CAMBRIDGE, England, Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A survey of British adults indicates that beauty tech could resolve some of the most complex requirements of digital age consumers, but reliable insight into what they really want will be critical.
Science Group companies Sagentia and Leatherhead Food Research teamed up to explore attitudes towards personal care and beauty products. The research involved a qualitative study of 45 men and women, followed by a nationally representative online survey of 2,029 people.
Participants were asked about various factors, from value for money to ethics and sustainability as well as beauty tech. When it came to beauty tech, attitudes varied significantly according to gender and age.
The quantitative study indicates that 38% of people would be 'comfortable' using a device or app to determine which product is best suited to their needs (e.g. by assessing skin tone or hair texture). This rose to 56% for younger adults aged 18-24, and decreased sequentially with age, hitting a low of 23% for over 55s.
Regarding product effectiveness, almost half of respondents (49%) said they'd like an accurate measure of how their skin or hair has improved after using a product. When asked if they'd be likely to use a smartphone app or device to achieve this in the next 12 months, 25% agreed overall. This rose to 30% of all women and 39% for the 18-24 age group, falling to 18% for over 55s.
Emma Gubisch, Head of Consumer & Sensory Insight at Leatherhead, who facilitated the focus groups, says: "Our findings reveal that there is an appetite for beauty tech that helps people choose the most appropriate product, and tell whether it has worked. Some of the female focus group participants got quite excited about the idea of pick-and-mix solutions that would enable them to personalise products in a cost-effective way."
In a bid to help personal care and beauty brands align beauty tech innovation goals with consumer insight, Sagentia and Leatherhead have launched a free whitepaper Beauty Tech Unboxed. It summarises key findings from the study and makes strategic recommendations on how to focus research and development activity.
Sagentia's Matt Herd has worked on several beauty tech innovations. He believes the best approach is to define what the consumer audience wants, and work backwards from there.
"It's so easy to get swept along with the latest technologies and build products around them, but success can be hit or miss," he explains. "A more effective approach is to look at what consumers want, consider how this can be achieved at a physiological level, then turn to technology to see if it can improve the end result or overall consumer experience. Ultimately people want products that work and make them feel good about themselves, so this has to be the guiding principle of beauty tech innovation."
Leatherhead operates predominantly in the food and beverage sector, but also specialises in consumer insight for wider sectors, such as personal care and beauty. Sister company Sagentia is a product and technology development consultancy which has worked with brands including Unilever and Nu Skin.
Beauty Tech Unboxed is available for download at https://www.sagentia.com/insight/beauty-tech-unboxed-personal-care-innovation-for-the-digital-age/.
Notes to editors
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2029 GB adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9th - 10th September 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). For the purposes of the survey, 'personal care and beauty products' were classified as 'any products used on the skin, hair or body (e.g. body wash, cleansers, moisturisers, shaving gels etc.) excluding cosmetics (e.g. makeup, fake tan, etc.)'.
About Leatherhead Food Research
Leatherhead Food Research provides expertise and support to the global food and drink sector with practical solutions that cover all stages of a product's life cycle from consumer insight, ingredient innovation and sensory testing to food safety consultancy and global regulatory advice. Leatherhead operates a membership programme which represents a who's who of the global food and drinks industry. Supporting all members and clients, large or small, Leatherhead provides consultancy and advice as well as training, market news, published reports and bespoke projects. Alongside the Member support and project work, our world-renowned experts deliver cutting-edge research in areas that drive long term commercial benefit for the food and drink industry.
Leatherhead Research is a Science Group company. Science Group provides independent advisory and leading-edge product development services focused on science and technology initiatives. It has 12 European and North American offices, two UK-based dedicated R&D innovation centres and more than 400 employees. Other Science Group companies include Sagentia, Oakland Innovation, OTM Consulting and TSG Consulting.
Sagentia is a global science, product and technology development company. Our mission is to help companies maximise the value of their investments in R&D. We partner with clients in the medical, consumer, industrial and food & beverage sectors to help them understand the technology and market landscape, decide their future strategy, solve the complex science and technology challenges and deliver commercially successful products. Sagentia employs over 150 scientists, engineers and market experts and is a Science Group company. Science Group provides independent advisory and leading-edge product development services focused on science and technology initiatives. It has ten offices globally, two UK-based dedicated R&D innovation centres and more than 350 employees. Other Science Group companies include OTM Consulting, Oakland Innovation, Leatherhead Food Research and TSG Consulting.
About Science Group plc
Science Group plc (AIM: SAG) provides independent advisory and advanced product development services focused on science and technology initiatives. Our specialist companies, Sagentia, Oakland Innovation, OTM Consulting, Leatherhead Food Research and TSG Consulting, collaborate closely with their clients in key vertical markets to deliver clear returns on technology and R&D investments. With more than 400 staff worldwide, primarily scientists and engineers, the Group has R&D centres in Cambridge and Epsom with more than ten additional offices in Europe and North America.