Cosmetics and Toiletries 

Packaging Opportunities in the Global Makeup Sector

The make-up sector is a saturated and highly competitive market, which means that brands continuously need to find new and engaging ways to appeal to consumers. Drawing from research by GlobalData, Eloise McLennan examines how brands are using packaging to enhance the appeal of products and target consumer trends

In 2017, the global make-up sector was valued at $47.4bn, and is forecast to reach $55.9bn by 2022. There are a number of factors set to contribute to this growth, including improving economies and the rising number of women in the workforce. Working women have increased purchasing power, and brands have been quick to target the demands of these busy shoppers across all regions, tapping into the image-conscious trends driving growth and incorporating convenience features into pack designs. 

In the current market, convenience, simplicity and single-use packaging features are key focus points for brands as these elements continue to gain popularity in the make-up sector. Manufacturers are also incorporating tools, such as applicators, into the packaging design to allow users to apply the product uniformly. This is particularly useful for time-scares consumers who prefer fast and fuss-free touch-ups on-the-go. 

However, in the upcoming GlobalData report, ‘Opportunities in the Global Make-Up Sector’,  analysts forecast that the consumer desire for high-functionality and convenience will fuel innovation in make-up packaging, with new formats, designs and value-added features that enhance the user experience appearing on the market. But functionality is not the only trend influencing packaging innovation in the global make-up sector, as high demand for eco-friendly packs such as bamboo and recycled cardboard is pushing manufacturers to invest in sustainable packaging that can reduce the damaging environmental impact of packaging waste. Using findings detailing in GlobalData’s full make-up report, we explore how packaging can be used to target opportunities offered by high growth economies. 

Key package material volume share (%), 2017

Rigid plastics was the most commonly used package material in the make-up sector, accounting for 67.3% of the volume share in 2017. 

Annual volume growth by package material (%), 2012–2022

The use of flexible packaging material is expected to grow the fastest, at a CAGR of 4.03% during 2012–2022, followed by glass at 3.95% during the same period.

Rigid Plastics


Flexible packaging

Rigid Metal

Key closure type volume share (%), 2017

88.5% of the products in the global make-up sector did not use any closure type in 2017. However, screw top was the most commonly used closure type, accounting for 9.5% of volume share in 2017.

Key primary outer type volume share (%), 2017

Carton - folding was the most commonly used primary outer type, accounting for 14.6% of volume share in 2017. It was followed by blister pack with a 9.4% share.

Image courtesy of 5 second Studio / Shutterstock

Product claims and labelling 

Functionality claims, such as ‘long-lasting’, ‘water-resistant’ and ‘quick’ are increasingly appearing in the make-up sector as brands look to target busy consumers seeking rapid results. ‘Vegan’ and ‘cruelty free’ have also become popular claims for brands to position products as animal friendly, which is likely to appeal to vegan consumers and those who are concerned about the use of animal testing in the development of make-up products they choose to purchase. 

Alongside highlighting functionality claims, brands are likely to target the clean label trend, as the movement drives interest in product formulations that carry ‘organic’ tags. Make-up offerings that highlight ‘organic’ claims can appeal to eco-conscious consumers as such products are generally perceived to use sustainably sourced, high-quality ingredients. 

Make-up offerings that highlight ‘organic’ claims can appeal to eco-conscious consumers

Consumers worldwide are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about their health, paying close attention to product ingredients. While this trend may be more apparent in food and drink choices, the clean label trend extends to the cosmetics and toiletries section, and consequently, it is important that brands provide accurate ingredient lists, allergen information and the quantity of contents to ensure the product is used safely. 

The desire for products with clearly communicated on-pack information will likely gain momentum as the demand for simple and clean labelling progresses. This may manifest in a variety of ways, such as using easy to understand language or swapping out scientific names for recognisable ingredient names. For instance, replacing Tocopherol with Vitamin E is likely to appeal to consumers.

Eco-conscious consumers will drive interest in green cosmetics

Growing consumer awareness about the ecological impact caused by packaging waste is driving demand for eco-friendly products, which in turn is putting pressure on brands to demonstrate corporate social responsibility. 

This emphasis on eco-consciousness, coupled with the rise of mandatory regulations prioritising resource conservation and climate change, means that manufacturers are now expected to implement sustainable business practises, while also enhancing the performance of packaging by increasing recyclability and minimising the amount of wastage that ends up in landfills. The wide array of refill eyeshadows and pressed foundation powders sold in paper envelopes from Canadian manufacturer Pure Anada is a prime example of how brands can use more ‘green’ packaging materials to appeal to environmentally aware shoppers.

Manufacturers are now expected to implement sustainable business practises

However, while the consumer demand for more recyclable packaging is high, shoppers are not always willing to pay more for the extra production costs often required for brands to comply sustainability regulations. Consequently, balancing product pricing against rising production costs is a challenge for manufacturers, particularly if a brand aims to remain profitable in a highly saturated and competitive market.    

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