Those Profitable Niche Markets

April 27, 2007

Those Profitable Niche Markets

Those Profitable Niche Markets

Now, more than ever, you can never be too rich or too niche in the personal care industry. For years, we’ve been reporting on successful companies and brands that have managed to exploit a niche within the global personal products industry. Now there’s hard evidence that niches are driving the market.

According to NPD Group, more than 25% of all sales in the $8.2 billion prestige beauty market in the U.S. come from niche brands, that’s up from 2% a decade ago.

 “These niche brands are the catalyst of growth,” said Karen Grant, an NPD analyst.

No wonder why multinationals are snapping up smaller firms that pioneered various personal care categories. In the past year, L’Oréal acquired The Body Shop, Colgate purchased Tom’s of Maine and P&G bought Philosophy. Now, L’Oréal is said to be shopping for an ayurvedic-style skin care firm.

Of course, Happi will continue to report on the newest niches and the startups behind these segments. But be sure to visit Happi.com every month where our online editor Joanna Cosgrove reports on many of the small companies that could ultimately have a big impact in the global personal care market.

Reuben Leaves His Mark

Late last month, Colgate made it official. Reuben Mark will step down as CEO on July 1. He will be remembered as much for his business acumen as for his fiery personality. When Mr. Mark took the helm of Colgate back in the mid-1980s, he was one of the first leaders in the industry to streamline product offerings to focus on the most profitable businesses and improve the bottom line. At the same time, his sharp wit made for a lot of laughs at normally staid annual meetings and analyst sessions. Not that he was always in a jovial mood. Over the years, more than a few analysts received angry phone calls from Mr. Mark when they published less than glowing remarks about Colgate’s prospects. Happi wasn’t immune from his needling either. Years ago, in an interview with Mr. Mark, one of our reporters was taken to task for something we published back in 1989...when the reporter himself was still in grad school! But love us or hate us, it’s nice to know you read us!

That said, we hope you enjoy this edition of Happi. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

Tom Branna
Editorial Director

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