New Research from The Natural Marketing Institute Identified Five Personal Care Consumer Segments

Nov. 8, 2006 – Harleysville, Pa. (November 2006) – According to research from The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), in 2005 U.S. consumers spent $4.9 billion on natural/organic personal care products – a figure that shows growth of 22% over the previous year. Based on consumer usage patterns, future expected shopping and other NMI trended consumer data, that figure could rise to nearly $11 billion in 2009.

To take a deeper look into the personal care consumer and their attitudes and behaviors as it relates to healthy and premium personal care products, NMI recently conducted a study entitled The Evolution of the Healthy/Premium Market for Personal Care. The study found that although there is a strong desire for products offering organic and natural ingredients, consumers want even more in the way of benefits and premium ingredients. More than half (53%) are looking for products made with premium or higher-end ingredients, 56% are seeking fortification with special added ingredients and 62% have a desire for products that have a specific benefit/claim

According to NMI President Maryellen Molyneaux, “Personal care is one of the fastest growing categories within health and wellness. But for manufacturers to succeed, they must provide a point of differentiation for their products that will attract shoppers. With consumers becoming more sophisticated and more conscious of what not only goes into their bodies, but on them, it’s simply not enough for marketers to claim their products are derived from natural or organic sources. People are looking for products that deliver results or deliver a sensory experience.”

Based on data and insight from The Evolution of the Healthy/Premium Market for Personal Care, NMI has developed a proprietary personal care consumer segmentation among the U.S. population consisting of five segments:

INDULGENTS: (27%) While natural/organic is appealing to this group, they are not the main criteria for this highly involved premium-oriented group which splits equally between men and women. They want their personal care items to deliver a sensory experience and are salon brand oriented.

SEEKERS: (18%) Premium oriented, this predominantly female segment wants personal care products that deliver results. Age defying and clinically proven products produced by a brand they trust should meet with acceptance in this segment. Organic is not a driver, though natural is to some extent. Notably, they want a product that not only works, but also delivers a sensory experience.

NATURALAIRES: (21%) This segment is driven by organic and natural personal care components. They are not price driven and they lean toward premium. Notably, they are not sensory oriented, but do want effective products that won’t block pores.

MINIMALISTS: (17%) This group takes a no fuss approach to personal care. They prefer to keep their hair, skin, and nails clean without much effort. While they have the distinction of being price conscious, they show a definite orientation toward effectiveness. Convenience, ease, and speed are key to their personal care regime.

UNINVOLVEDS: (15%) Preferring to “stick to the basics”, this group is uninvolved in the category. They are not particularly price conscious (perhaps because they do not have many products in their repertoire) and the great majority are men.

“Identifying and understanding the nuances of these consumer segments is vital to marketers with regard to consumer targeting, marketing strategies, new product development, and a range of other initiatives,” states Molyneaux.

These are some select findings from NMI’s 2006 Evolution of the Healthy/Premium Market for Personal CareTM study that was conducted in May 2006 among 5,517 U.S. general population adults. The data is nationally representative, balanced to the U.S. Census, and has a margin of error of +/- 1.4% For more information on the study, visit NMI’s website at or contact Nancy White at 215-513-7300, ext. 225.


The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) is a strategic consulting, market research, and business development company specializing in the health, wellness, and sustainable marketplace. For more information on NMI’s other proprietary research reports and services, visit NMI’s web site at

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