Virtual interactivity gives shoppers more power
Beauty is “plugging in,” a trend that is set to drive innovation in the year ahead, according to recent research by Mintel Beauty and Personal Care.
“We’re seeing this trend manifest itself in several ways,” stated Nica Lewis, global skin care analyst at Mintel. “From the next generation of at-home beauty devices that harness energy and light to new ingredients that boost cellular energy, beauty brands are giving consumers more power and vitality for better results.”
While the United States is the dominant market for powered face care devices, European manufacturers are developing innovative light and laser-based solutions for anti-aging, according to Lewis.
In addition, 2012 and beyond will be driven by the power behind the technology — ingredients that harness or boost cellular energy, such as sugar and oxygen. Ingredients that limit or shield the skin from high-energy blue or violet light also will be a focus.
A key part of the trend, dubbed “Kinetique,” is point-of-sale retail and packaging elements. In fact, Mintel predicted a rise in packaging and products that increase the interactivity between virtual and beauty worlds, such as sound, video and QR codes embedded in beauty packaging.
“One of the best recent examples is Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows Volume IV, which has a USB port built into the palette so consumers can download makeup tutorials and listen to music while they’re getting ready,” Lewis stated. “This blurring of the on- and offline space is critical for brands and retailers.”
Lewis also noted the growing use of tablets and the personalization of the in-store experience. Rite Aid, for example, is “trialing an in-store kiosk that performs anonymous video analytics to determine the age and gender of customers standing in front of it. The Reward Center then dispenses vouchers and customized promotions,” Lewis stated.
Vitamin shoppers spend more across HBA
According to analysis by Pharmavite, vitamin-buying households spend more than other category buyers across the health and beauty department with regard to average dollars spent per item per occasion. Vitamin buyers spend $14.95 per item per occasion, versus $14.54 for the next highest category (women’s fragrance) and $12.11 for shoppers buying diet aids.
Vitamin buyers also represent a larger prescription opportunity. The average vitamin buyer spends $579 annually on prescriptions, versus $533 for purchasers of analgesics and $493 for purchasers of allergy and cold medicines.
Vitamin and supplement sales were up by 3.5% to $3.6 billion for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 19 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), according to scan data provided by SymphonyIRI Group. Across single-ingredient supplements, essential fatty acid sales have surpassed sales of the previous big fish in the supplement category — glucosamine and chondroitin. For that 52-week period, essential fatty acid sales totaled $347.2 million (up 5.3%) versus glucosamine and chondroitin sales of $286.4 million (down 6.4%). An up-and-coming product category is probiotics, sales of which were up 21% to $161.5 million for the period.
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