As is the case in many consumer packaged goods categories, cosmeceutical sales suffered during the recession, but the going could have been tougher were it not for cosmeceuticals’ “little luxury” appeal and bang-for-the-buck ability to deliver curative and preventative benefits on top of cosmetic ones. This appeal is contributing to a market rebound amounting to 2% growth in 2010 and 4% growth in 2011. This upswing lifted US retail sales of cosmeceuticals to $9.7 billion in 2011.
Younger generations have grown up immersed in marketing messages making them both appearance-oriented and aware of the importance preventive healthcare. As a result, according to Packaged Facts publisher David Sprinkle, new marketing prospects are opening up at the younger end of the age spectrum, even as aging Boomers open their wallets ever wider to stave off the cosmetic tolls of aging.
According to a March 2012 survey by Packaged Facts, 28% of US adults purchase anti-aging products, while 15% purchase antioxidant products. Of those purchasing anti-aging products, the greatest percentage (39%) make their purchases at drugstores. Still, cosmeceuticals marketers may take nothing for granted, noted Packaged Facts.
Given the new budget constraints, shoppers expect the cosmeceuticals they buy to perform, and the faster the better. Thus any product with a quantifiable “instant gratification” benefit—which has always been a powerful appeal in the color cosmetics category—has an edge. In addition, with the upper end of the market rebounding the fastest, opportunities are greatest for premium mass market and specialty or prestige channel products, expressing pent-up post-recession demand.