September 28, 2021

Future-Forward: New products and trends in personal care accelerated by COVID-19

June 12, 2020 • Posted by the Scentmate team

The COVID-19 pandemic has struck the world unexpectedly with governments and citizens being unprepared for such an event. Social distancing and country-wide lockdowns gave way to a host of new behaviours, consumer values and cultural etiquettes. What will be the impact and opportunity for different industries and categories?

As the world is recovering from this unprecedented crisis, positive change is being seen as digitalization and working from home have reduced transportation and pollution rates in consequence, and people are starting to take a step back to reconsider their wellbeing and mental health by either reconnecting with nature or taking care of themselves.

The household and personal care industries will see big changes in the coming year:

Premium Hand Care & Hygiene

One of the main impacts that the pandemic has had on consumer outlook, perceptions and behaviors is handwashing. Everyone is much more aware that it is necessary to wash their hands and 60% of consumers are washing their hands more frequently (GlobalWebIndex, March 2020). As a knock-off effect from increased hand washing, consumers are experiencing increased dryness in hands and premium hand care products are in greater demand. Premium hand care would have benefits beyond sanitization like moisturizing or a much greater focus on aromatic creams even if consumers are disengaging from perfumes. Premium cream manufacturers would have viable opportunities in terms of cross categorizing hand creams and hand hygiene products.

New aromatized sanitizers that can make the hands and the personal space clean and safe, at home or on the go, leaving a beautiful fragrance could become very popular with time.

Soap Bars & The Reinvention of the Bathroom

Soap bars have already been making their comeback in Europe, as they represent a more sustainable and natural choice with no plastic and packaging and a limited number of ingredients. They are also a more aesthetic choice as they can be carved beautifully and the final result being a small piece of art. During the pandemic, soap bar use has become even more widespread with 52% of 18-29 y.o. and 30-49 y.o. using soap bars more frequently. Soap bars do not only have sustainable, natural and aesthetic benefits, they also have the function to be an air diffuser at the same time. Cross-categorizing hygiene and air care is very opportunistic with soap bars.

In fact, even before the pandemic, bathrooms have evolved beyond a functional space to a living space, an ‘at home spa’. In 2019, according to Stylus, 43% of people have said that their bathrooms were the only places where they could get time for themselves and this was prior to the pandemic when the world was still very dynamic. Candles and aromas in the bathroom were very important back then and now they are needed more than ever. The addition of soap bars would enhance aromatherapy practices and rituals that would boost wellbeing and relaxation. The friction of the soap bar on one’s skin would also bring a more sensorial and satisfying experience of self-care.

With self-care becoming a greater priority in our day to day lives, the home and bathroom decor will become very important in our lives. A warm bubbly bath with a scent of exotic citrus could take you back to your carefree times. As people have more time on their hands and are commuting much less to work, they can indulge in bathing rituals and take long bubble baths. Mindful bathing rituals transform the bathroom into a spa. A combination of home fragrance and skin cleansing would be perfect for that. Lighting up candles and soaking in a fragranced bath bomb would make this ‘at-home spa’ feel even more accurate.

My Home My Sanctuary & Home Fragrance

Prior to the pandemic, people rarely spent time at home as they were out all day, mostly for work or study. However, during the pandemic, these people have been spending most of their time at home and have been investing much more in their home’s decor to make it a more welcoming and personal place to live in. The idea of ‘my home is my sanctuary’ has evolved as more and more consumers see the space as a multi-purpose sanctuary from a busy world – a work, wellness and entertainment hub.

Because of the pandemic home fragrances opportunities have increased greatly. In fact, at least 70% of premium consumers agree that a home fragrance ritual is part of their daily life. Home fragrances can answer new consumer needs regarding safety with 67% of them having concerns about candle safety and would rather opt for products with natural components, by exploring candles with low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) or flameless home fragrances such as reed diffusers that can improve indoor air quality.
Home fragrance can also go along with hygiene, with new aromatized sanitizers but most importantly, home fragrance will see lots of opportunities in terms of well-being and self-care. Research shows that scent impacts mood and emotional wellbeing with 78% of U.K. consumers using essential oils with specific health benefits.

As a growing portion of the global population is being confined to their homes, mental wellbeing becomes an urgent priority. With more spare time and an increased focus on mental wellbeing, people are exploring new rituals. Finding joy in simple pleasures, gestures such as lighting candles at dinner, while taking a bath or working out will make the everyday more beautiful.

As online workouts have become a key part of the day for many consumers, aroma diffusion in the house can be of great help to maximize performance. Thanks to the wide range of aromas, while practicing Yoga consumers can use essential oils that are helpful for relaxation, while working on a more intense workout, they can use essential oils that are energizing and revitalizing.

Home fragrances can also be developed to work along activities that have not practiced for a long time such as the lost art of cooking. As we are not going back to normal anytime soon and that normal travel may not resume until 2023, home fragrance opportunities may help in providing escapism for consumers, bringing the outdoors and beautiful memories in.

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