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.”
CTFA reassures lipstick safe, despite claims of lead exposure
WASHINGTON Responding to a report released Thursday by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics on lead in lipstick, the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association issued a statement stressing that all of the products identified in the report meet Food and Drug Administration standards and the California standards for safety established under its Proposition 65 process.
“Despite continuous allegations over the years, lead is not intentionally added to cosmetics. Lead is a naturally occurring element that is found everywhere in the environment,” stated John Bailey, executive vice president for science cosmetics at CTFA. “Consumers are exposed daily to lead when they eat, drink water and breathe air. The average amount of lead a woman would be exposed to when using cosmetics is 1,000 times less than the amount she would get from eating, breathing and drinking water that meets Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standards.”
CTFA is the trade association representing the cosmetic, toiletry and fragrance industry in the United States and globally. It has a membership of more than 600 companies, including manufacturers, distributors and suppliers.
Bailey’s comments are in response to the findings of new product tests released Thursday by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which claim that more than half of the 33 brand-name lipsticks tested contained detectable levels of lead, with levels ranging from 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million.
The coalition of public health and consumer rights’ groups further claims that one-third of the tested lipsticks exceeded the FDA’s 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy.
An independent laboratory conducted the tests during September on red lipsticks bought in Boston; Hartford, Conn.; San Francisco; and Minneapolis.
“The FDA has set daily safe levels for lead exposure for adults, children and pregnant women. The agency also has set strict limits for lead levels allowed in the colors used in lipsticks, and actually analyze most of these to ensure they are followed,” stated Bailey of CTFA. “The products identified in the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report meet these standards. In fact, all of the products tested in the CSC report meet the California standards for safety established under their Prop 65 process.”
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is calling on the industry to reformulate products to remove lead and to require suppliers to guarantee that raw materials are free of lead and other contaminants.
Added Bailey, “Despite the negligible levels of lead found in some lipsticks, cosmetic companies are committed to reducing that level even further. For decades, cosmetic companies have worked to minimize all product contamination, including lead. They actively and continually review all raw materials to ensure that they contain the lowest levels of impurities possible. Cosmetic companies have some of the world’s leading chemists, toxicologists and biologists to evaluate all the safety information.”
Men’s personal care popular as more men shop
HARLEYSVILLE, Pa. The Natural Marketing Institute has identified men’s personal care as a key trend that will have a significant impact in 2007 and beyond, due in part to the fact that men increasingly are becoming the primary grocery shopper.
“More men are gaining exposure to the personal care category as a direct result of their participation as primary grocery shoppers,” stated Linda Povey, vice president of strategic consulting at NMI. “Men’s role as the primary grocery shopper has almost doubled from 26 percent in 1999 to 41 percent in 2006, allowing them greater access and interaction with products and brands.”
As a result, men will grow increasingly accommodated in traditionally female environments such as grocery, drug and specialty retail. According to NMI, the challenge will be for retailers to understand how men shop, representing a unique opportunity in effectively marketing and merchandising to them versus women.
This trend is driven in part by the increasing social and media pressure on men to be young, fit and well-groomed. In addition, the job market is flooded with aging boomer men who are striving to maintain their competitive advantage through a greater investment in their personal appearance. NMI noted that interest in having natural, organic and eco elements in their personal care products—not just in the foods that they eat—and the prevalence of these products in mainstream retail environments also is leading more men to the category.