Lavender Soap Bar. European Soaps.

Gift Shop Plus Fall 2023
Organic, affordable bath and body products trend into 2024 By Regina Molaro

After a long day at the office or managing the kids’ schedules, people yearn for some relaxation and solo time.

Skin and body products with natural ingredients are in demand. Photo courtesy of Rinse Bath & Body.
Skin and body products with natural ingredients are in demand. Photo courtesy of Rinse Bath & Body.

Many have scrapped the ordinary bath experience and opted for mini spa escapes in the comfort of their own homes. Regardless of the season, people can pamper themselves with these types of novelty items.

According to market research firm Fortune Business Insights, the global bath and shower products market is projected to grow from $48.83 billion in 2023 to $70.88 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 5.47%.

As soon as the seasons shifted, Serine Hastings, co-owner of Paper Trail — a gift shop in Rhinebeck, New York — noticed an immediate uptick in demand for lotions and lip balms.

She attributed the increased demand to cooler weather and the anticipation of skin drying. Hastings explained that the bath and beauty category follows the same seasonal pattern as the fashion industry. When we move from autumn to winter, consumers naturally move from buying sweaters and jackets to buying heavier coats. It’s the same with the bath and body category.

Along with these seasonal changes comes new interest in specific categories or products. Heather Swanepoel, owner, founder and CEO of Rinse Bath & Body — a handmade bath and body company in Monroe, Georgia — said that consumer demand has shifted since last year.

“Due to the economy, people are more cost-conscious but also trying to be healthy,” Swanepoel said. “People want their products to work and provide a service rather than just smelling good or being frivolous.”

Since last year, sales of the company’s Body Bliss Oil surpassed all other, more traditional lotions and moisturizers. The suggested retail is $12.

Faith Freeman, co-founder of Primal Elements — a bath and skincare collection in Huntington Beach, California — said that customers were seeking more hygiene-related products last year.

“Today, we’re seeing interest in whimsical and efficacious products,” she said.

TRENDSPOTTING

Shower Bombs. Rinse Bath & Body.
Shower Bombs. Rinse Bath & Body.

At Rinse Bath & Body, the natural skincare and body products categories as a whole are on the rise. Swanepoel attributed this to more consumer knowledge about what they put on their skin and into their bodies.

“We’ve been in the natural bath and body space for over 20 years, and there’s been a significant increase in people and demographics interested in natural products,” she said.

Similarly, Nicole Swapp, director of marketing at European Soaps, is seeing demand increase for natural ingredients.

“More than ever, we’re seeing consumers move toward organic and natural soaps,” Swapp said.

European Soaps, a division of Andover Brands, is a wholesale company based in Seattle. Swapp said its soaps are crafted with fine ingredients that hail from France and are quad-milled to remove all imperfections.

Rinse’s “staple scents” continue to resonate with customers. Its collection includes lavender, peppermint, thievery and eucalyptus. Swanepoel has also noticed an uptick in demand for Soap Sticks — a travel-friendly, twist-up tube of handmade soap.

Best-selling items include Shower Bombs — aromatherapy for the shower (the suggested retail is $6); Essential Oil Roll-ons — aromatherapy on-the-go (pure oils are made with squalane oil ($12); and Body Bliss Oil — a multipurpose moisturizing oil for body, bath or massages ($12).

Other top-notch sellers include Dead Sea Mud Soap — a 100% natural, handmade item ideal for remedying skin issues, removing makeup and beyond ($7.50). There’s also the Peppofoot Stick — a moisturizing foot lotion that comes in a stick. Beyond smoothing rough spots, it helps relieve sore muscles with a blend of essential oils and menthol — perfect for teachers, nurses, athletes and anyone who is on their feet ($16.95).

IT’S PRIMAL

At Primal Elements, customers are enjoying bold and bright fragrances.

Sugar Whip in Cupcake. Primal Elements.
Sugar Whip in Cupcake. Primal Elements.

“They’re looking for products that are effective as well as aesthetically beautiful,” Freeman said.

Although more customers are seeking high-quality ingredients at affordable price points, they yearn for items that deliver on the promise of a positive experience.

Demand remains high for most of the categories that Primal Elements is immersed in — especially its handmade vegetable glycerin soap — as well as bath and skin products. And the company’s best-selling items have certainly withstood the test of time.

“For 30 years, our handmade vegetable glycerin soaps have been the industry standard,” Freeman said. “We expect this to continue to be our best seller. Additionally, Sugar Whip and Sugar Scrub Slushie have been driving sales.”

The handmade vegetable glycerin soaps retail for approximately $9, while the Sugar Whip and Sugar Scrub Slushie both range from $20 to $22.

EUROPEAN INFLUENCES

Clean and warm scents are dominating the fragrant mix at European Soaps.

Men's Soap Bar. European Soaps.
No. 63 Collection. European Soaps.

“Soap bars are still on trend as they offer a clean feel, are made with high-quality ingredients and can be used throughout the year,” Swapp said.

There’s also excitement around foaming soaps. In 2024, European Soaps will unveil six new foaming soaps. Sales stars include its soap bars followed closely by its No. 63 collection — a luxurious assortment of hand creams and personal care tools for men. Top-notch scents at European Soaps include milk, lavender, honey almond, verbena, sea salt and white gardenia. Suggested retails range from $8 to $43.

THE FORECAST

Bath and body companies do not see the demand for sustainable, natural ingredients dwindling anytime soon.

Eau de Toilette. European Soaps.
Eau de Toilette. European Soaps.

“I think the trend for more natural products will continue to rise as increasing numbers of people become more knowledgeable,” Swanepoel said.

Similarly, Swapp at European Soaps believes that consumers will demand even more bar soaps.

“They’re more eco-conscious than ever and are looking to eliminate plastic,” she said.

Swapp anticipates that beautiful packaging with small consumable products will also continue to grow, as well as demand for matching categories — small collections that can be put together by retailers or the creative, confident consumers they sell to.

“Consumers will be looking for ingredient- driven products that deliver results. However, our customer still expects to keep the whimsy and fun in their personal care routines and looks to us to continue to provide that experience,” concluded Primal Elements’ Freeman.


Featured photo: Lavender Bar Soap. European Soaps.

Regina Molaro

Regina Molaro is a freelance writer who covers art and design, fashion,beauty, and home décor. She can be reached at Reginacooper30@yahoo.com.




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