For two years, COVID-19 dictated much of the direction for the health and beauty aids (HBA) category in the convenience store channel.
Hygiene products dominated, with soap beating out all other product lines by a very healthy margin — cashing in nearly $2.8 million more in sales for 2020 than second place skin care, per Statista. Of course, items such as hand sanitizers and antibacterial wipes will continue to generate sales as long as the pandemic sticks around, but cosmetics, hair care and beauty product manufacturers hope the market regains lost ground in 2022.
More Natural, More Transparent
One of the biggest HBA trends that has market analysts optimistic for the category’s future is the ongoing interest in more natural, more transparent, better-for-you ingredients. From well-established, low-cost brands to top-tier boutique names, skincare and cosmetics producers seek to attract consumers not just with promises of wrinkle control and full body shampoos, but with commitments to social responsibility, ethical sourcing and testing.
Although the c-store channel probably will benefit most from stocking trusted, broadly distributed brands, mixing in a selection of vegan or sustainable options, which typically carry higher price points, could help strengthen relationships with conscientious consumers. In 2021, Forbes reported that Gen Z customers are ready to pay 10% more on sustainable products, and Millennials base purchase decisions not on brand loyalty, but more on products and companies that align with their personal values and principles.
CBDs in HBA
Following in this philosophy is the growing interest in cannabis-based products, the most common of which are cannabidiols (CBDs). For the past several years, people have reached for CBD-infused creams and oils. Personal care and cosmetic developers also have begun adding CBD into formulations to meet this new, enthusiastic demand. According to a Euromonitor International report, online searches for CBD beauty products jumped 370% in 2019. What’s more, the research firm predicts the market for all kinds of cannabis-derived products will expand by 1,200% by 2023.
There’s always room to carry tried-and-true brands of pain relievers and cosmetics, but c-stores can boost consumer engagement by featuring various CBD items, too.
Another trend experts expect to reform HBA offerings is the expansion of hair products for natural hair. In recent years, there’s been a push for more acceptance of hair styles and looks for people of color. In fact, in 2019, California passed the first CROWN Act, prohibiting discrimination against workers or students based on natural hair. Since then, several states have introduced and passed similar versions. Plus, certain manufacturers, like Dove, have promoted campaigns in support of such legislation.
Carrying products specifically designed to care for natural textures welcomes a diversity of customer demographics.