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Markets & trends

Solid soap trendy again in France

In 2017, soap is both successful and reassuring. Here is, in substance, what traditional soap brands have found out, as their sales and distribution have been making much progress. And this consumer return to traditions is putting solid soap in the spotlight.

Long replaced by shower gels, solid soap is making a strong comeback in shopping baskets. This trend is revitalizing the segment.

There has recently been a renewed interest in soap for four reasons. Consumers are wary about the undesirable substances contained in shower gels, they feel like buying more authentic products, and there is also an economic parameter, because solid soap lasts longer. Besides, it has become an ideal gift,” explains Guillaume Fievet, Director of La Savonnerie du Midi, which gathers the La Corvette and Maitre Savon brands.

In 2013, the entrepreneur purchased this company established in for several generations Marseille, France, as it was experiencing difficulties. He endeavoured to revive the two historic soap ranges of traditional Savons de Marseille: Maitre Savon, sold through mass distribution networks, and La Corvette, which had a more premium positioning and was sold in organic stores, pharmacies, and channels specialized in decoration. It has been only three years: the company grew by more than 25% in 2016, compared to 2015, and is expecting the same growth for 2017.

Tradition, simplicity and quality

New solid soap users are keen on it for its economical and eco-friendly aspect (no plastic packaging), its naturalness, but also… its novelty! Indeed, many people have only ever known liquid gels. A great number of brands have already met these expectations, while new names have recently entered the market with a high-end positioning for a universal product.

The choice to go back to basics is not made by default, it is actually very active,” asserts Codou Cissé, founder of Adduna Beauté, a new brand launched in 2014 with a range of made in France soaps. Adduna beauty soap results from cold saponification, which merely consists in mixing fats (vegetable butters and oils) with a base and transforming them into soap. The soap naturally contains glycerine, which preserves the skin’s hydrolipidic film.

The attraction to quality, natural soap with beneficial actives is a well-established trend because it is related to the search of safe products,” adds Sylvie Dalibard, founder of the Daliane she-ass milk range.

Soap is trendy. The cosmetics industry has jumped on the bandwagon, making this basic hygiene product a real skincare treatment. Similarly, in the cleaning product industry, it has made a strong comeback as a natural alternative to chemical detergents.

Kristel Milet

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