European AP/Deo Market Manages To Keep Its Cool

By Katie Middleweek, Editor, European Cosmetic Markets | July 7, 2011

Things are looking up when it comes to underarm protection. The deodorant market in the Big 5 has seen much good news in the past year with all countries reporting gains in value terms. Germany showed the highest growth, followed by France. However, the growth in Italy, Spain and the UK was only very minor, demonstrating that there is still a long way to go in the category, despite the fact that things are moving in the right direction.

A Fresh Future
According to Symphony IRI France, the deodorant market in France kept its cool last year, with sales rising 2.3% to reach $587 million. Men’s deodorants performed better than women’s deodorants, putting on 2.8% to $271 million; in contrast, women’s deodorant sales increased a more modest 1.5% to $309 million. Unisex deodorants are a much smaller category in France, but they too posted dynamic growth of 27.3% to $5.8 million in the past year.

Natural and organic products continue to grow in prominence across Europe. This fact is especially the case in France, where customers cannot seem to get enough of green formulas for their underarm products.

Ushuaïa, the No. 1 organic deodorant brand in France, developed the first certified organic deodorant sprays to offer 24-hour protection. Ushuaïa Bio Déodorant Efficacité 24H contains a 100% natural maize extract as its active ingredient, which is claimed to prevent bacteria from degrading sweat, while limiting perspiration odor. The deodorants are also aerosol-free, and free from parabens, aluminum salts, colorants and synthetic preservatives. Three fragrances are available, and are certified by Ecocert as being 100% natural, Lin Bio des Recoltes d’Eté, Hibiscus Bio du Burkina Faso and Vanille Bio de Madagascar.

No Sweat
The German deodorant market grew the most during the past year, putting on a healthy 3.3% to $822 million in 2010. The two biggest sub-sectors were, unsurprisingly, aerosols and roll-ons, which accounted for 58.7% and 22.7%, market shares respectively. Aerosols put on an impressive 6.5% to $483 million while roll-ons grew 3.0% to $186 million. Unfortunately, all other categories in the German deodorant market lost sales in value terms.

In terms of new products, Unilever’s popular Dove brand rolled out Dove Beauty Finish this spring, which is billed as the first deodorant to include pearlescent mica, a beauty mineral said to enhance the natural look of skin. Dove deodorants are already a best seller in Germany and this particular product aims to appeal to beauty conscious women who want a smooth finish for their underarms, which really puts the emphasis on beauty in the category. The product has been launched in antiperspirant and roll-on formats and the pink and white packaging is designed to stand out on shelf and look great in the bathroom, according to the company.

Spraying Success

Nivea for Men’s
Invisible Solid is a big seller, according to recent reports.

According to industry trade group Unipro, the Italian deodorant market inched up 0.3% in 2010 to $525 million. This was a disappointment compared to the previous year’s much healthier growth of 4.1%, when retailers pulled out all the stops to get consumers to shop for deodorants in their stores. Tactics included a number of price promotions and multiple purchase offers. When it came to key manufacturers in the Italian deodorant market, Beiersdorf’s Nivea brand remained a front-runner.

To this end, Nivea launched Invisible for Black and White, which is available as a spray or a roll-on and is said to help banish white marks—a common complaint in this sector. At the more premium end of the spectrum, Collistar launched Roll-on al Latte d’Avena spray, which is based on an oat milk formula and is said to be hydrating and soothing. The formula also includes chamomile to be extra gentle to the skin after shaving, as many consumers complain that deodorants sting when applied after shaving.

Own Label Versus Branded
The Spanish deodorant market did post gains in the past year, according to Symphony IRI Spain, but it only managed to eek out a tiny 0.04% increase to $341 million. Volume sales did manage to put on 2% to reach 14.2 million units, which was more positive news. Own label deodorant brands are gaining in popularity in Spain, with sales rising 7% in the past year to top $63 million. But branded deodorants are still the customers’ first choice, and remain competitively priced, at least for the time being.

In terms of new products, Colgate-Palmolive’s Sanex Naturprotect has added a “no-white stains” version to its deodorant range, as well as a new variant for men, taking the number of products in this range to four. The formulas in the Naturprotect products are based on mineral alum, which is said to destroy the bacteria that produce body odor. What’s more, they can even be used on the most sensitive of skin and are 100% alcohol-free.

Collistar’s latest deodorant features oat milk to hydrate.
Supermarket Sweep
According to Kantar Worldpanel, the UK deodorant market has reached something of a plateau, growing just 0.1% in the past year to $805 million. Volume sales fared worse, however, dipping 0.7% to 352.6 million packs, perhaps as people switched to larger formats. Own label sales in the UK were small, accounting for just 5.6% in a market increasingly crowded with branded players jostling for attention, often accompanied by expensive and hard-hitting advertising campaigns. However, supermarket giant Tesco may help buck this trend with the recent launch of its Tia range of deodorant products.

The line is split into Tia Active, which is said to offer 48 hours of protection from underarm odor and wetness; and Tia Crystal, which aims to deliver 24-hour protection without leaving white marks on application. Both ranges feature two antiperspirant sprays in Floral Soft and Aqua Cool variants as well as an Aqua Cool antiperspirant roll-on. Tesco has the ability and the backing to really throw its weight behind this campaign and industry insiders are tipping this as a significant own label launch for 2011.

Cool Customers
So, whether it comes from branded products or from own label giants, there has been plenty of innovation in the past year in the field of deodorants. That’s quite an accomplishment in what is often viewed as a fairly utilitarian sector.

Whether it is addressing the old problem of white marks, trying to combat excessive perspiration or just offering consumers a natural formula, European manufacturers have proved there is something for everyone.

While own label products are slowly growing in prominence, the hold of branded products on this market seems to be assured, and it is a grip that isn’t going to loosen any time soon.

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