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Anti-aging, cosmetic focus is in demand

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Sales of body care products have been on the downslide in recent years, according to research, likely because of consumers turning away from nonessential purchases amid a weak economy. However, times appear to be changing.

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

According to research firm Mintel, sales of body care products dropped 10% from 2007 to 2012, with the steepest declines seen in 2010 and 2011.

“A slightly improving economic climate will help stem losses in the near future. Mintel forecasts a leveling off of sales through 2017 due to a return of consumers to the category and expanding innovation to invite increased participation among men,” Mintel stated in its July 2012 U.S. body care report. “Further growth in the category will require enhanced product positioning. This could come from an increased focus on men’s products, as well as through product specificity that encourages consumers to purchase products for specific uses.”

And it appears as though body care products that offer such benefits as anti-aging elements are indeed on the upswing as beauty mavens strive to turn back the hands of time.

Data from IRI showed that sales of body anti-aging products rose more than 7% for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 11 at U.S. multi-outlets. During that same time, sales of hand and body lotion rose about 4%.

Continuing to incorporate cosmetic benefits within body care products is likely to further bolster sales as, according to Mintel, younger consumers from ages 18 years to 34 years have expressed an interest in products that offer anti-cellulite, firming and toning, stretch mark reduction and tanning.

Mintel also suggested that manufacturers increasingly offer unscented varieties as fewer consumers are expressing an interest in scent. This could be fueled by the growing interest in natural products, as well as those that are hypoallergenic, as fragrance is often associated with added chemicals.

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