Focus on Added Value Helps U.S. Beauty Market Rebound

According to Kline & Company's recently released Cosmetics & Toiletries USA 2010 study, rising consumer confidence, aggressive promotional activity and technological advances have propelled sales of cosmetics and toiletries in the United States by 2.4% to reach $36.5 billion in 2010 at the manufacturers’ level. After experiencing a 0.8% decline in 2009, the current increase has brought sales to above pre-recession levels.

While the industry showed signs of recovery, consumers influenced by economic uncertainties continued to scrutinize their spending, shopped at venues with competitive pricing and sought out products on sale. The increased willingness to spend was captivated primarily by offers that provided extra value. Skin care kits, priced more favorably than individual products, and multi-functional products were among the core trends of 2010.

All trade classes registered a certain level of growth in 2010. While the specialty trade class, which consists mainly of mall-based stores, including Bath & Body Works and The Body Shop, posted the strongest gains, providing a good sign that consumers are back out and shopping again, the professional channel (encompassing salons, spas and physician offices) registered the lowest overall increase of 1.9%.

As consumers continued to hold back from visits at professional beauty outlets, focus has shifted to achieving the best possible results at home. In the skin care segment, a host of products were introduced during the year that compared their results to those obtained at spas or a doctor’s office. For example, at-home skin care devices used to treat fine lines and wrinkles, as well as tone and cleanse skin, have seen a significant growth in popularity. Kline is launching a new research study, At-home Skin Care Devices 2011: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities, to explore this fast-emerging trend.

“This hunt for additional quality has been spearheaded by marketers’ extensive innovation efforts,” says Carrie Mellage, director at Kline's Consumer Products Practice. “Advancements in skin care have included bioelectric technology to help stimulate the natural renewal process of the skin and DNA enhancement formulas found in power-serum products.”

In 2010, skin care has remained the largest product class, accounting for 25% of total industry sales. Thanks to the emergence of high-tech facial treatment offerings, the product class has also remained one of the fastest growing segments. The industry front-runner was makeup, which registered a 4.4% growth. Lending a strong hand to the success of the makeup category was nail polishes, which was up by 20.4% in 2010 due to new product activity adapted to achieving at-home salon results and easy application.

The 2011 State of the Industry from Euromonitor International, exploring the global market, will be available in the June issue of GCI .

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