CPG Personal Care Industry Trends

CPG Personal Care industry statistics, trends and marketing best practices

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    Personal care


    The CPG personal care industry saw major disruption in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Mask wearing, closed businesses, and prolonged time at home caused many to make different choices regarding their personal care routines and products. The CPG personal care industry needs to understand current consumer behavior and how to shift their promotional strategy accordingly.

    At the onset of the pandemic, online sales increased across the board, but growing online sales didn’t make up for lost retail sales for the beauty industry. However, 32% of total revenue in the beauty and personal care industry is expected to be generated from online sales in 2021.

    Throughout 2021, consumers are looking for increased transparency from the brands they support, including both the ingredients they choose and stances on pressing issues like sustainability and climate change. Evolving consumer preferences are creating a set of challenges and opportunities for the CPG personal care industry. In order to help our brand and agency partners strategize their way forward, we at Snipp have put together an industry guide which covers some of the key trends that need watching.

    The beauty and personal care market is expected to reach $82.26 billion of total revenue in revenue in 2021, with the market growing annually by 4.06%

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    Trend #1: E-Commerce Grows... but Not Enough

    When it came to personal care sales in 2020, increased e-commerce sales did not off-set the drop in retail sales for the industry. Even still, e-commerce sales for personal care items are expected to reach $35.08 billion USD in 2021

    eCommerce for personal care is still growing:

    From 2019 to 2020 health and personal care e-commerce sales grew from 13% to 20.5%, suggesting that e-commerce is still a growing and important space for personal care products. However, the experience for consumers may be lacking online.

    When buying personal care products, shopping online is still difficult for consumers who need to match colors, want to smell a product, or struggle with visualizing the amount of product when volume is listed in fluid ounces. Digital screen variations alter colors, and buying things like makeup and hair dye IRL may be preferred by many worried of buying the wrong color for what they need. Customer reviews, return policies, and the ability to try on products virtually with a selfie filter can help improve the experience for customers and validate their purchase.

    Additionally, personal care items can often be impulse purchases. With many people going online, the temptation of a pretty package at checkout is gone, and they may be leaving the e-commerce site with only their essentials.

    Many people are also looking to simplify their personal care routines and rely on fewer products going forward. 10 and 12-step beauty routines are on the decline as consumers look for fewer products that serve multiple purposes.

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    Trend #2: Sustainability & Transparency

    64% of consumers are looking for natural and organic ingredients in their personal care products.

    Increased focus on environmental impact as well as understanding what we put in and on our bodies is driving consumer demand for environmentally careful brands and growing ingredient transparency, including sourcing for those ingredients.

    The estimated revenue for organic cosmetics in 2021 is $1.1 billion USD.

    What is “Clean” beauty?

    Clean beauty is being redefined in the wake of COVID-19 to include ethics and worker safety in addition to natural ingredients with low environmental impact. Consumers, especially millennial and gen Z, are leaning towards clean personal care options that include factors like:

    • Natural ingredients
    • Sustainable sourcing
    • Carbon neutral business practices • Ethical business practices
    • Worker rights and safety

    For the careful, sustainability-conscious consumer, these factors outweigh price.

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    Trend #3: Men's Personal Care

    Even before the pandemic, men were taking a great interest in new personal care products and routines. With barbers and salons closed—men embraced letting their hair grow out

    or invested in products to groom hair at home. Both of these options required a little more room in their personal care budgets.

    Men's Personal Care on the Rise

    The men’s personal care market is expected to reach $22.65 billion USD in revenue in 2021. In addition to hair, men’s skincare is on the rise, too. Men’s skincare overall increased by 34% from 2019 to 2020.

    While face washes and makeup for men are more widely available, the products most men are reaching for in skincare are moisturizers and anti-aging.

    Subscription services are also popular for men’s personal care products. For products that are regularly restocked by men like razors and shaving cream, a subscription service is appealing because they can rely on the same products coming directly to their door at the same time each month. Or, alternatively, they have the ability to try new products easily through a subscription.

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    Impact of COVID on Personal Care Industry

    The pandemic altered nearly every facet of our lives, which made a big impact on our personal care routines. First and foremost being mask mandates across the world that impacted makeup and skincare routines. Closed spas, nail salons, barbers, and hair salons caused many to embrace new personal styles or new habits to maintain their style.
    Staying home and wearing face masks has protected many from contracting and spreading the virus, but these did mean a lower need for products like makeup.

    On the other hand, stress, anxiety, and beneath-the-mask face sweat did lead to a greater demand for certain skincare products—like those that treat acne and promote relaxation or self care.

    Those who would get weekly or monthly beauty treatments had to shift their routines. Because salons were down for a period of time and, even if open, some people were (or still are) hesitant to go. Beauty kits and other items started selling at an all time high in 2020. Consumers are choosing to do their own beauty treatments at home in order to save money or stay safe—but they are also realizing that it’s not too difficult to do yourself once you invest in a few tools.

    Quarantine Cut & Color

    Whether you watched the online videos in horror or you picked up the kitchen scissors yourself for a haircut during lockdown—there’s more behind a quarantine cut than boredom and closed salons. When faced with a big change that is out of our control, people often make big changes they do have control over, and for many, that change comes in the form of a haircut.

    The psychological component of controlling something within our means amidst uncertainty may explain the growth of sales in personal care products like clippers, scissors, treatments, and dyes. However, as we start to see the light at the end of the quarantine tunnel, many might feel the need to make another big change to their style in the post-pandemic era. Brands should start to embrace the possibility of post- pandemic hair and style changes now in their promotional strategies.

    Offline and Online rewards for Personal Care (case study):

    As consumers head back into salons this year, consider leveraging those needs with a promotion like this:
    L’Oreal branded eComm website Hair.com wanted to collect data on their consumers and incentivize them to upload their salon services receipt to earn a reward.

    Snipp worked with Hair.com to set up a custom branded microsite where consumers upload their receipt showing their salon services. Customers can simply submit their receipt by text, email, or online. Once Snipp validates the receipt, consumers would receive $10 credit to spend directly on Hair.com. Snipp also provided full data transcription of the receipts.

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    Best Practices for the CPG Personal Care Industry

    For CPG brands, growing and maintaining a relationship with consumers is critical in today’s market. These are some key ways to steer your tactics in the right direction:

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    Advance Customer Experiences Online

    Selfie filters and other augmented reality (AR) experiences are fun for social media, but they’re also an important tool for online customer experience. When customers are worried about finding just the right color, help them find it through AR. For example, beauty brand Maybelline, has a virtual try on feature where users can use their camera or upload a photo to “try on” makeup products. Removing this barrier for personal care brands online can help drive e-commerce sales.

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    Embrace Product Transparency

    With consumers looking for products that do good and are good for them, communicating these practices in your brand should be front and center in your promotions. Nail care brand, dedicates an entire page of their website to educating visitors about their 17- free nail care. That is, their products have natural formulations that don’t include 17 harmful ingredients found in many other nail care products. Beyond just advertising they’re 17-free, ella + mila goes the extra mile to give consumers information on what that means and why they made the decision to formulate their products this way.

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    Marketing to Men for Personal Care

    While personal care for men is on the rise, promotions for men’s personal care products are still masculine, as seen in the branding for Dr. Squatch Soap Company, a men’s shampoo and body wash company. Their tagline, “Manly. Natural. Soap.” and their branding use masculinity and the great outdoors to promote their natural products.

    Rewards in men’s personal care also need to grab men’s attention with their interests. Unilever was looking for a way to connect with consumers, drive sales, and increase basket across their men’s personal care line. Snipp developed a gift with purchase program where consumers could purchase one or more Axe, Dove Men, Degree Men products in a single transaction to receive a free seven-day Xbox Games Pass.

    Case Study: Men's Care Promotion

    Unilever Canada partnered with the to give away Raptors gear and needed a partner that could create an exciting purchase-based program to drive sales of their Men's Scale Portfolio of products. Unilever leveraged Snipp's receipt validation and instant win technology to create a program where consumers could purchase participating products and upload their receipt to enter to win Raptors gear.


    • https://www.statista.com/study/53666/hair-care-market-in-the-us/
    • https://www.statista.com/outlook/cmo/beauty-personal-care/united-states
    • https://www.statista.com/study/21692/beauty-brands-on-social-media-statista-dossier/
    • https://www.premiumbeautynews.com/en/mintel-s-four-key-beauty-and,18043
    • https://greyjournal.net/play/style/4-mens-grooming-and-skincare-trends-in-2020/
    • https://www.gcimagazine.com/marketstrends/segments/bathbody/Mens-Grooming- Trends-572579491.html
    • https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/coronavirus-quarantines-are-upending-beauty- routines/608689/
    • https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/how-covid-19-is- changing-the-world-of-beauty
    • https://www.statista.com/study/51761/natural-organic-cosmetics-in-the-us/
    • https://nrf.com/blog/2020-beauty-trends
    • https://www.statista.com/statistics/720892/men-s-grooming-market-size-by-region-worldwide/

    Case Study: Unilever Portfolio Promotion

    Portfolio Level Sales and Basket Size for Unilever 

    Unilever Canada leveraged Snipp's promotions and receipt validation technology to run a summer program, rewarding customers for purchases across their portfolio.

    Snipp developed a Gift-with-Purchase program where consumers who purchase $20 worth of qualifying Unilever products across their portfolio in a single transaction can upload their receipt at a an English and French enabled microsite and get a $5 Digtial Pre-Paid Mastercard!

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    It's Time to Level Up CPG Customer Engagement

    Customer engagement may be difficult to measure and perform well at scale, but it undoubtedly leads to higher profitability and customer retention. Looking ahead, the future of customer engagement is going to involve even more personalized experiences.

    To reach this future, brands need to optimize their people, operations, and technology to create a consistently positive feedback loop with customers. This will keep you in touch with your customers’ evolving needs, build your brand integrity, and allow you to use data to further improve their experiences.

    And that's where Snipp comes in.

    We provide global marketing and loyalty technology solutions that bring together modular SaaS technology with best-in-class marketing expertise to help you increase sales, retain customers, and unlock intelligent decision making.


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    Let's talk about how Snipp can help you engage your customers.