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Are Sunless Tanner Sales Fading?

July 14, 2008

Despite warnings about prolonged sun exposure—both from the real McCoy and at the local tanning salon— sunless tanner sales have fallen since 2006. According to new data from Mintel, sunless tanner sales tallied just $181 million in 2007, a drop of 5% from 2006, a year when there was a steady stream of new products hitting shelves.

Kat Fay, a senior analyst with Mintel, stated that one possible explanation for the decline in sales is that “consumers rushed to the market to try new products but backed off after the initial trial. It appears that people weren’t fully satisfied with the effects of sunless tanners.”

In Mintel’s survey, the main complaint of respondents who have stopped using sunless tanners was that they are too hard to apply (42%). Additionally, 33% of Mintel’s respondents said they’ve stopped using the products because the results appear too artificial.
“Consumers are looking for a product that offers both tanning and skin care benefits without requiring too much effort, so anything that promises to enhance this experience would attract new users,” added Ms. Fay. In the survey, 61% said they look for a product that works quickly and reliably.

According to Mintel’s data, 39% use sunless tanning products to decrease the risk of damaging sun exposure and 16% use them on a regular basis in place of moisturizer.

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