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U.S. beauty device market gears up

BY Antoinette Alexander

Beauty mavens are loving their beauty devices. As untapped potential exists in Asian and European beauty devices markets, the United States has retained its global market share lead with strong double-digit growth in 2012, according to recent research.

Consulting and research firm Kline Group stated earlier this year that the U.S. beauty device market grew nearly 20% in 2012, driven by both new product launches from existing marketers and new players.

"Convenience and a certain economic rationalism are motivating consumers to bring home the beauty experience traditionally provided by aestheticians or physicians," stated Karen Doskow, Kline’s Consumer Products practice industry manager. "It’s a large and growing phenomenon, with at-home beauty devices offering multiple benefits [being] a notable driving force." Presently, there are few truly multifunctional devices on the market, but as is already the case in Asian markets, these will become the norm rather than the exception."

Kline noted that market growth is being fueled by new product launches from such companies as Tria Beauty, Nu Face and BelleCore, in addition to new players like University Medical, with its anti-aging WrinkleMD Eye entering the fray. And Clarisonic continues to deliver high sales growth under its new parent company L’Oréal.

Tria Beauty, a maker of light-based skin care products, recently announced that Ulta is featuring its Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X, the Tria Skin Perfecting Blue Light for acne and a line of topical skin care products on Ulta.com. The Tria Laser 4X and SmoothStart Calming Gel launched in 25 Ulta doors in mid-April.

In March, Tria Beauty announced a similar retail partnership with Sephora.

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Naturally low-cal soda

BY Barbara White-Sax

BETHESDA, Md. — Coca-Cola’s Honest Tea brand is expanding its initial launch of Honest Fizz, a line of naturally sweetened zero calorie sodas. Honest Fizz comes in four varieties: Lemon Limey, Orange Pop, Professor Fizz, and USDA Organic Root Beer — the only organic zero-calorie root beer on the market. Honest Tea is sweetened with a blend of stevia leaf extract and erythritol, a natural sugar alcohol. Low- and no calorie sodas are a fast-growing segment of the carbonated beverage market. Honest Fizz is available in 12-oz. single cans and six-packs.

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Cider follows craft beer trend

BY Barbara White-Sax

Cider may be the most exciting new segment in the beer category. A recent report from Mintel indicated that in the United Kingdom, the market penetration of cider is now equal to lager.

Industry experts predicted that sales of cider could become as strong across the pond in the United States. Technomic’s recent BeerTAB Report called cider "a bright spot in the beer category." The report said that while cider is the smallest segment in the beer industry, it has "tapped into many of the same consumer trends driving craft beer and posted the largest gain," at 31.3% in 2012.

Americans continue to have a hearty appetite for craft beers, a trend that has been driving beer sales at the same time that sales of premium beer have been in a slump. Just as important, marketers see cider as a crossover beverage that has an ability to attract new users — particularly women — to the category who may prefer sweeter flavors than traditional beers offer. New flavors, such as pear cider, keep consumers coming back to the category to try new products.

Like the craft beer arena, small cideries are cropping up and giving the category a local, foodie image. Larger brewers have moved in. Woodchuck Cider, made by Vermont Hard Cider, was purchased late last year by the Irish hard cider company C&C Group, which is looking to grow the underdeveloped category in the United States.

Heineken, which took over distribution of Strongbow, wants to make Strongbow a global cider brand and will put its considerable marketing muscle behind the brand in the United States.

Last year, Anheuser-Busch InBev introduced its Michelob Ultra Light Cider. MillerCoors recently bought Crispin Cider, and Boston Beer launched a line of hard ciders called Angry Orchard. Boston Beer will soon move to national rollout of its regional Cider House Collection.

"As a category, hard cider is growing in popularity — up 64% in 2012 versus 2011, according to IRI. But it is still only about 0.4% of the beer market in the United States compared to England, where it’s closer to 20%," said David Sipes, cider maker for Angry Orchards. Sipes hoped "drinkers will approach Angry Orchard the same way they explore craft beer — looking for innovation, quality and variety."

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