Editorial

Are We There Yet?

July 2, 2008

This isn’t some diatribe about summer family vacations. Nope, now that we’re past the halfway point for 2008, I’m just wondering if your company has experienced a slowdown during the first six months of the year. After all, consumer confidence is dropping, unemployment is rising and the housing market remains in the dumps. If that weren’t bad enough, Standard & Poor researchers say an actual recession won’t hit until later this year, after the U.S. Federal Government’s stimulus package has run its course. In fact, the folks at S&P predict the recession will be at its worst sometime early next year.
   
Meanwhile, every day we get news from suppliers that they’re raising their prices to partially offset skyrocketing commodity costs. Of course, those price increases ultimately get passed on to the consumer who thus far, has remained amazingly resilient despite all the bad economic news.

Be sure to check out The Top 50, our annual look at the leading U.S. companies in the household and personal products industry. Nearly every company on our list reported that 2007 was a good year and that first quarter results for 2008 weren’t bad either. Just goes to show you how recession-resistant—but not recession-proof—our sector can be. Sooner or later, every company in The Top 50 will feel the effects of an economic downturn, even a short-lived one. That’s why it is so important for companies to uncover new categories that offer real growth potential.
   
Luckily for you, we have one. In The Nutricosmetics Market,  associate editor Christine Esposito explains how companies are successfully merging beauty and nutrition in novel and exciting ways. What’s more, the U.S. accounts for just 3% of this $1.5 billion market, which means that there is plenty of room to grow—no matter what the economy is doing.

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