Spain embraces natural cosmetics

The Spanish cosmetics industry is bouncing back with natural products proving a big hit

Over a sunny weekend in May 2017, 74,000 people headed to Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi (a futuristic events space built for the city’s 1992 Olympic Games), with many of this number attending to learn about Spain’s organic and natural cosmetics.

On other occasions, these impressive numbers would be expected for the international pop stars that regularly perform here. But this time it was for BioCultura, a retail fair promoting natural products and responsible consumerism.


Bio finds favour

Spain is now one of the world’s top ten consumers of organic and natural agricultural products, according to a report by SEAE (Sociedad Española de Agricultura Ecológica) – and that includes personal care products using food ingredients. The organisers of BioCultura tell SPC that natural cosmetics and skin care was one of the fastest growing sectors at this year’s event. According to UK-based market researcher Ecovia Intelligence, the Spanish market for natural and organic personal care products was valued at €60m in 2015, with natural skin care lines counting for half of these receipts. Ecovia expects that figure to grow by between 5-8% per annum from 2017 onwards.

A look at the changing personal care product mix offered by Spanish retailers also demonstrates this trend. At one end of the spectrum, supermarkets such as Consum have now installed special points of sale for organic toiletries and foodstuffs, while neighbourhood health food stores – the traditional ‘go-tos’ for herbs, honeys and other natural products – dedicate shelves to masstige brands such as Alqvimia and Weleda. At the luxury end are new, high-tech concept stores like Psaging, which has two outlets in Barcelona specialising in high performance products such as Dulkamara – a company based in Spain’s Navarre region that makes eco-certified skin care from the milk and sap of bamboo. But perhaps the most telling sign of all of Spain’s wider acceptance of natural products is that . . .

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