More than 70% of consumers see Aloe Vera as the healthiest ingredient in all but one region

Aloe Vera is seen as having a positive effect on the body by more than seven out of 10 consumers, thereby claiming the top spot out of 50 ingredients globally in every region but the Middle East and Africa, where ginger took first place, with support from 78% of consumers in the region, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s report, ‘Key Insights from GlobalData’s 2019 Q3 Global Survey’, reveals that consumers’ see ‘natural’ ingredients as highly desirable, but they do not have a clear definition for the concept. Household care products with more natural sounding ingredients were found to be more appealing to consumers, but ‘unnatural’ ingredients were more popular with consumers who prioritize germ-killing over tidying.

The most ‘unhealthy’ ingredient, said to have a negative effect on the body by nearly half the population (48%), is cannabis/marijuana. This health perception is influenced by the age of the consumer – with millennials having more positive views. GlobalData found that 23% of millennials believe it has a positive effect on the body compared to 15% of boomers and 8% of silent generation consumers. The shift in opinion is part of a changing cultural view on the drug, in part illustrated by the popularity of CBD products.

Amira Freyer-Elgendy, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The top three ingredients believed to be good for the body are Aloe Vera, grains/pulses and honey. What do these have in common? Compared to other ingredients such as saturated fats, apples cider vinegar or caffeine, these ‘healthy’ ingredients align well with natural connotations.”

‘Natural’ as a concept is somewhat contested – consumers have a very varied definition of it, sometimes referring to sustainable production methods, the freshness of the ingredients or the product’s free-from credentials (e.g. Allergen-free and non-GMO). Regardless, the most common definition of natural is ‘real ingredients’ and this is sought out most in products for children and food, with more than 80% of global consumers proactively seeking natural products to some degree in these categories.

Freyer-Elgendy continues: “This appeal of the natural can also be identified for household care ingredients. The most appealing ingredients – Lemon, oxygen and plant extracts – are perceived as highly natural, and are likely preferred due to the health and environmental concerns of ‘harsher’ ingredients.”

Some ingredients such as charcoal, are seen as unappealing ingredients, but are also not widely understood or known. Brands will need to communicate the efficacy/appeal of these ingredients more clearly to consumers to make these more appealing. 

Freyer-Elgendy adds: “Chlorine is perceived as the least appealing ingredient in household care, due to being seen as less natural and more chemical-based.  However, these properties are exactly why the ingredient is viewed as a more effective cleaning agent to consumers who prioritize killing germs over tidying – ‘very appealing’ scores for chlorine jump from 17% to 24% for this group of consumers.”

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