Consumer preferences for clean and sustainable products are propelling the use of lab-grown ingredients and biodegradable packaging in the industry.
Demand for sustainable products continues to take off.
Consumers increasingly want products that are both safe and align with their values, and are backing it up with their dollars. Sustainable CPG products account for more than half the growth of the entire CPG category, according to a study by NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business and IRI.
Material innovation — looked at through the lens of chemical formulations and advanced or engineered techniques, like lab-grown processes — is playing a key role in the transition to greener alternatives, specifically for the beauty and personal care industry.
From sustainably harvested ingredients to biodegradable tubs, companies are developing more environmentally safe processes, ingredients, and packaging to meet consumer demands. While being more sustainable is often thought to be more costly for brands, these upgrades can actually lead to additional business benefits and savings, such as reduced transport costs, lower supply chain risk, and decreased emissions.
- Demand for sustainable products is growing. Consumers — particularly millennials and Gen-Z — are driving the shift away from single-use plastic, and are quick to call out brands with unsustainable business practices. Government regulations in the EU and select US states are also pushing CPG companies toward adopting more sustainable alternatives, driving new use of materials in beauty and personal care.
- Material innovation gives companies a way to tackle their unsustainable ingredients and packaging. Companies sourcing materials have traditionally relied on less sustainable inputs, like collagen from animal sources and polyethylene, which are facing more scrutiny from consumers.
- There is a potential bottom-line benefit to adopting new materials. Advancements in sustainable materials has made this a more cost-competitive solution over the last decade. For instance, some early iterations of plastic alternatives made from wood pulp were expensive and not sturdy enough to hold product without spillage, but are now cheaper and more reliable.