Sets and kits stars of prestige
Research by Euromonitor International has suggested that an improving economy, combined with product innovation, has prompted upper-income shoppers to return to department store beauty counters for premium skin care products. Meanwhile, many in the lower income segments continued to struggle with high unemployment rates and rising gas prices, reducing their spending power for mass market skin care products. Judging by the numbers, that just might be the case.
According to SymphonyIRI Group, sales of facial anti-aging products declined 1.1% to $172.4 million for the 12 weeks ended Oct. 2 at food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart).
Meanwhile, market research company the NPD Group reported that in the first half of 2011, prestige women’s and men’s skin care dollar sales rose 14% and 9%, respectively, compared with the first half of 2008.
When looking at prestige skin care, NPD stated that every segment, except for body, helped bring the category back to meet its prerecessionary levels, but the star category for prestige skin care was sets and kits.
Private label cleans up
Consumers still are watching their dollars, as evidenced by solid sales of private-label facial cleansers; however, product innovation also is helping to drive growth among the branded products.
According to SymphonyIRI Group, sales of private-label products took the lead for the 12 weeks ended Oct. 2 at food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart).
However, brands like Clean & Clear, which recently launched its Morning Burst collection, also experienced growth. The smoothie-inspired, fruit-filled facial cleansers come in such exotic scents as mandarin orange, pomegranate and passion fruit, and pineapple and coconut.
Shaving a little off the top
While sales of shaving cream — which research has shown to have a relatively high level of penetration among men — have experienced single- digit growth, sales of razors climbed more than 13%.
According to SymphonyIRI Group, sales of shaving cream rose 3.43% to $282.38 million during the 52 weeks ended Oct. 2 at food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart). During that same period, sales of razors rose 13.5% to $282.4 million.
Research has suggested that the sluggish growth of shaving cream could be because of an aging male population that requires less shaving, less stringent workplace requirements that allow facial hair and a continued popularity of the unshaven look. However, the double-digit growth of razors could indicate a shift. It is likely that continued innovation in the razor segment also is helping to fuel growth.