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Manufacturers Add Life to Mature Hair Care Market

December 19, 2006

2006 has been the year of new product launches in the U.S. hair care market, according to analysts at Euromonitor International, as manufacturers have sought to drive growth in an increasingly mature market. Diana Dodson, Cosmetics and Toiletries Analyst, from Euromonitor International explains, “Over the course of the year, we have seen US hair care players respond to increasing market competition and maturity, by launching a plethora of new products targeting specific consumer segments, in an attempt to differentiate their brands and create value growth.” This strategy seems to be working, with Euromonitor International forecasting value growth of 2% for the US hair care market in 2006, a significant improvement on 2005, when the market declined by -0.6%. Men represent one specific consumer segment that has fallen under the spotlight of hair care players in 2006, as manufacturers follow the trend for segmenting their products by gender. While women have long been the focus for hair care products, manufacturers are now seeing the potential profit in providing for men. In particular, a large number of products have been launched for ethnic men, with different hair 'issues' and desired results. For example, Elasta QP for Men claims to be the first line of hair care for non-Caucasian men. Ethnic hair-care is also becoming increasingly segmented in general, with the launch of products for African American, Hispanic, Asian American and mixed-race hair types all coming to market in 2006. Just For Me Texture Softener has been launched by Alberto-Culver as an alternative to chemical relaxants for women of mixed heritage. Technology puts the shine back into hair care New product launches in the hair care market in 2006 have also involved the introduction of sophisticated new technologies. Alberto-Culver's TRESemmé ColorThrive, for example, is being promoted as a conditioner treatment for colored hair with Fade Lock technology. Euromonitor's Diana Dodson comments, “U.S. hair companies are investing in developing and promoting new technologies not only because they want their brands to stand out in a crowded marketplace, but also because they want them to command higher prices and give a much needed boost to value sales.” Conditioners are currently showing the most promise in this sector, according to Euromonitor International's latest research. Diana Dodson advises, “Conditioners should be a target for hair care companies as they are proving to be a particularly fertile source for new product development, with sales forecast to grow by 14% by 2010.”
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