FDA proposes 40-year-old allergen survey to Gather Consumer Information

allergen survey

Anywhere you go its hard to not come across some form of cosmetic product. Imagine yourself as a consumer looking to purchase a tube of red lipstick.  There are more than a dozen brands capable of providing you with a vast selection for such a simple request.  With a flooded market comes time to get down into fine details. It comes as no surprise that now more than ever consumers are likely to look for certain ingredients or absence of some to select the product they are going to purchase. From fears of sensitivity to sub-par performance, there are many reasons why some consumers choose one product over another. For brands to remain at the height of competition they often advertise the absence of ingredients to stand-out from the competition.  Once an ingredient has a bad reputation it is hard for it to crawl its way back up the tunnel of despair and back into the light of positivity. A true example of a hive mentality, once an idea is thrust into the limelight it is often adapted to the whole of consumer consciousness. The FDA has proposed a new allergen survey for cosmetics which will in turn help the agency to better understand some of the trends and decisions of the public.

allergen surveyLike it or not, its clear that consumers are being more and more careful when selecting products they wish to purchase.  It comes as no surprise that the FDA has begun to recognize this changing landscape. As of November 7th, the FDA announced its proposal to introduce a web-based cosmetic allergen survey. A further recognition of ever-changing consumer landscapes, this survey gives the opportunity for data regarding sensitivity to be collected from consumers. The FDA states the purpose of the survey to “better understand consumer perceptions and awareness regarding allergens in cosmetics as well as consumer decisions about whether to purchase specific products or to avoid certain ingredients”. The FDA hopes to gather new and valuable insight into the world of cosmetic allergens. If conducted this survey will be the first on consumer perceptions of cosmetics since 1975. Long overdue, this proposed data collection comes at a time as good as ever for the FDA to gather information concerning consumer knowledge and perception.

Not yet at the green light, the FDA still requires approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before the allergen survey can commence. A first step towards approval, the survey has entered a consultation period for 60 days in which comments upon the survey will be collected. A recognition of changing consumer climate, it comes as no surprise that agencies like the FDA are looking to pick the brains of consumers to have a better grasp on the collective ideologies present in marketplace.

For more information, please contact Focal Point Research Inc.  We are leading North American Regulatory and New Product Consultants for Medical DevicesNatural Health ProductsOTC DrugsCosmetics, and other consumer products regulated by Health Canada and the U.S. FDA.