Sun Care Looks on the Bright Side

By Katie Rodgers, European Cosmetic Markets | March 28, 2008

Sun care has proved to be a mixed bag across the Big 5 countries during the past year with both good and bad news being reported. While the French and Italian sun care markets posted a dazzlingly bright return to form last year, the German market did not fare so well, registering losses in both value and volume terms. The UK also registered a slight dip in value, but it was so negligible it was probably nothing to be too concerned with, while the Spanish sun care industry has high hopes for 2008, following last year’s swell in market value.
The French market reported sunny results in the sun care sector— results from Febea showed that the entire French sun care market was looking up, gaining 8.3% to reach a staggering $485 million overall. The individual channels also showed marked improvement as sales rose to $12.6 million in the pharmacy channel, a rise of 13.2%, while the mass channel reported an increase of 6.9% to $14.1 million. Disappointingly, sales did not follow through as significantly on aftersun products, although the mass market singularly registered growth of 7.9% to nearly $19 million. But any hopes that this would be replicated overall in the market were quashed by losses in other categories, leaving the sector flat at 0.6% to about $53 million.
The lip protection category proved to be the weakest by some distance, slipping 27.5% to $5 million, with all channels recording substantial losses. And the baby sun care boom of 2005 was clearly over by the following year too, as sales declined 17.5% to $12.4 million. These losses may have been severe, but as the two smallest product categories, they did little to dent the growth of the sun care market.

Sunny Side Down

Things did not look so bright for the German sun care market, however, as the entire segment fell by 8% to $210 million, while volume slipped 14.5%. In the sun protection category, value sales dropped 6.5% to $151 million. Aftersun sales rounded off a dismal year for the market, also dipping by 11% to $23 million. Other products, including pre-tanners, fared even worse, slipping 23.7% to $1.2 million.
In fact, there didn’t seem to be much of a summer mood at all last year since self-tanners also struggled, losing 11.7% to $34.7 million.
As far as formats were concerned, milks and lotions ruled supreme in 2007, as sales fell 10.6% to $69 million. Next in line were sprays which declined 9.6% to $37 million. Creams followed with a comparatively strong performance of $29 million, up 4.6%, while sticks fell 4.7% to $21.5 million. Balms and fluids slid 2.2% to $12 million, and gels fell 22.3% to about $4 million.
Unipro figures revealed that Italy’s sun care category rose 4.7% to $439 million. Pharmacies racked up sales of $112 million while the perfumery channel posted sales of $114 million. Mass channels recorded sales of $212 million with $84 million of the total coming through the tills of supermarkets and hypermarkets.
Mintel predicts a bright future for the Italian sun care market, estimating that the category will increase another 6% before 2011. Sun care certainly has potential, given that just 1% of Italians applied sun care products on a regular basis during the nine months ending December 2007, according to TNS Worldpanel.
Indeed, the Italian marketing and manufacturing camp went all out to show those consumers with just how impressive sun care products could be in 2007. And it looks like the far from ideal weather over summer 2007 will not dampen their spirits as innovation for summer 2008 is highly focused on added extras.

Spanish Highs and Lows

The Spanish sun care market also posted good gains. Both mass and selective markets rose 8.4% to $149 million and $26.3 million, respectively. However, despite this upturn, an epidemiological survey carried out in January 2007 among 2,000 Spaniards concluded that 78% of men and 68% of women sunbathe at risk. It therefore comes as no surprise that skin cancer in Spain is rising at an alarming rate of 10% a year, according to national statistics. Doctors recommend using sunscreen with an SPF greater than 20, which should be applied every two hours and immediately after swimming. It seems that most Spaniards do not heed this warning and many still believe olive-colored skin requires minimal protection. Spain must address this issue and exciting new product development to lure customers may be one such solution.

Cooling Britannia

UK sun care sales declined 0.9% to $393 million, according to figures from TNS Worldpanel. Looking at individual sectors, sun care protection had a 78.3% market share, followed by aftersun products (12.3%), self-tanners (9.3%) and pre-tanners (0.1%).
According to TNS, global climate change and the increased number of international holidays taken by UK consumers are two factors that should have positively affected the skin care and sun care industry more than most. However, as more consumers travel abroad to increasingly sunnier climes, it seems that sun care is not at the forefront of concerns as figures for the overall sun care market, in value and volume, post a steady decline.
Interestingly, high sun factors are increasingly in demand, demonstrating that consumers are perhaps becoming more aware of the continued risk of illness due to sun damage. A heightened awareness of skin cancer and other such ailments was demonstrated by products with factors 35+ posting the only year-on-year growth rates out of all the sectors. Reaching a 13.2% increase to hold a 25.9% share of the market, sun care factors 35+ were by far the favorites, followed by factors 10-15 at a growth of 2.1% and a market share of 24.7%.

New to Market

Rapid new product development has always been a hallmark of sun care and last year was no exception. In France, La Roche-Posay introduced Anthelios XL. Many of the products in the line incorporate SPF50+, including Crème Fondante for normal to dry skin, Fluide Extrême, an ultra-light texture available in two variants (combination and oily skin), and a stick for sensitive areas of the face. UVA protection exceeds the European standard and the products also contain Senna alata extract, which is staid to provide protection against cellular damage.
Meanwhile, German prestige cosmetics and toiletries brand Marbert has launched two products in its Active Sun range, which the company claims reflect the new EU sun protection regulations. For the face there is a new cream with SPF15 said to strengthen the skin’s own immune system, calm irritated or sensitive skin, protect against aging and increase hydration thanks to vitamin E, bisabolol, ectoine and organic and mineral UVA/B filters. While Face & Body Emulsion SPF20 is described as a fast-absorbing, water-resistant product with organic and mineral UV filters, antioxidant vitamin E, the special ingredient dimethylsilanediol salicylate, a protein complex said to fight inflammation and prevent skin irritation caused by external factors, and the oligo saccharide Thalitan complex, which reportedlyclaimed to boost melanin production.
Italians also enjoyed a plethora of new products. L’Oréal Paris introduced Spray Nebulizzatore Autoab- bronzante Corpo, effetto levigante, a self-tan designed to create an airbrush effect, thanks to micro-particles of self-tanning ingredients and toning ingredients, which build a subtle color, while lifting and toning the skin. Stablemate Garnier, meanwhile, witnessing the success of gradual tanning products in Italy over 2006-7, launched its Bodysummer latte idratante colorito natural alla camomile to the Italian market.
Spain welcomed many launches in the self-tanning category—a key area for the country.
Lancaster has taken self-tanning two steps further from the traditional DHA formula to obtain a more uniform color as well as enhancing melanin production when skin is exposed to the sun as Lancaster self-tanning products incorporate solar filters SPF6. While Clarins introduced Créme Délicieuse Auto-Bronzante with cacao bean extract to prevent skin aging and to calm stressed skin while providing soft, amber, uniform self-tanning.

An Expansion for L’Oréal

Lastly, in the UK, L’Oréal has covered all the bases with its Solar Expertise range. New Anti-Aging Sun Care Collagen Protector comes in a cream gel that is enriched with Pro-Collagen to protect against sun-induced premature skin aging. Also new is Transparent Spray Advanced Sun Protection product.
So while the sun care market across the Big 5 has shown peaks and troughs, it is clear that NPD is as strong as ever, with companies competing to produce innovative and effective sun care lines in all sectors, from self-tanning to aftersun—some of which are bound to pique the interest of consumers in a segment with plenty of room to grow.

European Cosmetic Markets is published monthly by Wilmington Media. It provides in-depth data and analysis of the European cosmetics and toiletries market. For subscription details contact Wilmington Media, Tel: (44) 20 7549 8626. Fax: (44) 20 7549 8622
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