Summary of our market study

The global cosmetics market continued to grow, with Europe and the United States leading the way, followed by China and Japan. Organic and natural cosmetics enjoyed particular success, reflecting changing consumer preferences towards more sustainable, healthier products. Despite a 4.8% drop in cosmetics sales in Belgium, the organic segment of this market is holding up well, reflecting consumer interest in environmentally-friendly alternatives.

In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for hygiene-related cosmetics increased, while beauty-related items such as perfumes and make-up may have experienced a slowdown. E-commerce also saw growth for cosmetics, with 29% of Belgians buying these products online in 2020 - a notable increase on 15%. Major players such as L'Oréal and the Clarins group, as well as Belgian specialists like Inula, continued to compete and innovate in this dynamic market, emphasizing the importance of ecological practices and product traceability.

Belgian Market Insights: The rise of organic and natural cosmetics

In Belgium, the cosmetics market is witnessing a growing interest in organic and ecological products, reflecting a global trend towards more conscious consumerism. The "organic" segment, although still a niche, is steadily growing in the overall cosmetics landscape. Here's an overview of the main demand trends and lessons learned from the full market study.

Natural and organic products Natural and organic cosmetics are gaining in popularity, with Belgian and Luxembourg consumers contributing to the market's size, reflecting a promising growth relay in a mature market. Belgian sales of natural and organic cosmetics are estimated at between 90 and 100 million euros.

Consumer preferences and profiles The average expenditure of Belgian consumers on cosmetics is particularly high, at between 170 and 190 euros, which is above the European average. The trend is towards healthy, environmentally-friendly products, recognizing a triad of consumer profiles: health-conscious, environmentally conscious and aware of the risks associated with non-natural cosmetics. Women, especially as they age, and millennials, who are highly sensitive to the environment, are the main consumers of organic cosmetics.

The influence of trends and social media The demand for transparency in ingredient use, respect for the environment and products free from harmful chemicals is shaping market trends. The term "organic" is often confused with "natural", "responsible" and "vegan", and brands are exploiting social media, particularly Instagram, as a powerful tool for promotion and engagement.

Price perceptions and barriers Despite this momentum, the organic cosmetics segment faces consumer resistance due to perceived high prices, confusion surrounding product labels and doubts about product efficacy. Less than a quarter of Belgians appear willing to pay a premium for organic cosmetics, indicating that price sensitivity is a potential barrier to wider adoption.

Growth in e-commerce The digital marketplace has become an increasingly popular channel for cosmetics purchases. A development marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, which underlines the growing role of e-commerce in the cosmetics industry.

Resilience in the face of crisis Belgium's soaps, fragrances and household products sector proved resilient in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, with production rebounding after being hit by stringent containment measures.

Distribution and retail channels More than half of the main competitors in the Belgian organic cosmetics market The landscape of the organic cosmetics market in Belgium is a dynamic tapestry made up of both established multinationals and local brands, each vying for consumer attention in a segment marked by growing demand for natural, environmentally-friendly products.

  • L'Oréal: The French cosmetics giant has made significant inroads into the organic market through acquisitions and the creation of specific organic product lines within its brands. With The Body Shop's reputation for ethical and natural products and the more recent launch of La Provençale Bio, L'Oréal has embraced the ethics of organic beauty. Its acquisition of Sanoflore has also enabled it to leverage Ecocert certification to attract environmentally conscious consumers.
  • Clarins Group: Known for its high-end skincare lines, Clarins has entered the organic arena with its Kibio brand. The group's commitment to designing products that combine efficacy and natural formulation is evident in Kibio's Ecocert-certified products.
  • Yves Rocher: As a pioneer of botanical beauty, Yves Rocher has long focused on natural ingredients. The company has steadily expanded its organic range, offering products that meet the needs of consumers seeking beauty options based on plant sourcing and ecological responsibility.
  • Lush: Hailing from the UK, Lush has made its mark on the Belgian market with fresh, handmade cosmetics that emphasize ethical sourcing, vegetarian formulations and fierce opposition to animal testing. Known for their colorful bath bombs and solid shampoos, Lush stores offer a sensory experience in line with the principles of organic farming.
  • Inula (formerly Pranarôm): This Belgian company, based in Wallonia, applies a scientific approach to its essential oils and aromatherapy products. Pranarôm's organic ranges reflect a commitment to purity and quality.
  • Bee Nature: Truly Belgian at heart, Bee Nature exploits the beneficial properties of honey in its line of natural skincare products. The company's adherence to the principles of Slow Cosmetics underlines its commitment to sustainability and ecological balance.
  • BelleBulle: A manufacturer of artisanal cosmetics, BelleBulle stands out for products that are not only organic, but carefully handcrafted in Belgium, guaranteeing a high level of quality control and a personal touch.
  • Delbôve: Specializing in high-end beauty creams and serums, Delbôve combines luxury with natural formulation. Its organic products are aimed at a market segment that seeks both effectiveness and ethical sourcing.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

Cosmetics are beauty or care products belonging to 5 main categories:

  • toiletries (soaps, shower gels, deodorants, toothpastes, etc.),
  • skin care (creams, lotions...),
  • hair care (shampoos, masks, dyes, oils...),
  • make-up (powders, foundations, lipsticks, eyeshadows...),
  • fragrances and perfumes (eaux de toilette, perfumes...)

there are a number of grey areas in the use of the term "organic", with consumers often confusing natural products with organic products. The main criteria for qualifying as "organic" include the absence of certain potentially harmful chemicals (parabens, phthalates, aluminum salts, petrochemicals , etc.) and the presence of at least one organic ingredient.these products are certified by various private labels (not the European label, which only applies to food products), which ensure that they meet a number of criteria .

The global market is booming, with major cosmetics groups such as L'Oréal increasingly offering organic products and even brands. Organic" is a way of renewing certain product ranges and winning the trust of consumers. Confidence is key to winning market share, hence the proliferation of different labels or the marketing of independent brands through specific distribution channels such as specialist retailers. We should also mention the success of online sales, a real growth driver for both large and small players.

In Belgium, cosmetics sales fell by over 4% between 2018 and 2019 in value terms, but the "organic" segment continues to grow. The organic segment is seen by players as an interesting growth relay in a rather mature market. Among the main players, major cosmetics groups such as L'Oréal, Clarins and Yves Rocher compete with various Belgian brands specializing in the organic segment.

1.2 A growing global market

The world's main markets :

Europe and the United States dominate the world market, followed by China and Japan.

Comparison of cosmetics sales in the world's main markets World, ****, € billion Source: ****

Organic and natural cosmetics on the rise:

Globally, consumer preferences for natural products are evident (***). Rising disposable incomes, coupled with improved ...

1.3 The Belgian cosmetics market

Retail sales of cosmetics reached €* billion in **** for Belgium and Luxembourg, making it the *th largest European market by value.

However, the value of sales fell by *.*% between **** and ****.

Belgian consumption of cosmetics and personal care products by value Belgium, ****-****, € billion (***) Source: ****

for information, sales of natural and organic cosmetics ...

1.4 State of Belgian foreign trade in the sector

First, we look at Belgium's foreign trade in organic chemicals, used in the composition of organic cosmetics (***) is ***%, underlining the competitiveness of the Belgian chemical industry. Indeed, the port of Antwerp is one of the world's leading hubs in the chemical industry, and its organic component is well mastered by the ...

1.5 The impact of the Covid-19 crisis

Soap, perfume and cleaning product manufacturers were particularly affected in the second quarter, which corresponds to the period of strict containment in Belgium. After that, production picked up again to a level similar to ****.

We can therefore conclude that the sector has weathered the Coronavirus crisis rather well.

Comparative activity of ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 The main cosmetics products sold in Belgium

The cosmetics sector as analyzed in this study comprises * main categories, with different market shares on the Belgian market

Facial and body care dominate, with **% of sales by value Perfumes are the *nd segment, with **% of sales by value With **% of sales in value, personal cleansing follows Make-up is the *th ...

2.2 Profile of organic cosmetics consumers

Average basket:

According to the Cosmetics Europe association, a Belgian consumer spent around €*** on cosmetics in ****, a basket well above the European average of around €*** .

According to Business France, in ****, the average Belgian consumer spent €*** on cosmetics, underlining that this average annual basket is growing.

* consumer profiles:

A study carried ...

2.3 Why buy organic cosmetics?

Several aspects explain the rise of organic cosmetics:[***]

Transparency about the ingredients used: consumers want to know what they are consuming, and are alert to the presence of harmful ingredients such as endocrine disruptors. The fear of consuming unhealthy products is therefore a primary explanatory factor, as natural products are perceived ...

2.4 What are the obstacles to consuming organic cosmetics?

However, there may be obstacles - whether real or not - to buying organic products, such as :

lack of guarantees regarding product composition (***) blurred labels, with possible confusion between "natural" and "organic" products (***). price too high products sometimes considered less effective

One of the main arguments against buying organic cosmetics is ...

2.5 Demand trends

Other demand trends that go hand in hand with "organic" include

local responsible" trade ecological and environmental aspects natural products vegan products free" products (***)

Consumers are increasingly buying their cosmetics online:

According to CCI France Belgique, the share of online spending on cosmetics has been rising for several years: in ****, it ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Industry structure

Source: ****

With a renowned chemical cluster in Antwerp, Belgium is competitive in the cosmetics industry, with strengths in R&D and product testing. R&D is a very important element in the cosmetics value chain (***)

3.2 Belgian cosmetics production (organic and non-organic)

Below are the pre-tax sales of soap, household and perfume manufacturers located in Belgium between **** and ****. It can be seen that while the market was in decline between **** and ****, it has grown at an average annual rate of *.*% since ****, reaching sales of €*.* billion in ****.

Sales of soap, household products and perfume ...

3.3 Segmentation and player dynamics

The organic cosmetics segment attracts both major cosmetics groups, which offer organic products or brands, and new players specializing in organic cosmetics.

Major groups present on the Belgian market:

Players can enter the organic segment by creating organic ranges for some of their brands, or by creating or acquiring brands specialized ...

3.4 Analysis of distribution channels

Products are distributed to consumers through various channels:

Mass distribution (***):Carrefour, Delhaize, Colruyt, Aldi, Lidl and Jumbo are all present in Belgium.

Selective distribution (***): Some independent stores specialize in organic, natural and local trends.

Make Senz, for example, is an independent natural cosmetics store offering products handmade in Belgium (***). Biocam is ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Composition of organic cosmetics

According to COSMOS - the international non-profit organization for the standardization of organic products - organic cosmetics contain five categories of ingredients:

Water Mineral ingredients Physically transformed agro-ingredients Chemically transformed agro-ingredients Other ingredients

An agro-ingredient is defined as "any substance of plant, animal or microbial origin derived from agriculture, aquaculture or ...

4.2 Price analysis

Organic cosmetics generally tend to be sold at higher prices than non-organic cosmetics.

Reasons for this include

the more demanding production process the higher cost of organic vs. synthetic inputs

However, this can vary greatly depending on :

products brands place of purchase

trend in the consumer price index for cosmetics:

The ...

4.3 Supply trends

Organic and eco-friendly packaging:

Beyond the cosmetics themselves, packaging is also affected by the organic and ecological trend. Bulk packaging is also on the rise.

Virtual customer experience and promotion on social networks

The ability to virtually apply and test cosmetics online has been widely developed on the main websites of ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Regulations

Regulation (***), or the "minimum percentage of products of natural origin".

There is a great deal of confusion surrounding the definition and identification of "organic" cosmetics. A first step towards a better understanding of the product is to differentiate between the following categories:

natural cosmetics, which contain extracts of natural origin and/or ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • Bee Nature
  • BelleBulle
  • Clarins Groupe
  • Delbôve
  • Evocure
  • imwe
  • JYB
  • L’Oréal (Belgique Luxembourg)
  • Thala
  • Pranarôm (Inula Groupe)
  • Rocher Groupe (Yves Rocher)

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Comparison of cosmetics sales in the world's major markets
  • Belgian consumption of cosmetics and personal care products by value
  • Foreign trade in organic chemicals
  • Foreign trade in essential oils and resinoids, perfume or toilet preparations and cosmetic preparations
  • Belgian consumption by cosmetics category
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Latest news

Clarins relies on its boutiques to grow in the United States and China - 05/04/2024
  • - Purchase of the Serraval estate in 2016. - Acquisition in February of 150 hectares of land near Nîmes, including 50 hectares of arable land.
  • - Investment of 135 million euros in a new production site in Troyes.
  • - Clarins vertically integrates one third of its plant production.
  • - Global cosmetics market: 4.5% growth last year.
  • - In China (20% of Clarins sales): 11% increase in activity in the last six months of 2023.
  • - In the United States (the world's leading beauty market): 15% increase in activity last year.
  • - Online activity in China representing 47% of sales.
  • - More than fifty physical points of sale in China, representing a third of the global network of Clarins stores.
  • - Acquisition of American "clean beauty" brand Ilia for $150 million.
Luxury: the Clarins family invests in hotels - 27/02/2024
  • - Famille C Participations (FCP) has invested €130 million in Evok Collection.
  • - The "experiential luxury" market could reach 2.5 trillion euros by 2030, with annual growth of 4-8%.
  • - The French Clarins brand employs 9,000 people and claims to be Europe's number one in high-end skincare.
  • - Clarins is forecasting sales growth of 15% to 2022, with a value of 1.75 billion euros.
  • - Clarins has around fifty hotel spas worldwide.
  • - FCP's objective is to open 15 hotel establishments in five years.
  • - Evok Collection has six addresses in Paris and Venice.
Groupe Rocher's low-carbon strategy recognized by ESSEC business school - 15/02/2024
  • Groupe Rocher becomes the first Company to Mission in 2019.
  • Groupe Rocher was awarded the Essec Grand Prix for Responsible Commerce in the "Reducing environmental impact" category.
  • The group has 16,000 employees.
  • The group generated sales of around 2.4 billion euros.
  • The group has embarked on an industrial reorganization plan involving the loss of 300 jobs in Brittany
  • . The group's Ploërmel plant, which employs 90 people, has been put up for sale.
Guillaume Darrousez (Yves Rocher): "Make the brand more profitable, desirable and sustainable" - 10/12/2023
  • Yves Rocher has achieved sales growth of +9.4% in 2022.
  • There are a total of 2,300 Yves Rocher stores worldwide, including : - 660 in France - 400 in Russia - 240 in Turkey
  • 90% of Yves Rocher stores are franchised or managed.
  • Groupe Rocher achieved sales of €2.4 billion in 2022, down 14% over two years.
  • The total number of sales outlets (boutiques and resale outlets) is 5,800, representing two-thirds of the Group's business.
  • Digital sales account for 10% of Group sales.
Yves Rocher seeks to sell its factory in Ploërmel, Morbihan - 27/09/2023
  • Yves Rocher's Ploërmel plant was on the verge of closure due to high fixed costs.
  • The group has announced a plan to reduce the workforce at its three sites in Brittany.
  • The Yves Rocher group is a family-owned business founded in 1959.
  • The cosmetics giant has sales of 2.4 billion and 16,300 employees in 114 countries.
Yves Rocher: major clean-up to relaunch the group - 18/06/2023
  • Rocher group sales: 2.4 billion euros
  • Yves Rocher sales: 1.2 billion euros (down 200 million, or -15%)
  • Objective for Yves Rocher in Asia: quintuple sales to reach 15% of total sales
  • Worldwide sales of solid shampoos: 5.5 million euros
  • Market share target for Yves Rocher in France: from 8.8% to 10%

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Bee Nature
Clarins Groupe
L’Oréal (Belgique Luxembourg)
Pranarôm (Inula Groupe)
Rocher Groupe (Yves Rocher)

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the organic cosmetics market | Belgium

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