DSM embraces multicultural beauty, gender fluidity and new aging in cosmetics and personal care

The past 20 years have seen major changes: Thanks to rising education levels in emerging markets and improving employment conditions, more and more women around the world have a greater discretionary spending power.1 On a macro-economic level, new countries, such as Japan and South Korea, are beginning to surface as role models and influence lifestyles and tastes in food, music, fashion and beauty. And on a socio-demographic level, the number of people in the world aged 60 and over has risen exponentially. By 2030, this figure is expected to be double what it was in 2000.2 Aging populations are particularly noticeable in the West, but at the other end of the spectrum, Millennials (born after 1980) now make up the largest proportion of the population in some countries.

Most importantly, there has been a shift in attitude–younger generations have diverse perceptions of the world. Gone is the standardized definition of success. In posts from beauty and style brands on social media, the focus is shifting toward more respect for the individual. Nobody should feel restricted by age, gender or ethnic background: Consumers are looking for unique, customized products and services that maximize their strengths.

This is where diversity comes in. While multiculturalism is nothing new, minority groups have shifted from being overlooked to having major consumer clout. Diversity, however, is so much more than skin color – gender, sexual orientation, lifestyle, individual needs of skin, sun and hair care products, and life choices also matter.

Discover our six trend expressions helping you identifying the unmet needs of these consumers groups.

Generation Reformation:

Post-demographic expectations towards brands to take into account the wide diversity of consumers.

Metamophoric Design:

The next frontier for personalization? Consumers primed by smart objects and responsive physical spaces – and accustomed to the ultra-convenience of subscriptions – will increasingly expect relevance as a service. That means products, services and experiences that constantly adapt around the changing needs of the user.

New Aging: 

As the latest generation of mature consumers is more healthy, active, and playful than ever before, age is no longer an accurate lifestyle descriptor. Consumers believe you can do whatever you want at any age, so concepts such as down-aging, age-blurring and agelessness have become standard. Among millennials there has also been a shift in focus to preventing rather than reversing the visible signs of skin aging.3 The result: A boom in hybrid products with anti-aging benefits and greater emphasis on the over 50s age group in advertising.

Imperfect Beauty:

As the individual spirit is winning over beauty standards, we are proud of who we are & how we look. We are no longer hiding our ‘imperfections’ and reject the ‘perfect’ stereotype: plus-size fashion models, transgender models, wheelchaired models or models with Down Syndrome are no longer an exception.

Mini Me:

A growing tendency of having children at a later age, decreasing birth rates and the increasing stream of possibilities available for children has resulted in a higher pressure to raise ‘perfect children’. Parents do whatever they can to find the best products and solutions for their little princes and princesses.

Celebrity Beauty:

Beauty product brands launched by famous people (actors, musicians, athletes, etc.). Consumers want to follow similar beauty care routines of these celebrities.

1 Slide 6 of DSM PC Trends - Diversity only
2 Slide 3 of DSM PC Trends - Diversity only

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