Luxury for the masses: Cornelius examines modern opulence in personal care

Luxury for the masses: Cornelius examines modern opulence in personal care

(Posted on 08/05/17)

The habits, tastes and needs of consumers are evolving. Shoppers are seeking aspirational purchases and accessible luxury personal care brands at an affordable price.

Cornelius, the leading European distributor and manufacturer of specialty ingredients to the personal care sector, looks at the changing landscape in the care products industry.

"Consumers are not prepared to compromise on quality", says Ella Ceraulo, innovation chemist at Cornelius. "The rise of modern retail formats has opened up a market for high-quality beauty and personal care products that were previously unattainable. Luxury is becoming accessible for the everyday consumer."

Mrs Ceraulo claims the industry is experiencing a democratisation of luxury: "The meaning of luxury is undergoing a fundamental change, becoming affordable and widely available. Luxury is more mainstream and premium luxury as a term is now moving into the ultra-luxury area.

"Affordability versus luxury is a key trend in the cosmetics and care industries. There are an increasing number of non-luxury brands selling products or "masstige" (mass prestige) products with some element of luxury incorporated."

Brands are developing formulations to match consumers' demand for affordable luxuries or indulgence. Examples of products entering the realms of masstige include the Dove Derma Spa range, which offers a high-end aesthetic product for consumers' bathroom shelves, for a slightly higher price than the standard Dove product.

"Another example is the Aldi Lacura Caviar range", Mrs Ceraulo explains. "Featuring glass foil sealed jars, these at first seem out of place in a budget supermarket but they have attracted attention after a national newspaper declared that the £7 cream is nearly as good as La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream, which costs £295. The success has seen a vast range extension in Aldi drawing in new and existing customers."

The global beauty market is set to reach $675 billion by 2020. Of the cosmetic products, skin care has the highest market share while oral cosmetics is expected to be the fastest growing market over the next three years.

Mrs Ceraulo continued: "Take anti-aging creams as an example; there are creams that cost £5 and others costing £100 for the same amount of product. Most people will purchase the cheaper end, a few will buy the latter but increasingly, consumers will opt for the masstige version - one which costs between £15 and £40.

"Many consumers do not buy into expensive premium cosmetic products over mass-market cheaper alternatives, believing that the same ingredients are present in both. In general, nothing could be further from the truth.

"Most masstige products are high-quality items that offer an excellent consumer experience but thanks to modern techniques and different formulations, the price of these products can be reduced to within reasonable margins that the majority of people can afford."

Mrs Ceraulo believes the shift to more frugal formulations initially took place during the recession but almost a decade on, the sector has seen a steady stream of masstige products launched enticing consumers to trade up and treat themselves.

Cornelius believes luxury personal care products, from face creams to foundations, are today seen as affordable indulgences.