The hair care markets across the Big 5 experienced mixed fortunes last year. Two countries, France and the UK, actually posted declines, and while Germany, Italy and Spain’s hair care markets did climb, they posted only modest growth.
However, on a more positive note, there was impressive new product development in all countries, which is surely a sign that while markets might be flat, those investing in the market hold out some hope for improvement still.
The French hair care market fell 1.2% to $1.2 billion, according to figures from IRI France. The volume sector showed an even steeper drop, slipping 2.3% to about 228 million units. As the largest category, shampoos pulled down the whole overall market value with its 2% loss to $618 million, with colorants posting a drop of 1.2% to $373 million. The only area of the French hair care market to show some positive growth was that of conditioners, rising 0.9% to reach $262 million.
In terms of new products, Dop (LaScad/L’Oréal) introduced a nourishing and repairing line for dry or damaged hair in the form of Au Lait de Coco. Enriched with coconut milk extract for its nourishing and protective properties, it also contains cationic polymers to smooth the hair and repair weakened zones. There are two complementary products—Shampooing Très Doux gently cleanses hair and can be used frequently without weakening the hair, and Crème de Soin Réparatrice, an intense repairing cream, is said to be ideal for repairing fragile or damaged hair.
Germany: Slow but Steady
According to IRI Germany, the German hair care market remained stable last year, posting steady, albeit small, growth in most areas. In the hair care category, which includes shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments, the market posted a 3.8% gain, to just over $1 billion, while volume grew by 0.9% to 93.2 million units. Of this growth, shampoos accounted for the majority of sales, reporting a turnover of $720 million, up an impressive 5.6%.
In terms of shampoo types, anti-dandruff products won hands down with a 21.8% share of the value market in first quarter of 2008, showing an increase of 11%, followed by dry hair with an 18.1% share of the market (+14.9%). And apparently the demand for products addressing the needs of normal hair has declined—at least in value sales—because this product type actually dropped a rather steep 4.5% to 13.6% of the market.
Regarding new product development. German market stalwart Guhl (Kao Europe) kicked off a comprehensive brand relaunch across its entire portfolio in Germany. Guhl, which specializes in plant-based hair care products, originated in Switzerland and was introduced to Germany in 1966. The company says that it wants to rejuvenate the brand while retaining its strong heritage and therefore updated the distinctive A-shaped Guhl bottles with a slimmer, more elegant design. The product lines were also renamed and now emphasize the benefits of the individual products rather than the active ingredient.
Italy: On the Up
Meanwhile, the Italian market posted a modest growth of 0.75% in 2007 to reach nearly $1.3 billion. Shampoos gained 1.1% to reach $658 million, while conditioners and masks edged up by just 0.6% to $209 million. Hair treatments, including lotions and phials, meanwhile fell 5.4% to about $90 million.
The big launch of the year in Italy was Collistar’s Speciale Capelli Perfetti range. Linea Colore Lungadurata (long-lasting color) includes Shampoo Illuminate (brightening shampoo), Maschera Rigenerante (regenerating mask), Cristalli Liquidi Lucentezza Immediata (immediate shine liquid crystals) and Siero Illuminante (brightening serum).
The principle active ingredients include fruit acids, the patented Escalol HP610, said to help protect against UV rays, Moringa oleifera extract, lipo aminoacids, jojoba oil, sunflower seed extract, green tea extract and vitamin E. The ingredients combine to reinforce the hair’s structure and protect hair color from aggressors such as UV rays and frequent washing.
Spain: Lengthening and Lustrous
The Spanish Fragrance and Cosmetics Association, Stanpa, has reported that the Spanish hair care market surged 4% to reach nearly $1.5 billion. In keeping with this, Stanpa also reported that the per capita spending on hair care products rose from $50.63 to $53.04. Company-wise, Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal and Unilever hold 75% of the total shampoo market and 63% of the conditioner market in Spain.
The Spanish public seems to want to spend its money on hair care and the manufacturers are happy to oblige. Puig Beauty & Fashion introduced the U.S. brand Tresemme by Alberto Culver to the Spanish market in May. Spaniards, for the first time, will be able to purchase 17 Tresemme products which include four shampoos, four conditioners, three masks, hair styling mousses and hairsprays as well as a heat protection product created just for Spain.
UK: Peaks and Troughs
Lastly, the UK hair care market dipped by a disappointing 1% in the past year to $1.77 billion. Volume declines were even worse, with units falling 3.6% to 414.9 million units last year. However, there was one area posting good growth; hair colorants grew by 3.7% in volume terms to take a 25.4% market share. Shampoos just edged ahead of them with a 29.3% share and conditioners came in third at 22.1%.
There was indeed a busy year on the launch front in the UK with the industry finally listening to the needs of its consumers. As nearly 1 in 5 UK women suffer from dry hair conditions, it is no surprise that the hair care market is overrun with products addressing this problem.
L’Oréal has targeted this category with its new Re-Nutrition range. The products include a caring shampoo, a caring cream conditioner, a nourishing day fluid, a replenishing masque and a night serum. Made with Royal Jelly, the range is said to re-nourish hair and create a suppleness that has been lost due to external aggravators. Unilever also enjoyed success with its Sunsilk brand in 2007 following the $8 million promotion featuring UK pop band Girls Aloud and has continued to chart that success with its staple brand Dove. The brand recently introduced the Dove Therapy range, which is a selection of shampoos and conditioners with an added repairing or protecting serum in the formula.