While Liquid Soap has grown in popularity over time around the world, the classic Bar Soap takes first place in the category in many markets worldwide. In the US, for example, 72% of consumers buy Bar Soap – but Liquid Hand Soap however sees lower and more varied purchases; with 67% of US consumers with children purchasing Liquid Hand Soap, compared to just 60% of those without children. In the UK, 7% of consumers buy Bar Soap at least once a week, but as many as 21% buy Bar Soap once a month. Meanwhile, in terms of sales, in 2013, the US Bar Soap market alone was worth $1,779 million and the UK Bar Soap market was worth £83.3 million.
Apart from their enhanced functions and premium natural ingredients, more Bar Soaps are providing sensory experiences with unique scents, textures, colors and shapes. Colorful looks and pleasant scents are already very basic and popular properties of Bar Soaps. However, some interesting new textures and formats are being launched which offer a more unique sensory feel and experience.
Multi-sensory Bar Soaps are expanding their roles to add more value to bath time, not only cleansing and skin-conditioning, but improving the user’s mood. Mintel’s GNPD data show that sensory Bar Soaps accounted for a mere 2% of total Bar Soap launches in 2008 but that has grown to as many as 5% of launches between January-July 2014 alone. Some of the options for soap now include:
Make sure you’re not feeling hungry when washing yourself with this chocolate flavored soap, launched in Spain in April 2014. Nearly two thirds (65%) of Spanish consumers claim to use Bar Soap and the Spanish Bar Soap market was worth €35 million in 2013. Lixoné Spa Facial & Corporal Jabón de Chocolate (Face and Body Spa Chocolate Soap) is designed for dry skin and contains moisturizing and emollient cocoa butter that leaves skin soft, silky and radiant with a healthy glow. Thus appealing to the 57% of Spanish consumers who are interested in soap, bath and shower products with a long-lasting moisturizing effect. The soap is also colored brown to continue the guise of a bar of chocolate.
Bar soaps have the capability to offer a multi-sensory experience through unique and pleasant textures. An example of this is Lush Le Fun d’Or Savon (The Golden Fun Soap), launched in France where the Bar Soap market was worth €99.7 million in 2013. The soap is described as a multi-purpose moldable soap that combines soap, shampoo, bubble bath and a malleable toy in a single product. It contains corn flour, glycerin and bergamot essential oils and will set you back €9.95. It also features a comforting honey and caramel fragrance, which may appeal to the 46% of French consumers who like to check what a product smells like before buying it.
24 Carat Gold Soap
The Chinese Bar Soap Market was worth ¥6,790.9 million in 2013 and 92% of Chinese consumers buy Bar Soap. Seeing as such a large portion of the market in China buy Bar Soap, there is clearly space for high end products.
Stender’s Feel the Glamour! 24 Carat Gold Soap brings a touch of luxury and glamour to the Bar Soap market. Formulated with valuable 24 carat gold in small particles to deeply promote suppleness and refine skin texture, leaving skin soft, youthful and revitalized. It also includes pomegranate with excellent antioxidant properties that protect skin against UV rays and environmental pollution, as well as accelerating skin cell regeneration.
Priced ¥260 ($46), the soap is the gold standard of the Bar Soap market. This sparkling soap claims to deliver an elegant bouquet of scent while leaving skin youthful, supple, bright and toned.
The product concept of ‘naturals’ is growing in appeal among consumers and natural Bar Soaps want to communicate their naturalness in a sensory way instead of just by language. They are emphasizing their natural ingredients through scent, color and shape or texture, or by using aromatherapy to create a sense of wellbeing.
An example of this is the Holy Lama Naturals Curcuma Soap launched in India and retailing at 55.00 INR ($1.03), the soap is described as a natural handmade Ayurvedic soap with unique curcumin technology. It is said to be a good antiseptic and antibacterial soap. To enhance the natural qualities of the soap it is held in a folded, dried and molded banana leaf. Data courtesy of Mintel.