Beautiful Thinking.

Navigating the Evolving Beauty & Wellness Landscape: Insights from BeautyMatter’s FUTURE50 Panel

Beauty Matters FUTURE50 is a curated list of the brands, retailers and service concepts that are truly of the moment – dominating the minds and spending power of consumers, defining the landscape of the beauty and wellness industries, and driving innovation.

In a busy month of inspiring speakers at world-leading beauty conferences, we were thrilled to attend Beauty Matters FUTURE50 event in New York, to uncover and understand what is driving rapid transformation in the beauty and personal care industry.

Driven by technological advancements, shifting consumer preferences, and a holistic approach to wellness, insights from Beauty Matters FUTURE50 panel and capital market experts highlighted key trends, challenges, and opportunities. 

In an ocean of rich insights, we seek to provide insights of industry dynamics, investment landscapes, the impact of AI and technology, and strategic recommendations for sustainable growth, as digested during this fantastic conference. 

The convergence of beauty and wellness, the rise of mega-brands, and evolving consumer behaviours are explored to provide a comprehensive overview of the future beauty landscape.

Insights from Irina Barbalova, Global Lead, Health and Beauty, Euromonitor International

Irina, alongside key panellists from the capital market, provided a comprehensive analysis of the current landscape, outlining key trends, challenges, opportunities, and the role of capital markets in reshaping the industry.

From private-label products to luxury and super-premium brands, key trends discussed included:

  • Technological Advancements: Innovations such as AI, robotics, and emotion analytics are transforming the industry.
  • Regulatory Changes: New regulations are reshaping market dynamics.
  • Market Consolidation: Mergers and acquisitions are leading to greater market consolidation.
Key Insights and Trends

Ahead of a deep dive into key factors for all manner of leaders within your business, the following key insights provide excellent insight into opportunities ripe for the picking, particularly in key growth regions:

  • Mass Market Dynamics: The mass market, particularly skincare in Asia, is expected to see significant growth, adding $15 billion in value over the next five years.
  • Premium Market Growth: Premium beauty products, especially fragrances, are poised for substantial growth, with a projected increase of over $30 billion driven by Western Europe and Asia.
  • Consumer Behaviour Shifts: Post-pandemic, consumers favour streamlined routines, quality over quantity, and experiential products. Brands need to simplify routines, enhance product efficacy, and provide mental and emotional support through their offerings.
  • India’s Market Growth: India is experiencing rapid growth in the beauty sector, driven by makeup and e-commerce penetration. This trend is expected to continue, positioning India as a major market by 2028.
  • China’s Fragrance Market: The fragrance market in China has doubled since 2018, driven by a preference for niche, culturally embedded scents.
Navigating a Competitive Landscape

The market is balanced between premium and mass-market products. Premium segments are growing rapidly, while mass-market products continue to hold a significant market share. Key players leverage technological advancements and extensive research to maintain competitiveness. Notably, India’s rapid growth in luxury beauty is expected to potentially surpass Italy by 2028.

A Post-pandemic Economic Environment

Macroeconomic factors, including inflation, interest rates, and economic growth, are influencing the industry. Post-pandemic recovery is driving consumer spending towards smarter, more effective, and hassle-free health optimisation methods.

Supply and Demand Drivers

For those concerned with supply, we are seeing 3 key factors shine through:

  • Production Capabilities: Advanced production techniques, including AI, robotics, and 3D printing, are enhancing efficiency and product quality.
  • Supply Chain Management: Efficient supply chain operations are crucial, especially in light of recent disruptions. Building resilience in supply chains supports the proliferation of wellness-oriented products.
  • Technological Innovations: AI, digitalisation, and emotion analytics enable highly personalised solutions and diagnostics.


Meanwhile, in consumer demand:

  • Consumer Preferences: Post-pandemic, there’s a shift towards premiumisation and multifunctional products, particularly in skincare. Consumers are prioritising mental and emotional well-being alongside physical health.
  • Market Segmentation: Key market segments include mass skincare and premium fragrances, with significant growth expected in these areas. Personalised wellness products and experiential rewards are also rising in demand.
  • Global Demand Trends: Asia, particularly China, is a major growth driver for mass skincare. Western Europe and Asia are crucial for premium beauty products. India’s expanding beauty market, driven by makeup and e-commerce penetration, is noteworthy.
High Priority Areas for Investment

In order to differentiate the value proposition for your brand, panellists stressed the following key factors:

  • Innovation and R&D: Investing in research and development to create unique, high-performance products is crucial. Focus areas include new formulations, hero ingredients, and sustainable packaging.
  • Customer Experience: Enhancing customer experience through personalised services and premium support is essential. Leveraging AI and digital tools can significantly improve consumer engagement.
  • Brand Positioning: Strengthening brand identity and market positioning is vital. Brands should align with consumer preferences for mental and emotional well-being and embrace purpose-driven corporate stances.
Legal Actions, Regulatory Compliance & Risk Management

When innovation moves beyond concept, brands must consider the following key legal and regulatory factors to ensure success on the path to launch.

  • Current Regulations: Ensuring compliance with existing industry regulations, particularly those related to data privacy and health and wellness products, is critical.
  • Future Legislation: Preparing for potential regulatory changes, especially concerning new, more invasive health optimisation methods, is necessary to stay ahead.
  • Legal Risks: Addressing legal risks related to intellectual property, contracts, and compliance with health and safety standards is essential.
  • Business Risks: Mitigating business risks associated with market volatility, competition, and operational challenges in adopting new technologies is also crucial.
Strategic Recommendations

Tapping into your chosen audiences can often be boosted through initiatives which provide the opportunity to tap into like-minded consumer groups, and the issues that matter to them.

  • Partnerships and Alliances: Exploring strategic partnerships to enhance market presence and capabilities is recommended. Collaborations can drive innovation and expand market reach.
  • Sustainability Initiatives: Implementing sustainability practices to improve environmental impact and brand reputation is important, particularly in the wellness industry.


Further Insights on Investment Landscape and Deal Dynamics

Alicia Sontag of Prelude Growth Partners (nominated one of Beauty’s 50 Most Powerful Women by WWD), Elinor Hoover, Chairman of Global Consumer and Retail Investment Banking at Citi, and Ilya Seglin of Cascadia Capital, whose speciality lies in the beauty and wellness sectors, gave further weighting to the birdseye view of growth opportunities in the industry during their discussion of the role of capital markets in reshaping the beauty industry.

Key highlights for the investment landscape included:

  • Modern Consumer Priorities: Investors are drawn to brands that meet new demands for authenticity, transparency, health, wellness, sustainability, and inclusivity.
  • Key Investment Characteristics: Brands with authentic founders, differentiated products, and significant buzz generation are highly attractive.
  • Profitability and Sustainable Growth: Brands must demonstrate a clear path to profitability and sustainable growth to attract investment.
Valuations and Market Conditions

Despite some brand shutdowns, investment interest in the beauty sector remains robust. M&A and growth equity deals have increased, with valuations varying based on growth outlook and profitability. Companies showing sustainable, profitable growth tend to see higher valuations.

The Role of IPOs and Market Alternatives

The IPO market is recovering, offering opportunities for resilient, profitable brands. Alternative growth funding avenues include private equity and strategic acquisitions for brands which are not ready for an IPO.

Emerging Mega-Brands and Strategic Evolution

Successful brands like e.l.f. and Harry’s have become strategic players, acquiring other brands and expanding their portfolios. This trend is expected to continue, with more global strategics emerging as significant players.

Convergence of Beauty and Wellness

As the lines between beauty and wellness continue to blur, brands are integrating products like ingestibles, mental wellness, and prescription medications. Investors recognise the potential for convergence, emphasising the importance of sustainable, profitable growth.

Strategic Portfolios and Future Trends

Strategic portfolios are expected to evolve, with global strategics continuing to acquire brands that meet emerging consumer demands. Retail diversification and avoiding customer concentration are critical for attracting investment.

The Role of AI and Technology

AI and technology are becoming integral to business operations, offering efficiencies and enhancing customer engagement. The impact of these technologies must be easily understood by consumers and demonstrate clear business benefits.

In conclusion…

The beauty and personal care industry is evolving rapidly, with significant opportunities in personalised wellness products, experiential rewards, and innovative health optimisation methods. Emphasising mental and emotional well-being, leveraging technology for personalisation, and ensuring regulatory compliance will help businesses capitalise on growth opportunities and build strong customer loyalty.

Key Takeaways from Beauty Matters FUTURE50 Event:

  • Industry Growth: The beauty and personal care industry outperformed expectations in 2023, with steady growth in key categories such as skincare, fragrances, colour cosmetics, and hair care.
  • Market Dynamics: The US, China, and Brazil are expected to maintain their top spots, with South Korea set to replace Italy as a top 10 market by 2028.
  • Consumer Overload: Brands need to streamline product choices and make the path to purchase simple yet experiential to manage consumer overload.
  • Wellness Proliferation: Wellness-oriented products are changing consumer sentiment about health, driving the need for science-backed and personalised products.
  • Women’s Health: There is a burgeoning opportunity in women’s health, requiring a holistic approach to address specific health issues within the broader context of general health and lifestyle progression.


As the industry continues to navigate these dynamic changes, staying attuned to consumer needs and technological advancements will be key to sustaining growth and fostering loyalty. The convergence of beauty and wellness, the rise of mega-brands, and the strategic use of technology will be key drivers of success in the evolving beauty landscape.

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