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Hair care products cater to individual needs

BY Antoinette Alexander

Whether seeking products that offer styling versatility for their natural hair, products that help rejuvenate dry locks, or formulas that help maintain the look of just relaxed hair, there’s no doubt that hair care is important among African-American shoppers.

"Blacks place a great deal of importance on hair care. This is evidenced by the fact that Blacks spend more than nine times more on ethnic hair and beauty products than any other group. Companies that can more clearly identify and promote hair care products that address the unique needs for Black hair may be able to increase their presence and market share with consumers who are highly engaged in this product category," stated the Nielsen Co. in its 2012 report titled "The African-American consumers: Still vital, still growing."

Styling products are showing healthy growth as more consumers are turning away from pricier salon treatments and exploring the option of at-home treatments, according to market research firm Mintel. Styling products represent 38.8% of the overall African-American hair care market, followed by shampoo and conditioner with 35.1% of the market. Both of these segments saw increases in sales and market share between 2010 and 2012 at the expense of relaxer kits, which posted sales decreases of almost 30%.

SoftSheen-Carson has developed an array of new products that are slated to hit shelves in September. For those looking for a gentle shampoo that is designed to lock in moisture and is ideal for frequent use, there’s the newest addition to the Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Anti-Shrinkage line: Beyond Gentle & Sulfate-Free Wash.

SoftSheen-Carson also is expanding its 6 Week Anti-Reversion line with a shampoo, conditioner and styling cream serum in extra strength, creating an entire Anti-Reversion system for those who want to achieve straight hairstyles and keep that just relaxed look.

Also hitting shelves in September is the Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil. The new multipurpose oil is formulated specifically for dry and damaged hair. It can be used as a pre-shampoo, deep conditioner, finishing treatment, scalp treatment or shine booster.

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At-home nail care still trending among beauty mavens

BY Antoinette Alexander

Women still love their nail polish!

Judging by the continued double-digit sales growth and the new products still flooding the market, the nail color segment continues to shine.

"Whether the woman opts to do it herself or go the salon route, nail care has an option to appeal to every age of woman. Getting a pulse check on the nail consumer is so very important right now. At this moment in time, nail is still a blue-sky, white canvas opportunity. We are just scratching the surface," stated Karen Grant, VP and global industry analyst for The NPD Group, earlier this year when announcing the findings of its March 2013 "Nail Care and Polish Consumer Report."

The report found that more than half of women ages 18 years and older have purchased nail products for at-home use or professional nail services in the past year. Supporting the findings that many beauty mavens are turning to at-home products is the most recent 52-week data from IRI.

According to IRI, the nail category rose nearly 11% during the 52 weeks ended June 16 at U.S. multi-outlets, with nail polish accounting for the greatest growth within the category — up 17.6% to reach about $896 million.

Expense plays a large role in why women do their nails at home, but it is not the only issue. Concerns about health and safety issues at salons and the convenience of at-home solutions are also factors.

Among the most notable developments within nail care at mass is the entrance of at-home gel manicures. Delivering long-lasting results at a fraction of the price as a salon gel manicure, these do-it-yourself products took the mass market nail segment by storm.

It is estimated that, within the next year, gel polish retail sales will more than double and come in somewhere near the $75 million to $80 million mark, according to Joel Carden, EVP of Pacific World, which markets the SensatioNail at-home gel polish.

Also contributing to the explosive growth are such innovations as adhesive nail stickers bearing wild colors and edgy patterns, crackled nail polish, glitter nail polish and magnetic nail polish.

Judging by the slew of new products on display at the recent Cosmoprof North America conference in Las Vegas, this trend shows little sign of slowing. While a majority of the products highlighted at Cosmoprof are geared toward the professional salon market, there’s no doubt that gel continues to be all the rage with such brands as Essie touting gel manicure systems on the show floor.

Recent launches for the mass market include Red Carpet Manicure’s light-activated nail treatments. The DIY light-activated gel nail treatments — Nail Remedy and Nail Recovery — help nails become stronger and longer. Also new are Cuticle Balm, Cuticle Elixir and Youth Crème.

CCA Industries’ Nutra Nail Gel Perfect is aiming to reinvent the pedicure with its new Nutra Nail Gel Perfect Walk on the Wild Side Pedicure Kit. In 2011, CCA Industries launched its Nutra Nail Gel Perfect, a gel-color technology that promises to set rock solid in five minutes with no UV/LED light needed, and now the manufacturer has developed the pedicure kit.

There’s also Belvada, which recently announced the launch of its GelMoment. The polish, which dries in 30 seconds with the Belvada LED curing light, eliminates the need for a base coat and topcoat, and Belvada is positioning it as the first one-step gel nail polish.

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Consumers still seek ‘magic in a bottle’

BY Antoinette Alexander

The anti-aging category has become quite saturated — not to mention confusing for many shoppers — but it is expected to enjoy growth going forward as the economy continues to improve and aging consumers continue to seek magic in a bottle.

"The economic recession didn’t hit this segment as hard as other beauty categories, but reduced consumer spending certainly had some impact," stated research firm Mintel in its February 2013 report on the U.S. anti-aging skin care market. "As the levels of disposable income slowly begin to rise, consumers may once again turn to more discretionary purchases such as anti-aging skin care. In addition, the aging population will continue to outpace total population growth, likely resulting in long-term growth potential for the category."

Mintel estimates that the category will see a modest turnaround beginning in 2013, which will grow by roughly 13% through 2017, reaching sales of more than $2.8 billion.

It likely comes as no surprise that Mintel’s research revealed that, among respondents, wrinkles and dry skin ranked as the leading skin concerns with regards to aging. Coming in next on the list were under-eye circles, age/sun spots and sagging skin. While dry skin can be an issue regardless of age, Mintel suggests that manufacturers consider highlighting how skin might need different types of hydration as it ages. They may also want to emphasize other issues that worsen with age, such as flaky skin, redness and uneven skin tone.

Already taking a page from this strategy are Vichy Laboratoires and Lumene.

Vichy Laboratoires, a French beauty brand, earlier this year expanded its Neovadiol range, which is for women 50 years and older, with the new Neovadiol Gf Lip & Eye Contours and Neovadiol Lumiere BB Cream.

According to Vichy, women over the age of 50 years represent 43% of the adult population in the United States and 75% of the nation’s wealth. However, skin care lines that target this consumer represent less than 10% of the overall skin care market.

In addition, Lumene, a European skin care and cosmetics brand from Finland, has developed Complete Rewind, a new anti-aging skin care line that leverages anti-glycation technology. The line is especially geared toward women ages 50 years and older. The line hit retail this summer.

Meanwhile, general anti-aging skin care products that do not target a specific age group continue to flood the market.

Among those is beauty brand Vbeaute, which recently announced its expansion into a handful of Duane Reade and Walgreens Look Boutiques this summer. The beauty brand is known for its anti-aging skin care and lip products formulated with Swiss Alpine rose botanical technology, a plant praised for its ability to thrive in even the harshest of climates.

In addition, Kathy Ireland, CEO and chief designer of Kathy Ireland Worldwide and women’s health advocate, is collaborating with board-certified surgeon Dr. David Scharp in bringing to the beauty market a stem cell-derived product brand called Stemáge.

Ireland and Sharp note that the unique aspect of the skin rejuvenation system is that it targets visible signs of aging through the proprietary use of human Mesenchymal stem cell derivatives, not stem cells, but rather active ingredients or derivatives of which stem cells are comprised.

Meanwhile, body anti-aging products are rising into the spotlight. According to IRI, sales of body anti-aging products rose nearly 12% for the 12 weeks ended June 16 at U.S. multi-outlet locations. The biggest gainer, according to the data, is private label, which enjoyed a 79% boost in sales.

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