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Vegan cosmetics – niche for large and small producers



[Translate to English:] Kosmetik Vegan

Only a few years ago, veganism was seen as a niche and unconventional lifestyle. Today, more and more people are choosing a meatless diet, as well as consciously choosing natural cosmetics free from ingredients of animal origin. As a result, the vegan cosmetics market is dynamically developing. 

From large brands to small local manufacturers... worldwide, cosmetics manufacturers are meeting this growing demand for vegan care products. More and more shampoos, creams, cleansing lotions and decorative cosmetic products are now clearly labelled as vegan.

But what exactly do vegan seals of approval mean and what requirements must a product meet to be labelled as vegan?

“Vegan” and “Cruelty Free” – trademarks for informed consumers

"Vegan" and "Cruelty Free" symbols found on the packaging are managed by the Vegan Society organisation which provides certifications to, among others, cosmetics. In order to obtain a “Vegan” mark, cosmetics must meet the following requirements:

  • the product must not contain any components of animal origin (this concerns raw materials, the production process and the final product),
  • the product and its components must not be tested on animals,
  • the product shall be free from plant components that are derived from genetically modified crops.

By selecting a vegan cream or hair conditioner, the consumer signals the producers that he or she does not accept any unnecessary animal suffering. It is worth noting that an interest in vegan cosmetics is also observed in customers who are not vegan and do not wish to change their dietary habits; however, in other areas of life want to contribute to the reduction of environmental pollution and greenhouse gases.

The growth of the vegan cosmetics market

The latest report published by the Grand View Research (GVR) research agency predicts that by 2025, the worth of the global vegan cosmetics market reaches USD 20.8 billion compared to USD 12.9 billion in 2017. GVR indicates that the growth of the vegan cosmetics market is attributed to the consumers’ increasing concerns for the welfare of animals (1). Major cosmetic companies across the globe are realising the importance of manufacturing products that use plant-based or mineral-based ingredients. Vegan cosmetics are gaining popularity due to their superior qualities. Consumers are increasingly aware of the products they use and that their choice of cosmetics affects their health and the environment. You can find out more about the increasing environmental awareness of modern consumption in our blog post "2019 - an eco-aware year for the cosmetics industry".

Research also shows that the development of the vegan cosmetics market is mainly driven by the younger consumers: Millennials (born in the 1980s and 1990s) and members of Generation Z (born after 2000) (2). These generations are open to plant-based diets andactively seek out brands that use natural ingredients and adhere to ethical values. Some set up their own local manufactories which operate in accordance with vegan values. Over time, they become recognisable, profitable small enterprises.

Sales channels for vegan cosmetics

Vegan makeup cosmetics as well as face, body and hair care products are now widely available. Vegan cosmetics are also increasingly popular amongst professional brands. Their sales increase through the emergence of new sale channels. One of the most popular forms of shopping for vegan cosmetics is online sales due to the wide range of products and the ease of placing orders. According to the GVR report, in 2011 China reported more than 65% increase in online sales of vegan cosmetics thanks to customers’ focus shifting from traditional shops to online platforms / e-commerce (3.4).

Manufacturers also focus more on the direct contact with customers. Currently popular natural cosmetics fairs serve as excellent opportunities for not only purchases but also testing of the products, personal familiarisation with brands and specialists developing formulations.


Building consumer trust

Regardless of whether this concerns a global or a local brand, the sale of vegan cosmetics is based on building customer trust through the use of raw materials from reliable and proven producers. Classification of cosmetics as “vegan” and “animal-friendly” is an important ethical aspect that helps earn loyalty and win new customers. The vegan cosmetics market is certainly more complicated and it poses major challenges, but its consumers tend to remain loyal to their chosen, proven brands for a long time.


Literature / Sources:
4. Nielsen 2018: The future of beauty report


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Joanna Strus

Product & Sales Manager

IMPAG is my first job after graduation. I am a biotechnologist. Did I always know that I would work in cosmetics industry? Probably not.. Starting as a Marketing & Sales Assistant, I had the opportunity to get to know the world of cosmetic raw materials step by step.
Currently, my sales activity is focused on producers of natural cosmetics. Personally, I am a huge fan of green cosmetics, so working with them is first of all a pleasure.

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