Skin care benefits brighten sales

Category saturation and competition from private label may be inhibiting sales growth within the sun care segment, but infusing additional skin care benefits, like antioxidants, and targeting such demographic groups as men and multicultural consumers could help brighten sales.

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

According to research firm Mintel, the U.S. sun protection and sunless tanner market has benefited from skin cancer awareness campaigns, as well as the overall education about the imp

ortance of sun protection, but category growth has plateaued in recent years thanks to market saturation and private-label increases. Mintel expects the market to experience only modest grow through 2017.

The reality is that sunscreen is still seen as a mostly seasonal product that is necessary only when spending a lot of time outdoors or while on vacation.

Those products that are more likely to be used daily, particularly among women, are skin care products and makeup with SPF. Further illustrating that point, The NPD Group reported that sales of makeup and skin care with SPF reached $1.1 billion in U.S. prestige department stores from June 2012 to May 2013 — a 24% boost from three years ago.

Adding skin care benefits like antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients into more sun protection products could help generate greater usage, Mintel suggested.

“As the lines between skin care and sun care continue to blur, it stands to reason that more sun care brands will offer skin care benefits in their products,” Mintel stated in its November 2012 U.S. “Sun Protection and Sunless Tanners” report.

Targeting men also represents an opportunity for marketers as usage rates vary by gender. Mintel stated that 49% of females report use of sun care products compared with just 29% of men.

It also is important to note that ethnic consumers represent a significant opportunity. Research has illustrated that there is a fairly common misconception among African-Americans and Hispanics that, because of their darker skin tone, they do not get skin cancer. However, that is far from the truth.

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