BEAUTY CARE

NPD, SymphonyIRI unveil Q1 beauty sales trends

BY Antoinette Alexander

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — Total U.S. beauty sales in both the food/drug/mass and prestige channels experienced similar trends in first quarter 2011, according to market research providers NPD and SymphonyIRI, although makeup sales fared slightly better within the food/drug/mass channel.

According to the results of the research firms’ partnered product, the Beauty Cross Channel Monitor, total U.S. beauty sales in the prestige and food/drug/mass channels realized similar gains in first quarter 2011 (January through March), up 5% and 4%, respectively. But while makeup sales similarly trended upward, a slightly different story was told, with the food/drug/mass channel faring better than prestige due in part to the double-digit sales in the $127 million nail segment.

The Beauty Cross Channel Monitor is the U.S. beauty industry’s first and only point-of-sale tracking product that looks at sales performance in department stores (prestige) and the food, drug and mass market, excluding Walmart.

"Despite the current economic situation, the beauty industry continues to trend upward, showing growth for the fourth consecutive quarter in both the food/drug/mass and prestige channels," NPD beauty president Diane Nicholson said. "After a positive yet cautious 2010, it’s encouraging to see consumers continue to embrace newness and innovation in the beauty space."

According to NPD’s Economy Tracker, 35% of consumers planned to maintain or increase their spending in cosmetics and fragrances for first quarter 2011, up two percentage points from last year. This is despite the fact that consumers also are dedicating a larger percentage of their wallets to gas and groceries, as prices of these categories rise.

In fragrance, the prestige market (roughly five times larger than the food/drug/mass market) grew by 6% during the first quarter 2011 versus flat sales in the food/drug/mass channel. The increase in prestige fragrance is due to the positive performance in top existing brands, as well as strong sales from 2010 fragrance introductions.

In skin care, the food/drug/mass channel is triple the size of the prestige channel, yet prestige trended better, up 6% versus 3% in food/drug/mass. The face, sun care and gift set segments were key drivers in the growth of prestige skin care.

"Now more than ever, as the beauty consumer evolves and channel shifting continues, the Beauty Cross Channel Monitor is a valuable resource for understanding beauty trends across the prestige and mass markets," SymphonyIRI VP beauty vertical Victoria Gustafson said. "Capitalizing on the dynamics between these channels is a critical component to maximizing brand strategies."

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When it comes to health and beauty purchases, social influence trumps TV ads

BY DSN STAFF

MT. KISCO, N.Y. — Increasingly, social media is leveling the playing field for small- and mid-sized brand marketers, opening new, more affordable and more effective avenues to communicate with consumers versus such traditional media as TV and radio. And new research suggests the balance of power already may be tipping in favor of social marketing, particularly in certain categories and definitely among certain consumers.

According to a survey of more than 1,500 U.S. adults ages 18 years and older — conducted in May by VeraQuest on behalf of marketing/public relations firm Robin Leedy & Associates — consumers said that friends and TV are equal in terms of their ability to influence an over-the-counter or a health and beauty product purchase (49%).

Factor in the influence of such social networking sites as Facebook (7%) — really just another way to measure “friends” — and the impact of social influence is even more significant. “The socially wired world is emergently and unmistakably impactful,” said RL&A president Robin Russo. “This is undoubtedly significant for all the companies that don’t have robust TV ad budgets, or any budget, for advertising, at all.”

A deeper dive into the research revealed that the influence of friends is even more pronounced among women (52%) — particularly among women ages 30 to 49 years (55%), and even higher among women ages 18 to 29 years (58%).

“In the new world of social networks, it makes sense that friends’ opinions are growing in importance,” Russo said. “And that is a compelling reason for brands to market on Facebook, Twitter and the like, where consumers become immediate brand ambassadors spreading their influence to all those in their sphere of social influence and engagement.”

The third biggest influence of OTC and HBA purchases overall was spouses/partners (36%); however, this differs sharply among men (45%) versus women (27%). A look at other key influencers suggested that, in general, digital media trumps traditional media, including online product reviews (27%) versus consumer magazine ads (24%); online articles (16%) versus newspaper articles (13%); and online video (7%) versus radio messaging (3%).

Blog reviews are another area that ranked as sources of greater influence among younger women (14% of women ages 30 to 39 years versus 6% overall).

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HairMax LaserComb Lux 9 OKed to treat female pattern hair loss

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Lexington has received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for marketing the HairMax LaserComb Lux 9 to treat female pattern hair loss, the manufacturer has announced.

"Hair loss among women is a growing concern," said Matt Leavitt, medical adviser to Lexington. "In the past, women had only one FDA-approved drug ingredient to treat their hair loss. Now they have a clinically proven viable alternative. Upon review of Lexington’s extensive clinical studies on female hair loss, the FDA has granted clearance to this exciting new treatment option. I believe [that] HairMax will be able to offer help to the millions of women suffering from hair loss."

The last hair-loss treatment for women to be approved by the FDA was minoxidil, which came to market for females in 1988. HairMax now is the first nondrug, home-use, over-the-counter medical device cleared to treat the estimated 80 million men and women suffering from hereditary hair loss.

What causes female hair loss? Such factors as:

  • Aging;

  • Changes in the levels of androgens (hormones). For example, after reaching menopause, many women find that the hair on their head is thinner, while the hair on their face is coarser;

  • Family history of male or female pattern baldness; and

  • Damaged hair due to coloring or chemical straightening treatments.

What are the signs of female pattern hair loss? Hair thinning is different from that of male pattern baldness. In female pattern baldness:

  • Hair thins mainly on the top and crown of the scalp. It usually starts with a widening through the center hair part;

  • The front hairline remains; and

  • The hair loss rarely progresses to total or near total baldness, as it may in men.

The results of a double-blind, device-controlled clinical study conducted showed that 100% of subjects on the HairMax Lux 9 experienced hair growth at six months, the manufacturer stated. Over the same period of time, females on the HairMax Lux 9 grew an average of 20.5 hairs per cm squared. In addition, more than 70% of the subjects on the HairMax LaserComb Lux 9 reported improvement in thickness and fullness of their hair. No serious side effects occurred and there were no other types of side effects caused by the HairMax LaserComb Lux 9 in the study.

HairMax LaserComb Lux 9, which is most effective in early to moderate stages of hair loss, delivers laser energy to stimulate dormant and active hair follicles. To use the HairMax LaserComb Lux 9, treat hair for 11 minutes, every other day.

In April 2011, the FDA also granted clearance for marketing for three new models of the HairMax LaserComb for male pattern baldness.

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