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Global Beauty Industry Trends 2011

By: Carrie Lennard
Posted: August 1, 2011, from the August 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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With a return to pre-recession levels of spending and 5% value growth globally, 2010 marked a strong recovery for the beauty and personal care industry. Consumers flocked back to premium beauty, and most luxury brands found themselves in solid positive growth territory after poor performances in 2009. Following are the five key trends driving the growth of the global beauty industry in 2011.

1. Price points and brand positioning

Cosmetic companies are generally focusing on the mass market, thanks primarily to the increasing importance of Latin America, particularly in the area of fragrance, a category that is dominated by mass brands in the region. However, mass and masstige portfolios are also being developed in more mature and traditionally premium-dominated markets, such as Japan. It is important for skin care professionals to understand that this is a result of the growing perception among consumers that mass or the upper end of mass across categories, such as color cosmetics and skin care, may be able to deliver similar quality as their luxury counterparts. Be aware of this trend and be prepared to explain to clients and consumers alike what sets professional skin care products apart from the competition.

Although value growth is being driven by mass beauty, innovation is still most definitely being led by premium brands, including new mascara packaging formats in color cosmetics, as well as skin care ingredients. In 2010 and 2011, there have also been a number of high-profile acquisitions involving premium and professional lines. Super-premium brands retained their exclusivity and high pricing, with some putting in a consistently positive performance throughout the downturn as the spending levels of wealthy consumers remained largely resilient.

2. Time-saving and long-lasting

From the trend for at-home do-it-yourself beauty during the recession, two major diverging trends in terms of new product innovation have developed. Time-saving beauty is a theme in many new products, primarily as a response to demand from today’s time-poor consumers who want to cut the amount of time and money spent on their daily beauty or grooming routine. As a result, there has been much research and development focus on areas such as fast-drying nail polish and multifunctional products, such as 3-in-1 shower gel, facial wash and shaving foam for men or hybrid products for the face that incorporate elements of facial makeup, skin care and sun care.

Super long-lasting beauty is another overriding theme, because such products are seen as being hassle-free and a good value for money due to the need to apply them less often than their conventional counterparts. These include long-lasting lipsticks and nail polishes, and 24-hour moisturizing in skin care. It is common that clients allow a longer stretch between professional skin care treatments these days, so it is all the more important to provide home-care recommendations and options that will help them maintain the results of professional skin care treatments longer in the most convenient way possible. Do you have options in your retail area that fit this description, and are you working with clients to recommend the best home-care options for their needs?

3. The digital beauty experience