2021: A Year in Review

2021 was a lurching, stammering year that began in hope, flirted with whiplash, and ended by just narrowly missing another global lockdown. But still, resilience was everywhere.

The world emerging from the worst of the pandemic had a renewed focus for solace and purpose. People invested heavily in multi-benefit wellness products, and we continue to see inclusivity evolve and expand beyond demographic traits. New and smaller brands continue to disrupt and chip away at the “goliaths” of the CPG Industry, while beauty addresses climate change and screen pollution.

New wave of Inclusion

New brand disruption is on the rise

Looking for the ‘Silver Bullet’

Adapting to a changing climate in Beauty

The CPG Industry is driving a new wave of Inclusive Innovation

Consumers continue to demand products tailored to their specific ability, race, age, religion, size or sexuality


Photo Credit: Getty Images, Design by Bella Geraci

Despite the role of the industry in delivering daily essentials for everyone, CPG has historically lacked strong inclusive offerings. While the definition of inclusivity varies by individual, consumers with physical limitations present a significant opportunity for brands to design for greater success. People with disabilities are the largest minority group in the world. In the US, 1 in 4 people live with a disability, yet products and experiences are still not designed with this community in mind.

“56% agree that diversity has become a ‘tic-box’ exercise for beauty brands, while 35% feel that well-known personal care and grooming brands do not do enough to be inclusive.”

Brands are stepping up, evolving to cater to different abilities:


Photo Credit: Getty Images, Design by Bella Geraci

Olay North America is introducing the ‘Easy Open Lid ’ on its most popular products for people with disabilities. P&G chose not to patent the lid, in order to share the design widely with the Beauty community


Photo Credit: Degree Instagram

Degree collaborated with disabled consumers & diverse experts to create a deodorant that makes application easier for people with upper limb or vision impairments due to its novel magnetic closure with hanger attachment.

Degree is not only a leader in innovation with this new wave of inclusion but have launched programs like the ‘Breaking Limits Program’ which is helping to empower millions with the opportunity to break their limits, along with education tool kits to help further bring awareness to this overlooked consumer.


“56% agree that diversity has become a ‘tic-box’ exercise for beauty brands, while 35% feel that well-known personal care and grooming brands do not do enough to be inclusive.”

Beauty weak spot: People with disabilities

Big brands are finally trying to reach people with disabilities with new launches and better representation


Photo Credit: Simply Emma Blog

While the beauty industry has become more inclusive in some areas, it remains a realm exclusively designed for the able-bodied.

“ 43% of adults feel that beauty brands ignore people with disabilities.”

About 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability, according to the World Health Organization, yet beauty can be hard to enjoy due to negative perceptions and lack of functional product available in the market. Although the beauty market has been slower than other categories to embrace this new version of inclusivity, Industry giants along with new up and coming brands are looking to change that with new universal designs, accessible websites and the voices of the disabled community.


Photo Credit: Kohls Kreatives

Kohls Kreatives is out to change the world. The British startup launched in 2018 with its Flex Collection of five bendy, easy-to-grip makeup brushes for customers affected by motor function issues.

Guide Beauty is another small but growing group of beauty brands creating products for people with disabilities. Guide prides themselves in developing universally designed make-up tools that can help anyone put their make up on with confidence.


Photo Credit: Guide Beauty

There is a huge opportunity with universal design as it not only benefits disabled shoppers, but a wider spectrum of consumers such as those whose first language isn’t English or people who are visually impaired. Achieving universal design however isn’t possible without engaging with all kinds of consumer groups, including those with disabilities.

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