Micro-trend No.9: The rise of unpackaged goods

In 2020 and 2021, the pandemic slowed down the growth of unpackaged goods as these areas were closed in supermarkets and consumers opted instead for click & collect solutions.

However, at the start of 2020, minimising packaging had been the No. 1 resolution of French people[i]. This concern is expected to return to the fore in parallel with protecting the planet. In 2030, France should be making it compulsory for shops with an area of over 400m2 to offer a certain amount of unpackaged goods: at least 20% of their consumer product sales space, or a system with equivalent effect expressed in number of items or proportion of turnover, for the sale of products without primary packaging.

This shopping option combines ecology and savings. Indeed, for 37% of French people, buying loose goods allows them to purchase just the right amount, while 22% choose this method to reduce packaging waste.[ii]

In a similar vein, the hygiene and cosmetics universe proposes refill solutions. More than just an additional step in the act of purchase, refilling is becoming an experience.

Another winner of this movement is zero waste packaging: biodegradable, compostable, plastic-free and reusable. This is thanks to new processes and ‘low techs’ that keep coming out to reduce plastic and waste.


Proof in products:

  • Orêka, offering concentrated formulas which are diluted in front of you with a wide range of fragrances, by Centifolia
  • Bulk It! A hopper optimised for loose sales, by Sitour
  • Vracomètre, or automated dispensers with weighing at source, are redesigning the experience for shoppers & retailers, by Smartvrac
  • Ze Jeu, a family game to discover tips and good practices for (almost) zero waste, by Bioviva Editions
  • La Dozette by Cozie
  • Refillable multi-purpose stick foundation, by Zao
  • The first SPF50 sun spray refill, by Acorelle
  • The plastic-free, compostable and resealable AdyPack bag for cosmetic capsules, powders and salts, and spices and herbs
  • Jut 59 cool bag, by Feel-Inde 
  • Ecological cool bag, by Les Mouettes Vertes
  • Offre Zéro: Upcycling Bag in Box programme, by Jean Bouteille: “We remove the last piece of waste from the bulk retailer by recovering BIB pouches to give them a second life. We have already started the collection phase to close the loop.”


Micro-trend No. 10: Solid success

The success of solid products is inspiring all segments in the cosmetics industry.

In 2020, supermarket sales of shampoo bars rocketed with growth of 422% in value[iii]. Following on from the hygiene sector, these formats are now shaking up the skin care and sun protection segments.

With new methods of application, a reduced footprint (plastic, water and carbon) and no preservatives (no water means no bacteria), this new form has a lot to offer! It is even inspiring household products such as washing-up detergent, with a solid bar rather than a liquid.


Proof in products:


Micro-trend No. 11: Upcycling is the new standard

94% of French people report that they are careful of wasting food and half of French people feel guilty when they throw away a product. Even better still, one in two also practice at least five anti-waste gestures on a daily basis[iv], which shows that behaviours are changing. New habits are emerging for the whole family, in order to turn the consumerist system into a circle (i.e. the circular economy), which, if not virtuous, at least has a reduced impact.

In a world veering towards zero waste, upcycling (a particular recycling practice[v]) is becoming a fundamental value for brands and individuals, in particular the young generations. In 2020, 31% of young French people (35% of 18-24 year-olds and 29% of 25-34 year-olds) had already bought one or more upcycled products, compared to 23% of French people as a whole.[vi]

Brands are reinventing their formulas and processes to identify, transform and recycle our waste, often real goldmines that would otherwise end up in the bin. Who said that happy sobriety and creativity couldn’t go hand-in-hand?

Proof in products:

  • Opti’Biote, organic savoury cake mix based on flour made from spent brewers’ grain
  • Anti-waste kit bringing grandma’s tips and recipes up-to-date to avoid throwing things away, by Save Eat
  • Perlucine, shampoo powder made from white oyster shell, by Entre Mer et Terre 
  • De-oiled hazelnut flour, to use as a plant protein to enrich recipes, made from food industry by-products, by Les Gourmands Exigeants / Max de Génie


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Discover the other 2021 Organic Trends here


[i] Study by Nielsen, 2020, published by Réseau Vrac
[ii]  Study by Nielsen, 2020, published by Réseau Vrac
[iii] https://fr.fashionnetwork.com/news/La-cosmetique-solide-un-marche-qui-prend-du-poids,1265615.html
[iv] OpinionWay-Smartway survey: Les Français et le gaspillage alimentaire (The French and food waste), 2021
[v] Upcycling is a particular practice of recycling where the principle is to recycle material in such a way as to create a product of higher value than the original.
[vi] Yougov, 2020