Spray Away Success In the AP/Deo Arena

By Katie Middleweek, Editor, European Cosmetic Markets | July 8, 2010

It was certainly a fresh and fragrant year for the deodorant market in Western Europe with all countries in the Big 5 recording gains in the past year. This really is reason for celebration indeed as it has been a while since France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK all reported positive growth across the board in a cosmetics and toiletries sector. And even better news was that volume sales were also in the ascendant.

According to IRI France, the French deodorant market fared well in the past year and by the beginning of 2010 had risen 3.5% to $598 million. Of this total, sales of women’s deodorants rose 4.1% to $305 million, while sales of men’s deodorants weren’t far behind, rising 3.8% to $275 million. However, unisex deodorants fell out of favor with French consumers, as sales dropped 9.6% to just $17 million. Clearly, consumers are opting for either male or female deodorants rather than for unisex variants.

New product wise, natural deodorants gained prominence in France and the Unilever brand Rexona felt it was time to enter the natural arena in 2009 as the brand launched Rexona au Minéral Naturel in two variants. Pure contains rock minerals and offers 48-hour protection with an orange blossom and cranberry fragrance, and Fresh contains minerals from volcanic rock and features an olive leaf and pink pepper scent, while excluding aluminum salts.

Smelling Sweet

The German deodorant market also came up smelling like roses in 2009 as it put on 2% in sales to total $834 million, according to data from IRI Germany. Volume increased an even healthier 3%, to exceed 49 million units last year. When it came to finding out where German consumers purchase their deodorant

Sales of women’s deodorants rose 4% in France last year.

products, it was the drugstore that triumphed yet again in this most utilitarian of categories, taking 51.2% of the market share and accounting for $427 million worth of sales. This was followed by hypermarkets of bigger than 800-square-meters, which recorded sales of $210 million and a 25.2% market share.

Launch-wise, German stalwart Beiersdorf was as active as ever, launching the new Nivea for men Silver Protect deodorant last year. This product exploits the antibacterial power of silver ions to banish body odors. According to Beiersdorf, although the silver ions are tough on bacteria and odors, they are mild and gentle on delicate underarm skin.

Staying Cool

According to industry body Unipro, deodorant sales in Italy grew 4.1% to $549 million. Of this total, perfumeries were the least popular place in Italy to buy deodorants, accounting for just $42 million in sales. Sales in chemists’ shops totalled nearly $61 million, while the category of “other channels” took the majority of sales at $446 million. Deodorant exports rose a healthy 9.3% last year, reaching nearly 13 tonnes.

Launch-wise, Italian company Deborah Bioetyc added its first men’s deodorant, Deodorante Freschezza 24-hr, which forms part of its Byoetic Uomo line. Its formulation is said to be effective for 24 hours while being mild to the skin, as it doesn’t contain any alcohol. Particles in the formula claim to neutralize sweat and provide the user with a feeling of freshness for the entire day. The formula’s hydrating particles are said to moisturize and soothe the skin at the same time.

A Whiff of Success

Things were not quite so optimistic in Spain but the category did manage gains in both value and volume terms nonetheless. According to IRI Spain, deodorant sales rose just 1% to $357 million in the past year, while volume rose 6% to 14.2 million units. A recent study by Unilever in Spain showed that the average Spaniard uses deodorant an average of 6 times per week as opposed to the European average of 6.5 times per week, which may account for value sales not be as strong as in other Big 5 countries.

Similarly to the French market natural, and in particular mineral deodorants, have been on the up. L’Oréal brand Garnier has launched Garnier Mineral, a new five-item deodorant range, in aerosol and roll-on format, based on Mineralite from volcanic rock that absorbs excess perspiration. The Garnier Mineral line offers deodorant solutions to meet all needs, according to the company. Mineral Ultra Dry combats excessive wetness, Mineral Sensitive is hypoallergenic, Mineral Invisible prevents staining while Mineral Silk nourishes the skin and Mineral Fresh offers maximum freshness.

Maximum Protection

The UK deodorant market managed to grow 2.9% to $824 million, for the 12 months ended May 31, 2010, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Volume sales were much more robust, rising 7.3% to nearly 357 million units. The female deodorant category accounted for 68.5% of sales

Coty brand Adidas has had a busy year as it rolled out more offerings for UK consumers who typically love its products. Its new Action 3 Dry Max System is said to be the latest development in deodorant technology and the two new products, Pro Level for Men and Pro Clear for women, are said to achieve up to 40% more protection using a combination of antiperspirant actives and moisture absorbing materials to reduce wetness. The Pro Level for Men product has a more concentrated formula than others in the range and comes in a black can with a cap-free application. Meanwhile the Pro Clear spray for women includes a more concentrated anti-whitening agent than previous products in the range.

The Big 5 countries of Western Europe have all registered sales gains in the deodorant sector during the past year—something that should not to be taken for granted. As other cosmetics and toiletries categories have floundered, deodorants, generally regarded as a hygienic staple of any consumer’s personal grooming regimen, have come up trumps.

European Cosmetic Markets is published monthly by HPCi Media Limited. It provides in-depth data and analysis of the European cosmetics and toiletries market. For subscription details contact HPCi Media Limited, Tel: (44) 0207 193 7447 • Fax: (44) 20 7549 8622