A recent study on the cosmetics industry conducted by McKinsey & Company, a multinational strategy consulting firm, estimated that between 2022 and 2027, e-commerce will grow 12 per cent annually and will account for a quarter of beauty sales in 2027. A growth in digital channels highlights how important it is for brands to be recognisable in the market. A process that goes through sharing values and distinctive traits, especially packaging. 

Future consumers were born in the mid-to-late 1990s and early 2010s - Generation Z. According to the McKinsey & Company study, by 2023 Gen-Z will represent a quarter of the world's population, with spending power of up to $33 trillion. Their knowledge of digital technologies and relationship with social media requires a different approach from companies. These consumers are the first digital natives and are increasingly attentive to the content conveyed by influencers. These are not just actors and celebrities but people popular on social networks and highly followed in the media, with whom they share ideals and difficulties. 

Before the decade is over, the $427 billion beauty industry will be reshaped around a new range of products and markets. Driving the change will be consumers, particularly the younger generation, with their definitions of beauty, sustainability and self-care. Increasingly less influenced by a concept of beauty linked to aesthetic perfection, future consumers look for brands and products with a holistic approach that focus on self-esteem, acceptance, and mental and physical well-being, rather than stereotypical beauty. Figures confirm this: wellness is worth $1.5 trillion, with projected annual growth over the next five years of 10 per cent. What does this mean? That the future will see an increase in beauty products with innovative ingredients, treatments and items that will break down taboos, such as sexuality or disability, and open the door to a new dimension of beauty that is more inclusive and universal. 

Confirmation of this comes from a recent study conducted by Kantar, a leading global consulting firm. In the report "The power of inclusive portrayal in advertising," Kantar identifies three strands that, starting with consumer needs, will guide brands in the future: beauty from within, sustainabilia and the digital ecosystem.
“Beauty from within” identifies the tendency of consumers demanding transparency from brands and products that take care of their appearance and health. Sustainabilia focuses on sustainability, which, in this sector, is related to the environment and inclusiveness. The digital ecosystem sees brands survival depending on an ability to connect emotionally with consumers. Trust is correlated to brand equity, as Kantar BrandZ data shows. With AR and Metaverse, brands must understand these aspects clearly since they determine their current and future growth.