Sun Care Shines Brightly Over Much of Europe

By Katie Middleweek, Editor, European Cosmetic Markets | April 5, 2011

The sun care market in the Big 5 has warmed up during the past year as each country recorded gains in value terms. But while Germany posted the most growth at 5.3%, the UK just about broke even with a scant gain of just 0.1%. Still, a gain is a gain and it is a welcome alternative to a category decline. And when it came to new products there was much activity here to help boost the sector further. At press time, results in Spain were unavailable.

According to data from SymphonyIRI France, sales through hypermarkets and supermarkets in the

Bilboa Capri is new for Summer 2011.
country grew 2.3% in the past year to nearly $1.7 billion—an incredible total, indeed. Still, certain key categories did record a dip in sales. For example, sales of sun protection milks and lotions slid 1.7% to $96 million. One front-runner was sun protection oils, which grew a massive 88.9% to reach $15.2 million in sales. The gains helped oils overtake self-tanning products.

In terms of where French people purchased sun care wares, pharmacies and drugstores continue to be the favorites but the normally successful selective market has lost share and this has been further exacerbated during the recession.

Many sun care products launched in France during the past year have placed some emphasis on the beautifying side of the market, knowing this will be a hit with image-conscious French consumers. And 2011 has seen even more product launches that emphasize the beautifying aspect of tanning in combination with optimal sun protection. Dior’s new collection, Dior Bronze, features its exclusive Tan-Protect complex, which is claimed to combine high-performance UVA and UVB filters with antioxidant micro-capsules to protect the skin and help to prevent aging while also encouraging the development of a more intense and longer-lasting tan.

Dior has also focused on developing the sensorial aspect of the range, with light, non-greasy textures and the scent of Polynesian tiare flower and kaupe flower. Four Protectrice Sublimante sun care products are available, two for the face in SPF15 and SPF30, and two for the body, SPF15 Lait and SPF30 Crème.

Shining a Light
Things are also looking good for the German sun care market with figures from SymphonyIRI Germany indicating a 5.3% increase in sales to nearly $260 million in 2010. In Germany, nearly 80% of the market is devoted to sun protection products while the remaining 20% is split fairly evenly between after-suns and self-tanning products. Sun protection products have been the biggest winner with a 6% gain in the past year, self-tanning products added 3% and after-sun gained 5.5%, so it was good news all around there.

Expanding on the theme of providing beauty benefits through sun care protection, Swiss brand Juvena, which is always a favorite with German consumers, rolled out new Prevent and Optimize Top Protection SPF30. The product is said to protect the face from the sun’s rays while at the same time, offer anti-aging benefits. It is also said to prevent damage from external aggressors such as pollution or adverse weather conditions. The cream has a light consistency with ultra fine gold particles in its formula which leave the skin silky soft, according to the company. Prevent and Optimize Top Protection SPF30 can be used alone as a day cream or over the top of another facial care product.

A Sunny Italian Temperament
According to industry body Unipro, Italian sun care product sales rose a respectable 3% in 2010 to reach $477 million. Of this total, pharmacy sales accounted for a large share with nearly $143 million worth of sales, followed by perfumeries with $100 million in sales.

The increased importance placed on sun protection products in Italy has been traced to sustained marketing campaigns about the need to protect oneself from the sun’s rays. The campaign, which was coupled with a very hot summer in Italy last year, convinced consumers to part with their cash more readily than usual.

One popular sun care line in Italy is Bilboa, which is primarily a range of hair protection products to combat the drying and dehydrated effects of chlorine and marine salt on the hair. However, for the first time, Bilboa launched a sun protection line just for children, Bilboa Capri and Bilboa Kids. Bilboa Capri takes its name from the Mediterranean island it was inspired by, and features SPF15, SPF30 and SPF50 sun protection lotions, as well as an after-sun featuring soothing aloe vera.

Modest Ray of Hope
The UK sun care market rose just 0.1% to $333 million in 2010, a very humble gain indeed, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Meanwhile, volume sales tumbled, falling 3.6% to less than 37 million units. In terms of how the UK market was divided up, sun protection products accounted for 80.1% of sales with after-sun and self-tanning products accounting for 10.5% and 9.4%, respectively. And when it came to the popularity of branded products versus
private label products, it could be seen that branded still ruled the roost with a 69.9% share compared to 30.1% for private label.

Having said that, UK stalwart Boots has upped the ante with a number of new private label products making a debut this summer.

First, the Boots’ Soltan range has been entirely rebranded with new packaging and improved formulations. The retailer has launched Soltan Once, a range featuring products that promise all day protection from UV rays with just one application. The lineup includes New Soltan Once Invisible Aerosol, New Soltan Once Invisible Pump Spray and New Soltan Once Moisturizing Sun Care Cream. Boots has also launched its first after-sun with combined insect repellent spray. New Soltan Hydrating Aftersun Insect Repellent Spray is enriched with cocoa butter to provide moisture while the odorless insect repellent keeps insects at bay.

And lastly, Boots has manufactured a new range for children, which includes Soltan Once Kids Waterplay Lotion, which claims to offer up to six hours of protection and three hours of water resistance.

Overall, it has been a sunny and bright time for the European sun care market in the past year as sales gains have been coupled with varied innovation in what can sometimes be viewed as a fairly limited sector. The gain in sales can be partly attributed to a hotter-than-average European summer in 2010, but it should also be recognized that the sun care category is becoming more dynamic and creative with each passing year. These innovations enable manufacturers to offer more varied products that attract and, ultimately, keep consumer attention year after year. Sun care products may only be used for one half of the year (and not even that in some countries like the UK where the sun seldom shows its face at times) but this is not a market to be ignored.

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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