Water scarcity is becoming a global issue. From South America to India, an increasing number of countries are facing water rationing; with significant consequences for consumption behavior.

Consumers are slowly waking up to this global climate change-related problem and how their purchasing choices could help stem the problem.

According to GlobalData’s Q4 2016 survey,only one in four (25%) global consumers are actively buying beauty and grooming products that do not contain water or can be used without water. However, a more robust 39% claim to be interested in such products but not yet buying them. Thus, although some shoppers do not yet perceive it as a priority, there is emerging demand to be satisfied; and hence an innovation gap for brands to fill.

Manufacturers in some countries such as India and California, are adopting a water-less/efficiency policy when launching new products; Personal care brands are offering products which deliver on hygiene and personal care functionality but also use innovative components in their formulation or packaging allowing final users to monitor, or even eliminate, their water consumption and usage with the product.

Procter & Gamble, for example, released “The Showerglass Limited Edition” as part of its line-up of Pantene shampoos in California. The quick rinse technology formulation requires just five minutes in the shower. The packaging features an integrated hourglass which allows the consumer to time their shower by flipping the bottle. These two features combined are designed to help users take shorter showers and save water.

In India, Emami recently launched an on-the-go waterless face wash under the HE Advanced Grooming brand. The product is made with aloe vera and minerals from marine extracts to clean and hydrate the face, eliminating the need for water for cleansing.

Water less/efficiency is still a concept in its infancy, and, so far, mainly confined to dry shampoo and hand sanitizers in the majority of countries. As it will gain more importance over the coming years, brands can further tap into the water-less opportunity by highlighting the suitability of these items for on-the-go consumption; in addition to environmental benefits. Such innovation will entice shoppers seeking convenience in the personal care aisles; while also addressing the global water shortage problem.