco packs, appealing to almost a third (29%) of UK parents of 0-4 year olds who choose babies and children’s personal care products based purely on their eco benefits. This sector has experienced growth of 17% according to Mintel.

"30% of UK parents of 0-4 year olds who choose babies and children's personal care products based purely on their eco benefits"

Mintel Baby Care Report 2021

Baby care clean formulations

2. Launching safe, clean and sensitive skin baby care products

Safety concerns continue to be a real driving force for natural and clean baby personal care innovation. Ongoing scrutiny over ingredient safety in the baby (and adult) beauty and personal care market continues to drive baby brands to clearly promote their natural, safe and certified formulas. The focus on protecting and caring for babies’ sensitive skin remains prominent with over half (53%) of baby personal care launches in Europe in 2020 claiming to be suitable for sensitive skin.

As we have seen, consumers with sensitive skin and parents with babies and young children are increasingly looking for products that are milder and offer gentle natural cleansing. Even more so after the impact of coronavirus with consumers seeking out more cleansing products in line with a renewed importance on personal hygiene. More options are needed for those with sensitive skin to offer products with gentle cleansing without disrupting the skin microbiome.

The significance of formulating with safe and clean ingredients cannot be underestimated in attempting to win over and influence consumer behaviour.

Aligning with protective and wellness themes claims such as aromatherapy, antibacterial, probiotic and addressing skin disorders can expand.

In China, 40% of parents of 0-3 year olds and buyers of baby personal care products are willing to pay more for products that solve specific skin problems (eg eczema, dryness).

Donggubat is one example of an all-in-one cleansing bar combined with eco claims mentioned above. It is also a social venture that helps the disabled community and produces solid plastic-free products (including baby wash) with eco package.

"In the US 60% of parents agree that 'safe for sensitive/allergies' claims are most important when buying baby personal care products."

Mintel Baby Care Report 2021

3. Getting the ingredients right

As you know, getting the ingredients right is very important to have a winning formula.

More specialised dermacosmetic-focused innovations have created real market differentiation. The impact of COVID-19 continues to drive wellness, protective and affordable innovation, particularly in Europe. Wellness innovations have seen the use of creative yet natural aromatherapy techniques and comforting ingredients such as warm milk to enable restful sleep. In an interesting development for the market, innovations are also taking into consideration parents’ wellbeing as well as that of their children. Below we list some brands and ingredients tapping into this.

Dove’s Calming Nights is a great example focusing on aiding sleep and relaxation. Thanks to the scent of warm milk (dairy-free) and chamomile, which supports that.

Oat-based formulas are great for sensitive skin. Branded and private labels are seeing the real potential of oat-based innovations offering protection and sensitive skin suitability. Key territories showing growth include North and Latin America. Some of the best examples of brands pushing the boundaries of innovation in the sector demonstrate a true understanding of both the needs of parent and baby, offering reassurance through their soft and gentle formulations and natural ingredients.

Baby Balance is UniQ Cosmetic’s first baby BPC brand that focuses on boosting skin immunity. It uses prebiotics, biolipids, natural fermented oats, natural emollients (sunflower and olive oils), panthenol and extracts of medicinal herbs (chamomile, calendula and lavender) to enhance skin’s immunity and maintain a healthy skin microbiome. The premise is that a strengthened skin microbiome helps protect against adverse environmental influences.

Another interesting ingredient is amino acids for more protection. The Baby Secret Amino Acids brand launched a new baby hand soap formulated with amino acids to protect skin from external aggressors, to wash away impurities, and to soothe and to clear eczema, mosquito bite spots and other blemishes on baby’s skin ‘from the first day’.

To be successful and to win the trust of consumers, brands need to be open about the capabilities of immune-supporting topical skincare products to inspire and build confidence.

Playful baby care beauty products

4. Having fun with playful concepts for babies

One way to have more fun in the baby care market is through baby care products that promote joy and bonding. One way is to promote positive innovation through the parent and child rituals of reading. Boots successfully engaged with a natural, eco-friendly, storytelling theme designed to encourage bonding with its innovative ‘Little Stories’ range which features a ‘perfect poem for you and your little one to enjoy at bedtime’

To add, playful concepts can come in different shapes, sizes, aromas, and natural colours.

Stephenson formulations for baby care

For brands aiming to make it in the sensitive skin and baby care markets there is a wealth of opportunity for more product development and innovation as the consumer demand is there.

Fulfilling sensitive skincare needs and meeting these requirements are features of syndet bar formulations, which are perfectly suited to addressing the growing demand for this niche market with mild product formulations and ph neutral features. Syndopal from Stephenson is safe to use for infant rinse-off personal care applications*. It offers eco-packaging opportunities and aligns with consumer trends for sensitive skin cleansing, hair and body cleansing applications. Its sustainably sourced, low water and biodegradable formulation also benefits from 100% soap-free, ph neutrality, high foaming, and non-irritant claims. Syndopal base is also safe to use around the eyes and lasts 2x longer than liquid alternatives.

It offers processability advantages for personal care brands and manufacturers in pharmaceutical, personal care and baby care categories. With Syndopal it is easy to create new business opportunities and products, with less packaging and improved environmental credentials further boosting the appeal to parents and consumers.

*Paediatric approved – This applies to our base only and not for end products with added ingredients. It is advised that customers get their end products tested for their product to hold this claim.”

Download our trends guide for more inspiration or contact us for more information.

Solid trends guide by Stephenson

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