Special Newsletter: Fragrance Science & Innovation

Expert predictions for key fragrance trends ahead

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Expert predictions for key fragrance trends ahead
We take a look at the key expert opinions on where the fragrance category is heading, including predictions and market data insights.

Imogen Matthews Associates (IMA) released a report this year, The Fragrance Report 2017, which highlights the following as the four key trends​ set to define the category moving forward:

  • Genderless: “Despite growth of this sector, retailers have yet to embrace this trend​,” says the firm. “Until they do, its huge revenue potential will go untapped​.”  The disinterest in explicitly gendered products may be being driven by younger consumers, with millennials seen as a decisively socially progressive demographic.
  • Niche: “Artisan brands have a massive opportunity to break into the mainstream but first need to break from convention​,” says the firm.
  • Scent: “It’s the heart and soul of every fragrance. It’s also the key purchase driver and yet its potential remains untapped by brands and marketers​.”
  • Women Over 45: a demographic ‘sadly overlooked’ by brands and their marketers, according to IMA.

By focusing on these four growth areas, fragrance businesses should be able to reduce their dependence on the transient Christmas period and build a strong year-round business,​” IMA says of the report’s findings.

However, they require a fresh way of thinking and, in some cases, a rejection of the status quo that has hampered growth for too long​.”

Millennials: opportunity hotspot

Meanwhile, Euromonitor, a market research provider, is one of several suggesting that the lion’s share of category opportunity will indeed be found through targeting younger consumers.

Today’s celebrity fragrance successes lie in the likes of Ariana Grande, a pop star and social media sensation, and Zoella, a pure-digital influencer​,” explains the firm’s beauty & personal care analyst in a recent blog​.

Fundamentally, success is down to authenticity and the ability to convince the consumer of an attainable lifestyle, which breeds consumer tribalism.​”

It’s a trend GlobalData also acknowledges. In a recent post entitled ‘Millennials are the most experimental consumers, with seniors least likely to try new products’​, the firm outlined the demographic’s broad potential

Melanie Felgate, Senior Consumer Analyst for GlobalData, writes: “Millennials are more open to new and innovative concepts, indicative of wider exposure to foreign cultures and products from an early age compared to their senior peers​.”

Mintel also agrees with this predicted push for millennial consumers, particularly noting that in the US, male grooming is driving change.

The firm recently released insights on this, asserting that “the key to America’s fragrance market is millennial men.​” The blog can be found here​.

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