Online Exclusive: Functional Closures in Demand in Global Beauty & Personal Care
Consumers are looking for quality and added functionality.

Despite consumer confidence still being generally low following the economic downturn, consumers are

Karine Dussimon, Euromonitor International

continuing to demand more from their beauty and personal care products. The appeal of quality perception and added functionality are not attributes which consumers are quite ready to give up on. This has particularly benefited closure types such as plastic dispensing closures, lotion pumps and aerosol sprays, which have all been increasingly responding to the need of brand owners to provide added value through packaging.

Demand for higher quality in Asian hair care

Plastic dispensing closures, by far the leading closure format in beauty and personal care with global sales amounting to 25.4 billion units in 2011, are enjoying organic growth as the rise in world population, development of modern retailing and increasing income levels in developing countries are all contributing to boosting unit sales of standard shampoo in HDPE bottles as well as toothpaste in squeezable plastic tubes (Figure1). That said, a fair share of this growth stems specifically from a shift from very affordable but also low-margin single-serve shampoo in sachets to more convenient and more expensive HDPE bottles in Indonesia and India. Many Southeast Asian consumers are now able to afford and access larger shampoo packs and are embracing the convenience of bottles and the precise dosage offered by plastic dispensing closures.

Plastic dispensing closures are the leading closure format in beauty and personal care.

Functional closures to grow fastest in high-margin categories

Closures deemed functional, such as plastic dispensing closures, lotion pumps and aerosol sprays, are growing faster in relative terms in categories which tend to generally offer higher margins. Two key elements will be key to plastic dispensers’ unit growth over 2011-2016, the first being strong volume demand in categories targeting specific consumer groups, in particular men and babies (Figure 2). In 2011, the L’Oréal Kids range of baby hair care products was, for example, launched in Thailand in an HDPE bottle fitted with a plastic dispenser. Secondly, squeezable plastic tubes are taking share from HDPE bottles in skin care where the typically smaller format of the tube combined with its glossiness and the ease of application provided by the plastic dispenser tend to increasingly appeal to consumers in search of higher quality.

Closures deemed functional are growing faster in relative terms in categories which tend to generally offer higher margins.

Skin care also offers interesting opportunities, alongside color cosmetics and sun care, for suppliers and potential users of lotion pumps and aerosol sprays. In these categories, measured doses and ease of application are even more instrumental in the success of these closure types. Garnier already differentiated in 2010 with its flagship product Ambre Solaire Rapido in a 100ml metal aerosol spray, offering more even and controlled application of the product, thus making it ideal for children. More recently in 2011, high-end brand Biotherm also offered Spanish consumers its Aquasource Biosensitive eye moisturizer in a 15ml HDPE bottle with a lotion pump. Within color cosmetics, the same applies for foundation/concealers as on-skin application makes for one of the product’s best-selling points — as illustrated by Rimmel London’s latest Wake Me Up & Glow foundation in a 30ml glass bottle with a lotion pump.

Trend set to continue

Beauty and personal care will continue to open doors to further closure innovation and allow dispensers, pumps and sprays to further penetrate fairly high value categories. Plastic dispensing closures, lotion pumps and sprays are all predicted to register a CAGR of more than 3.5% to 2016. This overall quest for added value will mainly be at the expense of plastic screw closures, but will also affect flexible plastic in more developing regions. Price will of course remain a very sensitive element, but the actual benefit of the overall packaging solution perceived by the consumer, be it for easier consumption on the go or simply a sense of treating oneself to a “better” product, will be essential in the purchasing decision. Inroads made in airless technology in particular will bode well for lotion but also spray pumps as brand owners’ interest in better preservation of their products shows no sign of weakening.

About the Author: In her role as Senior Analyst – Packaging at Euromonitor International, Karine Dussimon has direct responsibility over the content and quality of Euromonitor’s Packaging data and written analysis. Packaging research provides strategic information across 52 countries globally, covering all FMCG industries including foods, beverages, personal care, home care, consumer healthcare and tobacco. She can be reached at