Body Care: Taking The Rough with The Smooth

May 28, 2010

It’s been a roller coaster for the Western European body care market during the past 12 months—some market values have gone up while the rest have slumped. Germany and the UK reported losses, while France and Italy managed slender gains. Spain, however, posted a big increase. And there were some interesting and innovative new body care products launched, which gives hope that the sector is moving in the right direction.

Smoothing Things Over

According to the latest data from Mintel, the French body care market rose 1.7% to $950 million in 2008. Of that total, sales of anti-cellulite and firming products rose 4.4% to nearly $277 million. In contrast, sales of body moisturizing products actually slipped 2% to $353 million. Tanning moisturizers are also worthy of note, having increased their market share from 6% to 11% during that time.

As is evident in the aforementioned figures, French women have always been very interested in purchasing products that banish the effects of cellulite, and Elancyl Offensive Cellulite 14 Jours (Pierre

Can the Big 5 body care market slough off a lackluster 2009?
Fabre) is one new product that offers multiple anti-cellulite benefits. It is claimed to be the first triple-impact solution for achieving visible results on embedded cellulite on the thighs, hips and bottom. The first action works to smooth dimpled skin using slimming actives xanthoxyline, caffeine and phloridzin; the second “resculpts,” using a complex formulated with ivy to boost elastin and strengthen collagen; and for the final action, xanthoxyline works to limit the development of new fat cells thereby helping to prevent recurrence, according to the company.

Roughing It

The German body care market was somewhat rough around the edges during the past year, losing 1.3% in value terms in 2009 to slip to $705 million, according to SymphonyIRI Germany. Volume wise, it was a similar story with unit sales slipping 0.4% to 203.3 million units.

By retail channel, it is no surprise that drug stores captured the biggest share of business in the body care sector with $491 million worth of business ringing through its tills. And there hasn’t exactly been a surge of new body care products in the German market either with German company Schwarzkopf & Henkel launching no new body care products in the past year which is quite telling in itself.

However, one German company that did bring some new offerings to market was Hauschka. Its Dr. Hauschka Med Pflege Lotion Mittagsblume is for the daily care of flaky, sensitive skin and Dr. Hauschka Med Intensiv Crème Mittagsblume is for especially dry areas such as the knees, elbows and the face. Mittagsblume is the German name for the ice plant (Mesembryanthemum crystalline), which is said to be particularly rich in minerals and trace elements which smooth and calm the skin. The formula also contains jojoba, sesame and almond oils which help to protect and nourish the outer layer of the skin without leaving a sticky afterfeel. Both products in the body range are dermatologist-tested, free from synthetic ingredients and are also said to be suitable for children.

Bella Italia

According to figures just released from Italian industry body Unipro, the Italian body care market posted a narrow 0.2% gain to $715 million in 2009. In fact, body care now accounts for 17% of the Italian cosmetics and toiletries market. Of the total value, the biggest sub-sector was that of softening creams which put on 1% to total $263.6 million while anti-cellulite products were next in line totalling $142 million, although this sub-sector saw a staggering loss of 9.1% in the same year.

When it came to new products, domestic companies such as Deborah Milano, came up trumps with new, innovative items to tempt consumers. In 2009, Deborah focused its launch activity specifically on the subject of anti-cellulite with its new Cream Gel Anticellulite.

The treatment aims to fight cellulite by employing vegetable actives to stimulate the mechanisms that regulate the skin’s equilibrium. The gel comes in a special applicator form which features a massage tool said to stimulate the circulation at the same time as applying the product. The formula features liporeductyl, a caffeine based complex and algisium C, derived from algae.

Sunny Delight

According to data from SymphonyIRI Spain, the body care market in Spain recorded the most promising results of all the Big 5 countries. Value wise, it rose 5% to $232 million, while volume also grew by 4% to total 15.2 million units. The mass market has received a particular boost in the past year as, in times of economic crisis, Spanish consumers often trade down and purchase many more own label brands.

But international brands, which have always done well in terms of body care in Spain, have come out with a variety of new products in the past year.

In the mass market, Dove (Unilever) has brought out three new moisturizing body lotions in the form of Dove Shape Up which includes ginger extract to stimulate microcirculation, shape and firm skin.

Dove is currently promoting its Perfect Curves product in a new anti-cellulite kit that comes with a corresponding firming body lotion. Meanwhile Nivea (Beiersdorf) has extended its body care line to incorporate anti-aging properties in its DNAge Cell Zone Action and Anti-Age Treatment as well as its new body milk formulas in Triple Action, Nutritive and Firming variants.

Dull and Lackluster

The UK body care sector has been somewhat stagnant during the past year, according to Kantar Worldpanel, with body care sales actually slipping 0.5% to $680 million. However, it was not all bad news as volume managed to grow 2.3% to 144.28 million units last year. Of this total, skin care took 78.7% of the market share with the rest given over to razors and depilatory products. However the skin care sub-sector has also experienced a decline, falling 1.4% to $533 million.

When it came to new SKUs, many spa brands maintained a strong presence in the UK body care market in 2009 with Elemis (Steiner Leisure) adding a new twist to its skin care lineup with the launch of its Exotic Lime & Ginger Body Care collection. The range includes the brand new Exotic Lime & Ginger Hand and Body Lotion, which has been created using blends of citrus, lime, vetiver, petitgrain and ginger essential oils.

With a slightly lackluster year behind it, many in the industry are hoping that the rest of 2010 will herald a smoother and suppler path for the Big 5 body care market. Perhaps the other four countries will follow the example of Spain and look to own label brands to fill the gap left by more expensive products or perhaps the tide will turn economically and consumers will start investing in their bodies once again. Long-term neglect is something to be avoided at all costs.