Its Gains All Around In European Color

By Katie Middleweek, Editor, European Cosmetic Markets | November 4, 2010

Sales of eye and nail color are pacing growth in much of Europe.
All of the color cosmetics markets in the Big 5 made rosy progress during the past year with each of them posting a gain in value terms. The most impressive increases were made in the Spanish color cosmetics market while France, Germany and the UK also made decent gains. Italy fared slightly less well, putting on just 1.1%, but still an increase nonetheless.

On the Nail
According to data from SymphonyIRI, the color cosmetics market in France turned in a colorful performance during the past year, as sales of mass market products through supermarkets and hypermarkets amounted to $767 million, a gain of 4.5%. This may well be because French consumers have turned to this retail channel, which traditionally offers good value for money, as the recession continued to bite.

However, according to recent data from Mintel, sales of prestige brands in France have taken a knock, sliding 4.6% to $1.8 billion by the end of last year. The fastest growing category in France was that of nail products, which posted an 11.5% gain to nearly $84 million.

With fashion trends favoring fanciful nails, the category has boomed during the past year as manufacturers offered consumers an entire spectrum of shades in their seasonal collections. Chanel hit the jackpot with its enormously successful Particulière shade from its Spring nail polish collection, while its most popular polish this season is Paradoxal, a gray violet plum color from its Autumn/Winter collection.

In the mass market, Monoprix’s fourth biggest makeup brand, Biguine Makeup, launched Gloss & Shock Power earlier this year, with the top selling shades being midnight blue, black and dark brown.

Always Imaginative
According to SymphonyIRI, the German color cosmetics market grew 2.3% to nearly $1.5 billion by the end of 2009. Volume sales were also positive, growing 2.4% to exceed 158 million units. Some categories, however, did better than others. Lip product sales declined 0.9%, while sales of nail care products surged 20.4% to top $78 million.

Mineral cosmetics are still extremely popular in Germany and domestic brand Art Deco has capitalized on this trend by bringing out new products for the eyes and lips in the past year. The Mineral Baked Eyeshadow Applicator contains vitamin E and jojoba oil to nourish the delicate skin of the eyelids while its sumptuous collection of colors are packed with pearl pigments to give the eyes extra intensity. Meanwhile, new Mineral Lip Liner in French Rose boasts a protective and moisturizing formula, while still providing lips with a highly pigmented long-lasting texture.

Eyes Wide Open
Color cosmetic sales in Italy grew by 1.1% in 2009, putting its market value at $1.5 billion. Here again the nail category was a key driver for this growth, with sales of these products rising 6.9% to top $266 million. The growth of this channel was especially noticeable in the pharmacy arena, as many Italians have started buying more regularly from these retailers that can be found on almost every high street in the country.

Eye products were also a real boom category for the Italian color cosmetics sector, and this was reflected in the new products that were launched in the past year. Italian brand Naj Oleari, part of the Bottega Verde stable, debuted new products as part of its Magic Expression range. These included Matita Sopracciglia Fissativa, an eye pencil that comes in many different shades, and the new Magic Eye Pen, an eye pencil adorned with glitter that can be used to decorate other facial areas in addition to the eyes.

Sunny Delights
Spain’s color cosmetics market seems to be doing especially well with the top categories of face, nail, lip and eye products all posting value gains in the past year, according to SymphonyIRI. The market is now worth nearly $700 million, a rise of 6% on the previous year. Even more stunning is the 16% gain in unit sales, which reached 61 million units last year. Taking a closer look at the results, facial products alone had a very successful year, putting on 4% in value terms and 10% in volume terms to $280 million and 16.2 million units respectively.

The mass market has been especially strong in Spain, which was reflected in a variety of new arrivals here. Mass-market brand leader Astor launched Perfect Stay vitamin-enriched lipsticks in eight tones of red, rose and chocolate. And The Body Shop brought out Delipscious tinted lip balms and sheer lipcolors based on cocoa butter, sugar and fruit seed oils in nine different colors and flavors in June.

Elsewhere, for the ultimate glossy shine, Max Factor has brought out a new line of lipglosses, Vibrant Curve Effect, in eight new shades. A curvy applicator adds a “fuller more curvaceous look” to the lips, according to the company.

Lip Service
While value sales for color cosmetics in the UK topped $1 billion in the past year, a gain of 3.5%, volume sales were not quite as healthy, putting on a meager 0.2% to slightly more than 114 million units during the same period, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Of this category, face products took the lion’s share of the market at 42.3%, a rise of 2.8.This was closely followed by eye products, which accounted for 38.4%, inching up by 4.6% in its own right.

In terms of the split between private label and branded color cosmetics, branded lines came out on top in the UK, accounting for 67.7% worth of sales while private label color cosmetics, although showing a healthy rise of 4.1% in the past year, only accounted for the remaining 32.3% of the market.

These results would seem to support Leonard Lauder’s“lipstick theory” that in times of hardship, consumers will always turn to beauty products to provide them with a little pleasure. Retailers in particular have been tasked with attracting consumers into their stores and they have been coming up with increasingly innovative ways in which to do it.

Top London department store House of Fraser has just debuted its new retail concept, Apothecary, which showcases a mix of contemporary and classic brands, with a spotlight on niche products in particular. This store-within-a-store has been styled like a traditional apothecary of old and contains a good selection of color cosmetics offerings.

The color cosmetics market in Europe would seem to have much to smile about and with new launches rolling out and consumers always hungry to try the latest textures and innovations, be it a new long lasting formula or a funky new applicator, this market looks one worth keeping a well made-up eye on.

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
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