Overall, 2007 was a successful year for the Big 5’s deodorant market with gains registered in all countries. The UK, Germany and France all came up smelling of roses with decent growth, while Italy and Spain posted more modest gains. However, in what is predicted to be hot summer across Europe, there is no reason to think this success won’t continue.
After a slow couple of years, French deodorant sales rose 5.4% to $806 million, according to FEBEA, an industry group.
The biggest gain was made by the male deodorant sector which climbed 7.4% to $344 million. Sprays in general also proved popular, rising 6.8% to $230 million, with the mass market establishing itself as the largest channel for deodorants.
New product launches in France have shown promise, too. Nivea (Beiersdorf) launched a deodorant that combines skin care with effective protection in Double Effect. The formula offers 24-hour antiperspirant protection and is enriched with natural avocado extract, which Nivea claims helps the user achieve soft, smooth underarms. In fact, a consumer test carried out by Beiersdorf in France and Germany on 600 women found that 80% said their underarms were softer than before they had used the product. Available in spray and roll-on formats, Double Effect is scented with notes of green olives, bamboo leaves, green musk and woody notes while the lilac packaging is designed to give the product an ultra feminine appearance.
According to German industry group IKW, the country’s deodorant market posted a 4% sales increase to $884 million. German consumers overwhelmingly chose the aerosol over all other formats at 63% of market share, with roll-ons following at 25%, pump sprays at 6.8% and sticks/creams lagging behind at just 5.2%. Aerosol sales rose 5.1% to $425 million and volume increased 5% to 26.7 million units.
Germans Prefer Aerosols
As far as product types were concerned, the German market is split almost evenly. Standard deodorants were slightly in the lead with a 50.9% share of the value market and 54.9% of volume sales. However, this segment only grew 1.7% to $393 million while volume fell 0.4% to 17.8 million units, suggesting that price increases were responsible for the positive value turnover performance. Antiperspi-rants, on the other hand, showed solid results of their own, climbing 2.2% to $380 million and 9.2% to 14.6 million.
There were plenty of new product launches in Germany during the past 12 months and all the big cosmetics and toiletries manufacturers, including Beiersdorf (Nivea and 8x4 brands), Schwarzkopf & Henkel (Fa and Bac) and Unilever (Rexona, Axe and Impulse), were well represented. Deodorant fragrances are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and complex in Germany and Asian-inspired ingredients were heavily in evidence, but there were also some products that placed the emphasis on skin care benefits rather than deodorizing action.
Slow but Steady
The Italian deodorant market was a bit slow off the mark in 2007, reporting a gain of only 1.5% compared to 2006’s even smaller 1% growth. The most recent rise did boost market value to $510 million, but this is small fry compared to Italy’s dynamic cosmetics and toiletries sector overall. Still, sales were up in all channels, with mass market deodorant sales reaching $411 million, pharmacies taking $55 million and perfumeries ringing up $44.6 million in sales.
In terms of product development, P&G’s Infasil brought out bioADAPT, a range of deodorants that promise to work in harmony with the body. The range is approved by AIDECO (Associazione Italiana Dermatolgia e Cosmetologia). The deodorant works, according to Infasil, with a “hydroregulation action,” which reportedly adapts to the body’s personal rhythms throughout the day, guaranteeing freshness and all-day protection.
Spain’s deodorant market posted mixed results in 2007. Like Italy, there were some gains, but nothing to write home about. Market value rose 3% to $396 million, which equated to 14.8 million liters in volume terms, a small 2.2% increase.
Industry experts blame the slowdown on economic problems in the country, which meant that both the mass and selective channels were sluggish and the fact that there were far less deodorant product launches in Spain last year than in 2006, which may well have impacted sales.
A Struggle at the Top
For the past several years, Sanex has vied with Axe and Rexona for the position of leading deodorant brand in Spain. Last year, Rexona ousted Axe to become the top selling deodorant in Spain. But so far in 2008, the Sanex brand holds the lead with nearly 15% of total value share. Axe has a 14% share and Rexona is in third position with a 12% share. Nivea and Dove are the fourth and fifth ranking brands with 8.6 % and 6.8% shares, respectively.
Good Gains in the UK
The UK deodorant market, meanwhile, climbed an impressive 5.1% to $953 million and volume mirrored that, rising 2.7% to 44.4 million units last year. TNS Worldpanel credits the gain to an increase in price per pack and consumers spending more per individual purchasing trip. Looking at individual sectors, the aerosol and pump action category rose 6.3% to claim 79.7% of the market, while roll-ons dipped slightly to 14.1%.
Clearly, a lot of money is getting invested into certain areas of the UK market, particularly in the men’s deodorant subsegment.
Unilever launched an $18 million advertising campaign for Lynx this year, creating a new concept along the way. New Lynx 3 contains two fragrances, which create a third scent when sprayed together. Another new Lynx product that’s been well received is Lynx Dark Temptation, a Lynx spray with a hint of chocolate in the fragrance. Meanwhile, Unilever has launched a new Sure for Men product, Sure Quantum, which has advanced odor technology.
With new product launches abounding, there is more innovation that ever in the Big 5 deodorant arena, with experts predicting that the hot summer ahead will boost European sales and promote new launches and advertising campaigns. After a fairly successful 2007 behind them, marketers can expect an even better 2008.