Boutique hotels are also booming, contributing to a saturated yet highly diverse hotel landscape aimed at satisfying every traveler profile and delivering personalized, elevated guest experiences. A product category which contributes to a memorable guest experience but has often been overlooked until now is hotel toiletries, but hotels are finally catching up, opening up attractive opportunities for brands within the space.

The Global Hotel Toiletries Market Will Reach $50.5 Billion by 2031

Driven by the rise in hotel openings, the global hotel toiletries market generated $17.9 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to generate $50.5 billion by 2031, enjoying a CAGR of 10.8% from 2022 to 2031, according to a report by Allied Market Research. The proliferation of small and medium boutique hotels thus represents a significant opportunity for personal care, beauty and wellness brands as this type of hotels is often more poised to providing singular guest experiences and differentiate from competitors. As a result, brands have a unique opportunity to engage with the hospitality sector, which can represent an attractive sales channel that fits many criteria: working with hotels unlocks a high-volume channel, drives brand visibility and boosts trial with a wide audience.

Indeed, hospitality retail is becoming more of a focus for brands wanting to expand their reach and strengthen their positioning while benefiting from attracting volumes. On the opposite side, hotels are facing both extremely high competition and pressure to provide an elevated guest experience, which also happens through features as small as the type of toiletries offered to guests. While this product category can be considered traditional and has been quite overlooked, it represents a great opportunity for hotels to stand out with their clients, which has fueled demand for niche, premium products. In Paris for example, hotels such as Hotel Beauregard or the Signature Saint-Germain are offering Diptyque products in each guest bathroom, which instantly elevates the customer experience and overall hotel brand which benefits from the association with an iconic, luxurious french fragrance house.

Catering To Hospitality Retail

When it comes to which type of brands and products hospitality players are looking for to cater to their guests, it becomes clear that the trends shaping the overall personal care and wellness space are also impacting hotel toiletries, with a few exceptions. Thinking about the higher-end of the market, hotels are increasingly looking for unique scents that provide a differentiated experience. Certain brands such as Le Labo have built their entire edge on providing strong, singular fragrances that are immediately noticeable by connoisseurs and leave no one indifferent.

Others might focus on advancing their sustainability agenda, seeking beauty and personal care brands that can bring eco-friendly value credentials and natural formulations to the table. This has helped brands like Votary or Tata Harper land partnerships with some of Europe’s most exclusive resorts, such as the Marbella Club Hotel in Spain and Hotel Lou Pinet in Saint Tropez, developing unique products made mostly from organic plant oils and containing no plastic in its packaging for a more sustainable and premium experience. There must be a clear alignment in terms of value positioning for there to be a match, as luxury hotels will for the most part only provide toiletry brands that echo their premium value. Boutique hotels on the other side might go for small, local or niche brands that also echo their singular offering as an effort to provide an unmatched, unique experience.

In addition to unique scents and natural formulations, brands wanting to expand within the hospitality sector will have to adapt their packaging to the specific needs of travelers. While the majority of hotels still favor single-use toiletries, forcing brands to create dedicated product formats, others are experimenting with bottles and refills in an effort to be more sustainable and cost-sensitive. Being able to offer larger formats of body wash and lotion, shampoos and conditioners could therefore be a unique selling point with prospects. In 2022, the Waldorf Astoria switched to Aesop’s refillable toiletries, while a large range of restaurants also offer the brand’s signature hand wash in their bathrooms, which instantly translates into an appealing, premium experience for guests.

As hospitality players keep expanding their efforts to elevate their customer experiences, so do personal care brands, which are enjoying a boost in popularity thanks to the growth of the wellness market. Industry trends around sustainability, natural fragrances, multi-use products and unique scents are helping skin and body care brands enjoy new growth, while giving them the opportunity to cater to an attractive channel looking to satisfy these exact customer needs as well within the toiletry segment.

Clara Ludmir, Contributor