Personal care

Healthcare, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and fragrance packaging consumption is projected at $54.81 billion in 2017 and is forecasted to grow during 2017-22 at an annual rate of 4.55% to $71.48 billion (1). Asia is the largest consumer of personal care packaging, followed by North America and Western Europe. Asia and Eastern Europe are forecast to grow healthcare packaging consumption at the fastest rates, just ahead of Africa and the Middle East. 

The growing demand in personal care is driven by an ageing population and the rise in disposable incomes especially in emerging and developing countries. Growing health awareness is also leading to higher demand for healthcare products.

Cosmetics demand is fueled by a larger and richer population. The globally ageing population is leading to a growing demand for cosmetic products. While the products consumed are not the same across all countries, the demand for quality products is the same and packaging plays a crucial role in the personal care segment. The packaging is often part of the product in a prominent manner.


End-use categories


For Healthcare, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and fragrance, packaging plays a major role. The packaging is part of the product development. In developing countries, consumers are slowly moving away from single-use flexible plastic and increasingly adopting HDPE bottles and squeezable plastic tubes.

The major trends can be summarized in 4 words: Convenience, Value, Men versus Woman, Sustainability.

A growing number of consumers balance their personal care routines with increasingly busy lifestyles, smaller apartments, on-the-go consumption meaning that products offering ease of use and various sizes are growing. Brand owners have to respond to these needs by offering personal care products with pack sizes that fit bags or airport security but are also functional offering ease of dispensing such easy open and close, lotion pumps and aerosols which can be applied on the go.

Value and added value continue to be the key purchasing criteria. Globally, consumers chose smaller pack sizes for immediate affordability in essential toiletries but also in discretionary products such as premium fragrances. Family sizes and alternative pack types such as pouches offer value too. Consumers are increasingly expecting added value in the cosmetics they purchase. Packaging companies should meet this expectation through the addition of innovative techniques, such as integrated applicators that found their way into many different beauty segments, with skincare being one particularly suitable application.

Men versus Women. The growing popularity of male grooming, particularly in emerging markets, is increasing the global demand for male personal care such as hair care and facial skin care products. New product categories are reaching the shelfves leading to new specific packaging designs as the male consumer looks for more practical and simple application in their packaging. Ergonomics also act as a differentiator to support and build the brand during product usage.

With consumers increasingly aware of the impact of packaging on the environment, brand owners are more and more active offering greener packaging, from using recycled plastics to lighter packaging, compressed deodorants, refill pouches, many initiatives show that the brand owners are going towards more sustainability. Understanding how this commitment to sustainability can be communicated on packaging is increasingly key to attracting new consumers.