Data tells us that 85% of shoppers say their purchasing decisions are informed by what they read on a product package in a store. In other words, the label design of your product matters a lot. That's especially true if you're part of the cosmetics industry. The U.S. beauty industry brings in roughly $62.46 billion dollars annually, with this sector growing substantially on a global scale. But because customers are starting to really care about the ingredients in their makeup and the practices utilized by cosmetic companies, organizations must embrace newer, more responsible practices if they expect to compete -- and really drive home their commitment to these practices on their product labeling.
There's been a lot of buzz about cruelty free cosmetics companies, as well as those well-known brands that have not switched to more ethical practices. And as the vegan lifestyle continues to become more prevalent, it's no wonder that many companies are looking to appeal to those eco-conscious consumers, too. But if you want your product branding to emphasize a lack of animal testing and animal byproducts, you need to market it correctly. By working with labeling companies to come up with enticing designs, you can pique the interest of consumers who are dedicated to these causes and stand out in a crowded marketplace. Here's some key information you'll need to understand in order to create unique labels that will show customers you're serious about protecting the planet and all its living creatures.
First, let's talk about what "vegan" and "cruelty free" designations really mean. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there actually isn't a legal definition of what constitutes "cruelty free" products or those that are "not tested on animals." In other words, virtually anyone can use these phrases on their product labels. "Cruelty free" is supposed to indicate that the product and its ingredients are not tested on animals and/or that the company is against animal testing, but there are no official standards here and there's no organization that technically verifies these claims. Some companies may rely on suppliers for raw materials that may or may not participate in animal testing, while many ingredients were tested on animals when they were first brought to market years ago; the "cruelty free" label may still be used if the ingredient or product isn't currently tested on animals, but it's entirely possible that it may have been in the past. In addition, just because a product bears the label "cruelty free" does not mean that the product is vegan. It simply infers that animals were not subjected to testing. There could still be animal-derived ingredients within the product itself.
As such, vegan labeling is separate from cruelty free labeling. A product could indicate that it contains "no animal ingredients," which should mean no ingredients are derived from animals. However, this designation isn't regulated and is solely up to the company's own discretion. In some cases, products bearing these words could still contain ingredients like lanolin, honey, or beeswax, as obtaining these ingredients doesn't involve killing the animals they come from. Labels like "100% vegetarian" or "100% vegan" are similar in that anyone can use these designations and that these claims aren't verified by any organization. There are specific certifications that can show consumers that these claims are verifiable, but these are an extra step that will require a greater commitment on the part of the manufacturer.
When working with labeling companies, you'll want to include any certifications your company has obtained for vegan or cruelty free products. Official certifications like the PETA bunny, the Leaping Bunny, the Choose Cruelty Free "Not Tested on Animals" bunny, the Certified Vegan button (verified by Vegan Action), and the Vegan Society designation are the main signs that manufacturers and labeling companies can use to illustrate their dedication to more responsible products.
Other manufacturers will choose to include unverified labels to appeal to consumers. While this doesn't necessarily indicate a company is trying to mislead customers, it's best to pursue verified certifications that labeling companies can include in your designs.
To learn more about vegan and cruelty free labeling for your cosmetics products, please contact us today.