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6 Target Markets for a Soap Business



The soap industry has grown significantly in recent years. The global soap market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.8% between 2023 and 2028. The organic soap segment is expected to grow even more than that at 8.1%. This means the entire soap market will be worth $30 billion by 2030.

So what is behind this growth? For one, increasing sophistication in consumer tastes has fueled demand for special soaps. Customers are now looking for products with organic, vegan, and cruelty-free attributes. They are also attracted to products infused with therapeutic elements like essential oils, natural herbs, and mineral salts.

Another important trend influencing the market outlook is the growth of the male grooming sector. With more men taking an interest in skincare, special soaps crafted for men’s unique skin care needs are expected to have a substantial market share.

This creates an attractive opportunity for entrepreneurs. Many small businesses are carving out their niche by manufacturing unique, high-quality, and eco-friendly products. Maybe you’ve even thought about starting your own soap-making business.

If so, identifying and understanding the target market for these businesses is crucial. There are also different types of target markets to understand. In this article, we will delve into six potential target markets for small soap manufacturers. We will be exploring the distinct characteristics of each segment. We will also see how businesses can cater to their preferences and requirements.


Health-Conscious Consumers

One significant segment of the target market for small soap manufacturers is health-conscious consumers. One study shows that the general population is becoming more health-conscious. In fact, 70% of Americans report that they are more concerned with being healthy than in previous years. These individuals are particularly concerned about the ingredients in the products they use. Health-conscious customers are often seeking out natural, organic, and chemical-free options.

To appeal to health-conscious consumers, small soap makers can focus on formulating their products with plant-based ingredients, avoiding harsh chemicals, synthetic fragrances, and artificial colors.

Also, they can emphasize the benefits of their natural ingredients. Mention things like essential oils, botanical extracts, or healing minerals, to showcase the health benefits their soaps offer. By promoting the wholesome and clean nature of their products, small soap manufacturers can successfully capture the attention of health-conscious consumers.


Environmentally Conscious Consumers

Another critical segment for small soap manufacturers is environmentally conscious consumers. These individuals are concerned about the ecological impact of their purchasing choices and are actively seeking eco-friendly products that minimize waste and utilize sustainable resources.

To cater to this market, small soap manufacturers can implement sustainable practices. Then, they should let their target market know about those practices. Let your audience know that you are using responsibly sourced ingredients. Also, make it clear if you’re adopting biodegradable packaging or even introducing refillable options.

By highlighting your commitment to environmental sustainability, your businesses can appeal to consumers who are willing to support companies that share their values and contribute positively to the planet.


Individuals with Sensitive Skin or Skin Conditions

A growing segment of the target market for small soap manufacturers includes individuals with sensitive skin or specific skin conditions. Some of these conditions included are eczema, psoriasis, or allergies. These consumers require gentle, hypoallergenic products. These products need to be carefully formulated to minimize irritation and provide soothing benefits.

Small soap-making businesses catering to this market can develop products with gentle, natural ingredients. They should use ingredients known for their calming and healing properties, such as aloe vera, chamomile, or oatmeal. For parents, this type of product is particularly attractive. In the US, the prevalence of food and skin allergies has been on the rise for the past decade. Offering parents an option that is best for their children can help soap brands stand out.

By communicating the specific benefits of their soaps for sensitive skin or particular skin conditions, these businesses can position themselves as a reliable choice for consumers in need of tailored solutions.


Luxury and Self-Care Enthusiasts

The appeal of artisanal, luxurious soaps extends beyond their basic function. Many consumers are seeking products that elevate their self-care routines and offer an indulgent experience. This market segment, comprising luxury and self-care enthusiasts, is attracted to premium soaps with unique scents. Luxury brand seekers are also attracted to intricate designs and high-quality ingredients. This audience is similar to the target market of a spa business. 

Small soap manufacturers targeting this audience can focus on creating visually appealing products. However, they need to create products with distinctive fragrances and textures. Appeal to this market can be tricky as there is a certain level of expectation involved. Soap makers should practice experimenting with various soap-making techniques and artistic designs.

Additionally, they can emphasize the craftsmanship and care that goes into each product. Highlighting the artisanal nature of their soaps as a point of differentiation. By promoting their soaps as an indulgence and a form of self-care, small soap manufacturers can successfully capture the interest of consumers seeking a luxurious experience.


Gift Buyers

Soaps have long been a popular choice for gift buyers. A universal product like special soap is considered suitable for various occasions, such as birthdays, holidays, or as a thoughtful gesture. The key is to appeal to the gift buyer. This market segment appreciates beautifully packaged, handcrafted soaps with appealing fragrances and designs that make them suitable for gifting. Naturally, when presenting a gift to someone, presentation is a big part of the experience.

To tap into this market, small soap manufacturers can consider developing gift sets. Another option is offering limited-edition or seasonal soaps. You can also create customizable options. This allows consumers to select specific scents or designs that suit the recipient’s preferences. By offering unique and thoughtful gift options, small soap manufacturers can build a loyal customer base among gift buyers. Your soap business will do particularly well with customers who value the quality, presentation, and personal touch.


Niche Interest Groups

Small soap manufacturers can find success by catering to specific niche interest groups. For instance, vegan consumers may seek out soaps that are free from animal-derived ingredients. They may also look for cruelty-free soaps.

Small businesses can develop plant-based soaps and ensure their products and production processes align with vegan principles. Doing so positions the brand as an ethical choice for these consumers. Similarly, some individuals may prefer to support locally sourced or handmade products. They may enjoy connecting with the artisan behind the product and contributing to their local economy.

Then there are also the underserved groups. For example, Jack Haldrup found that men were being underserved in the natural soap segment. He started his brand Dr. Squatch in 2013 to offer men alternative soap options. Dr. Squatch now generates $100 million a year in revenue. The company started as a direct-to-customer brand but has grown and is now available in stores and also makes other products like deodorant and toothpaste. 



There are many reasons why it is important to understand your target market. It saves your business time, money, and other resources. You also have a better chance to appeal to the people that are the most interested in your product. The target markets for small soap businesses are diverse and present numerous opportunities. By understanding the characteristics of consumers, small soap manufacturers can develop products and marketing strategies that resonate with their target audience. By doing so, these businesses can effectively differentiate themselves in the competitive soap market.

Thomas Martin
Tom is a member of the Editorial Team at StartUp Mindset. He has over 6 years of experience with writing on business, entrepreneurship, and other topics. He mainly focuses on online businesses, digital publishing, marketing and eCommerce startups.

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Tom is a member of the Editorial Team at StartUp Mindset. He has over 6 years of experience with writing on business, entrepreneurship, and other topics. He mainly focuses on online businesses, digital publishing, marketing and eCommerce startups.

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