European Body Care Market Is Plumped Prosperous

By Katie Middleweek, Editor, European Cosmetic Markets | June 16, 2011

The body care market in the Big 5 has, for the most part, improved in the past year with all countries apart from France making value gains. After a couple of years in the doldrums, the UK made the biggest gains, with sales rising 4.3% in 2010. Germany and Italy experienced minor gains, though nothing to get too excited about while France, which is normally a real advocate of all things body care, declined as consumers lost interest or tried to save money.

Rough Around the Edges

According to Mintel’s 2010 data, the French body care market hit the skids, somewhat, as value sales fell 2.6% to about $775 million with product sub-sectors such as gradual tanners in particular turning in sharp losses. The mass market also posted substantial losses with SymphonyIRI France reporting that gradual tanners here fell by a whopping 30% in the past year to total less than $10 million. In comparison, back in 2008, this sub-sector was worth nearly $19 million. Sales of toning and firming products also plunged 30% to $17.3 million in the past year. On a positive note, foot and leg product sales took a step in the right direction, increasing 5% to $33 million.


Dr. Hauschka’s Regenerating Body Moisturizer gets skin firmed, toned and refined.

Natural products are still very on trend when it comes to French body care and there was one company really leading the charge here. Natural and organic brand Melvita launched Algascience, a collection of Ecocert-certified products originally developed for use in balneotherapy spas.

Huile Minceur is a slimming oil that combines hyper-oxygenated olive oil to decongest and regenerate and geranium and lavender essential oil to reduce water retention and stimulate blood microcirculation. Firming properties are also provided by red seaweed while Amazonian andiroba and bellis oils help to drain and tone. Other products in the range include Gel Minceur, which is claimed to help reduce water retention to leave the waist more defined and firmer, and Crème Minceur, which can be used to complement the slimming oil, and Gommage Corporel for intense exfoliation.

Firming Up

The Germany body caremarket has gone through tough times of its own in recent years but fortunately things seem to be on an upswing of late. According to data from SymphonyIRI Germany, the German body care market is inching in the right direction, growing 0.8% last year to $588 million. However sales of adult body care products fell 1.3% to about $438 million, while products for hands and feet each grew 7.3% to $105 million and $44 million, respectively. The market for products for dry or very dry skin rose 1.5%, which showed that German consumers were still buying up products to address this need.

And that is where local domestic company Dr. Hauschka came in, recently launching its new Regenerating Body Moisturizer, which is said to give skin the feeling of being firmed, toned and refined. With its selective medicinal herbs, this product helps the skin preserve and regulate moisture while supporting its ability to self-generate. High quality extracts of plants such as red clover, field horsetail, marshmallow and birch leaves stimulate the innate regenerative powers of the skin, according to the company, as well as helping to firm the connective tissue and refine the skin’s structure, resulting in skin that should feel silky to the touch.

Bella Corpo

The Italian body care market had reason to smile in the past year as it grew 1.2% to nearly $690 million, according to Unipro. This compared with a rather meager 0.2% growth in 2009 so Italians definitely seem to be increasingly interested in getting their bodies in tip-top shape.

Anti-cellulite products are always a favorite of Italian consumers. Sales in this category rose a healthy 4.9% to about $142 million. And another category that is definitely on the rise is that of scrubs and preparation creams. To that end, French company Sephora, which is a niche favorite with Italian consumers, launched a brand new skin care line, Skin Care Sephora, with one product in particular a big hit with customers wanting smoother skin.


Italians love Sephora’s Sugar body scrub.

The Sugar Body Scrub, which is featured in the Coral line, includes red sugar and peach oil in its formula which is said to leave skin silky smooth without any aggravation. And this is an increasingly key factor for Italians when it comes to choosing what they will put on their skin.

Silky Smooth

After several months of stagnation, the UK body care sector is finally moving onward and upward, according to figures from Kantar Worldpanel. The market for body skin care increased significantly, rising 4.3% to reach $550 million by the end of February 2011, as volume increased in line with value, rising 4.6%. These figures proved to be the most robust in the market and are testament to the fact that UK manufacturers are renewing investment in this sector.

The UK body care market as a whole was somewhat dominated by creams and lotions, which made up 49.5% and 40.7% of the body skin care market, respectively. Meanwhile, the fastest growing product type was oil, which increased its market share by 17% year-on-year—although it still accounted for just 2.4% of total body skin care sales in the country.

The Body Shop, a popular UK retailer, took a two-tiered approach to moisturization introducing Body Butter Duo, a single pot with two compartments containing one body butter for normal skin and another for the dry skin found on shins and elbows. The butters are available in floral açai, vanilla, macadamia and sweet pea fragrances. This rather inventive idea is becoming hot property with customers and many people are commenting on beauty blogs that The Body Shop has answered a much-needed requirement with this product!

The body care category is always going to have its ups and downs but there are so many formats, from gels to creams, and from lotions to oils, that it should always be an interesting category with much new product development innovation pumped in. No wonder then, that body care looks set for a smooth future.


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

  • Supply-Side Innovations

    Supply-Side Innovations

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2017
    Raw material suppliers roll up their sleeves and roll out their new products for the global cleaning industry.

  • New Faces in Familiar Places

    New Faces in Familiar Places

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2017
    The American Cleaning Institute officially welcomed its new president.

  • Special Delivery

    Special Delivery

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2017
    UV protection is important, but what good is that sunscreen if consumers won’t apply it?