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Double-digit Growth Leads Makeup, Skin Care, Fragrance Into the Holidays, According to NPD Group

Posted: November 28, 2012

Market research company The NPD Group, Inc. released results on the total prestige beauty gift set industry. In the U.S., overall gift set sales within prestige department stores year-to-date (January to October 2012), posted a 16% increase in dollar sales, versus the same time last year. The $871 million beauty gift set industry includes women’s and men’s fragrance gift sets, as well as skin care and makeup gift sets.

According to The NPD Group’s BeautyTrends, in prestige beauty gift sets, fragrance gift sets (total women and men) increase 10% in dollar growth percentage for YTD 2012 versus 2011, while skin care gift sets jumped 23% and makeup gift sets 26% for the same time period. “Gift sets have often provided a somewhat stress-free purchase for the shopper to get in and out of the madness that surrounds shopping during the holiday season,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group.  “And it’s not just fragrance anymore, sets are now among the hottest areas in makeup and skin care too.”

Fragrance sets continue to be the go-to gift set for the holiday season, and represent over one third (34%) of total prestige fragrance sales annually. While men’s and women’s fragrance gift sets both posted healthy growth, the category was strongly driven by men’s fragrance gift sets (+14%), double the dollar growth of women’s (7%) during year-to-date 2012. The NPD Group’s BeautyTrends recorded the Light Blue 2 Pieces Spring Set (2012) as the best-selling total prestige fragrance gift set (women and men combined) for YTD12, while Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme Travel with Style Set (2012) came in at No. 2 and Light Blue Pour Homme Father’s Day Set (2012) was No. 3.

Heading into this holiday, makeup and skin care gift sets have already outpaced the overall gift set market in the first ten months of the year. NPD consumer studies indicate there is some shift in the preference among ethnic and younger consumers (18–24) in makeup toward shopping in stores that offer kits. Makeup artists and alternative brands, especially those associated with younger consumers, are experiencing tremendous growth in makeup sets. The top three best-selling prestige makeup gift sets (YTD12) are Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette Set (2011), Urban Decay Naked Palette Set (2011) and Bare Escentuals Customizable Get Started Kit (2010), according to BeautyTrends.

Consumers also continue to take advantage of the gift set season, especially in skin care. “High-priced, anti-aging skin care gift sets are not the only option anymore. Consumers today are looking to treat themselves with innovative forms of skin care more so than in recent years. This season the skin care gift set arena is again being dominated by new sonic technology,” said Grant. To date for 2012, BeautyTrends recorded the top three best-selling prestige skin care gift sets as Clarisonic Mia Skin Cleans Pink Set (2009), Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Cleans System Pink Set (2011) and Clarisonic Mia Cleans Travel Lavender Set (2010).

“Today sets are not just about value. They are treasures that are hard to resist and worth the investment,” Grant explained. “Whatever the category, gift sets look quite promising this holiday season—offering one-stop shopping, all-in-one, for that special person, whether that is you or someone in your life, who wants it all—to look good, feel great and smell wonderful.”

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