DSN: Creighton, can you discuss the new Walmart clean beauty initiative?
Creighton Kiper, vice president of beauty at Walmart: Clean Beauty at Walmart is an online shop that helps our customers find beauty products that are made without ingredients they may not want. We have been working to make our clean beauty standards the best in class. Walmart’s Clean Beauty products are made without any ingredients included on our Made Without List [MWL]. To rigorously develop this list, we reviewed state and federal regulations, consulted suppliers and called on experts such as the Environmental Defense Fund [EDF]. And we listened to customers —– who increasingly desire products without certain ingredients as well as better transparency around what goes into them. That’s how we ended up with over 1,200 ingredients on the MWL.
The future of Walmart’s Clean Beauty category starts with conversations with suppliers. In addition to making products without certain ingredients, many of our clean beauty brands are reimagining entire products— – exploring more sustainable packaging alternatives, evaluating the carbon emissions associated with production and adopting cruelty-free and ethical standards. If we can make it easier – —and affordable— – for our customers to make mindful choices about their beauty products while also reducing our environmental footprint, we can truly help our customers live better.
DSN: What are the major shopper trends you have observed this year? Any trading down from prestige to save money? Will people curtail their purchasing?
Brian King: Despite well-known macroeconomic challenges, we believe mass skin care has held up quite well. The consumer has remained quite resilient despite facing higher prices and more uncertainty. Category growth has picked up in the first part of the year. While there may be some trade down from prestige to mass, we are seeing the consumer still willing to spend on luxury indulgences like facial serums. When there is an interesting innovation in the category that solves consumer problems, we see the consumers are willing to make the investment in affordable luxuries, like RoC Fill & Treat Serum.
Annette DeVita- Goldstein: Consumers with very little disposable income are feeling the burden of inflation and adjusting spending to the essentials. However, for other consumers with less financial pressures, they are continuing to spend on beauty. Beauty products bring joy whether it's a prestige beauty product or mass beauty product. So right now, yes, “feel good” purchasing is still the trend.
Scott Kestenbaum: If history is a predictive indicator of the future, beauty will be just fine. At a macro-level, we are amid a once-in-a-generation sky-high inflation, fast-rising interest rates, a looming global recession, and consumers with less discretionary spending power. However, consumer spending has been remarkably resilient— – particularly with beauty. This past year, unit sales and prestige and mass beauty revenue have been growing at double digits across multiple categories. So, while consumers have pulled back on big-ticket items such as houses and cars, they show no signs or desire to cut back on smaller splurges such as beauty.
Jasteena Gill: We’ve seen minimalist skin care continue to be a trend over the last few years in the media and among consumers., This aligns with CeraVe’s core belief in effectively simple skin care solutions. We’re proud to offer products that work at affordable, drugstore prices, so that consumers do not need to choose between taking care of themselves and their skin.
David Horvitz: Our Pura d’or brand hair care products are focused on solving a consumer’s problems, particularly problems of hair thinning and hair loss due to breakage. As such, Pura d’or tends to have an extremely loyal customer base. Once they try Pura d’or shampoos and conditioners and see the results, they tend to remain Pura d’or users. Therefore, we don’t see fluctuation in our business when the economy turns down as inflation turns up.
DSN: Newness drives beauty. What are you doing to keep a constant flow of innovation?
Creighton Kiper: As we continue to keep customers’ interests in mind, we’re always looking for new ways to innovate and expand our assortment. That’s why we’ve brought back our beauty accelerator program, Walmart Start, for a second year.
Walmart Start is designed to help up-and-coming brands scale at mass. The program offers five unique brands access to key resources, including execution, and operational and individualized support, specific to launching successfully at Walmart.