Consumers want to look good without spending

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. —Most Americans believe that the pressure to look good is escalating, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are spending more dollars in the beauty aisle, according to the findings of a recent study.

Based on the findings of The Nielsen Co.’s global beauty survey, two-thirds of U.S. consumers agree that the pressure to look good is much greater now than ever before. However, only 23 percent of U.S. respondents said they spend more on beauty products and treatments.

The online survey polled nearly 26,500 consumers in 46 markets from Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East.

“While culture differences abound, the pressure to look good is felt worldwide,” stated Shuchi Sethi, vice president of consumer products for Nielsen Customized Research. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that consumers are compelled to spend more on beauty products and treatments. It seems the older you get, the less you spend, as teens and consumers in their 20s spend more in this category.”

The research also found that when U.S. consumers do shop for beauty, most spend their money on hair care (81 percent), skin care (61 percent) and facial treatments (47 percent). In addition, 80 percent of U.S. respondents said they “very much” or “somewhat” agree that mass market health and beauty products are just as good as premium or expensive alternatives for hair care, skin care and cosmetics.

“While price and brand continue to be a major purchase decision factor, prior experience is also a key driver,” Sethi said. “Whether it’s a free product sample or the recommendation from a friend, prior experience plays a critical role in the health and beauty product category. More and more companies are realizing this, with sample giveaways and a greater focus on word of mouth marketing efforts.”

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