Mintel: Beauty to see greater interactivity between virtual, real world


CHICAGO — Driving innovation in the year ahead is beauty that’s “plugged in” and encompasses electricity and energy, according to Mintel Beauty and Personal Care, which also predicted that packaging will reflect the increase in interactivity between virtual and real worlds, making greater use of sound, video and QR codes. Enter Kinetique.

“We’re seeing this trend manifest itself in several ways,” said Nica Lewis, global skin care analyst at Mintel. “From the next generation of at-home beauty devices that harness energy and light to new ingredients that boost cellular energy, beauty brands are giving consumers more power and vitality for better results.”

While at-home and on-the-go beauty devices are more established in the United States and Japan, the Kinetique trend forecasts Europe as the next market for these beauty devices to take hold.

“Interest in beauty devices in Europe is still low, especially in the U.K., France and Germany. More than two-thirds of women in these countries say they’re unlikely to buy beauty devices for home use. Women in Italy and Spain are more plugged in to this trend. They show a preference for hair removal, anti-cellulite and deep-pore cleansing devices for home use,” Lewis said. “This is partly climate driven but also cultural since southern European women are more likely to be familiar with these technologies from regular salon visits. The U.S. is the dominant market for powered face care devices, but European manufacturers are now developing innovative light and laser-based solutions for anti-aging in anticipation of consumer demand.”

Year 2012 and beyond also will look at the power behind the technology — what is driving it and ingredients that harness or boost cellular energy, such as sugar and oxygen.  But its counter trend — beauty ingredients that limit or shield the skin from high-energy blue or violet light — also will become a focus, according to Mintel. Anti-glycation claims, first seen in Japan, will give this trend renewed energy because of new actives coming to market, such as African Manilkara and Japanese apricot.

POS retail and packaging elements also form a key part of the trend and Mintel BPC forecasts a rise in packaging and products that increase the interactivity between virtual and real worlds.  Examples of sound, video and QR codes embedded in beauty packaging already have started to appear but will start to make their mark globally over the coming year and beyond.

“We’re seeing more connectivity both at point of sale, where consumers use smartphones to get information, and at home," Lewis said. "From QR codes on pack to sound and video embedded in packaging, brands are increasing interactivity to enrich the product experience. One of the best recent examples is Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows Volume IV, which has a USB port built into the palette so consumers can download makeup tutorials and listen to music while they’re getting ready. This blurring of the on and offline space is critical for brands and retailers. It allows them to get closer than ever before to consumers.

“There is growing use of tablets and screens at point of sale to personalize the in-store experience. Korean brands in Myeongdong were some of the first to adopt screens and video at point of sale while Clinique introduced iPads for client consultations in-store. In the U.S., Rite Aid is trialing an in-store kiosk that performs anonymous video analytics to determine the age and gender of customers standing in front of it. The Reward Center then dispenses vouchers and customized promotions,” Lewis said.

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