Innovation, broader reach light up sun care market

Antoinette Alexander

There’s no doubt that awareness of the dangers of unprotected sun exposure is growing, but sun protection products, which make up the bulk of the sun care market, still represent one of the few segments in the U.S. beauty and personal care market that has relatively low household penetration, according to research firm Euromonitor International.

The good news is that innovation in the mass-market sun protection segment has helped bolster sales, with sun protection being the only sub-sector to see growth in 2009, with an increase of 2%. Premium sun care products haven’t fared as well, as cash-strapped consumers have been reluctant to pay the higher price points, according to Euromonitor’s U.S. sun care report released in May.

Manufacturers are expected to continue to offer sun protection products that offer additional benefits, such as anti-aging properties and natural ingredients. However, judging by some of the products being promoted at the ECRM Sun Care EPPS in July, manufacturers also may be looking to capture consumer interest groups far beyond the beach.

One such company is Sierra Summits Skin Products, which makes High Altitude Adventure sunscreen, Tahoe Kids Adventure sunscreen and Apres Ultra Lite daily facial moisturizer with SPF 46.

Developed by a board-certified practicing physician assistant with Dermatology Associates of Northern Virginia, the brand was created to capture the lifestyle of the Sierras, an adventure playground for hikers, cyclists and travelers. Sierra Summits works to promote the use of sunscreens during the winter months, as well as the summer, and has suggested that retailers consider offering a “winter set.”

There also is Arnold Palmer sunscreen by DriGrip. In early 2010, DriGrip partnered with famed golfer Arnold Palmer to create the sunscreen especially for golfers. When applied, it dries to a powder finish, leaving no oily residue. The company also offers DriGrip for fisherman and DriGrip for industrial workers.

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