These are dark days for Western Europe as all countries apart from Spain reported a decline in sun care sales. The drop may have been due to an unusually damp summer across Europe last year or it could just be that consumers are scaling back product purchases.
For example, the French sun care market slumped 11.2% to $1.5 billion, according to SymphonyIRI France. Milks and lotions, the largest category, slid 13.8% to $87 million. Creams and gels declined 15.9% to $7.1 million, while sticks tumbled 34.6% to $6.8 million. Aftersun was the only category in France to grow, rising 1.2% to nearly $14 million, but this in itself was obviously not enough to prop up the category as a whole.
In terms of new products launched, French companies have concentrated on women’s desire to look good as well as protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays. Phytomer’s new Silhouette Soleil Émulsion Protectrice Affinante incorporates an active ingredient found in seawater to stimulate lipolysis and help tone, brown Halopteris scoparia algae to promote collagen synthesis and red algae extract Palmaria plamata to stimulate microcirculation. The SPF15 cream contains oligomer, an active ingredient that delivers a blend of minerals and trace elements to strengthen the skin.
Phytomer has also reformulated Solution Soleil Creme SPF15 by adding an oligomer active in Silhouette Soleil, as well as UVA and UVB filters to protect the skin, and launched a new serum designed to prepare the skin for sun exposure. New Sérénité Soleil Sérum Préparateur de Bronzage, is designed for the face and sensitive areas, incorporates marine ingredients to help enhance the appearance of the tan while protecting the skin against UV.
In the Dark
At press time, 2011 sales data for Germany was unavailable, but if industry insiders are to be believed, results are grim. In terms of new products, Beiersdorf continues to lead the way. New last year were Nivea Sun Invisible Protection SPF50 and Nivea Sun Pocket Size SPF30. The former is a transparent spray which delivers a clear, fine mist to leave skin covered in high quality sun protection lotion and it even has an upside down pump spray to access hard to reach areas. The latter is a handy, pocket-sized sun lotion for on-the-go sporting events or festivals.
Sunny Side Down
In Italy, Unipro reported that sales slid 1.9% to $491 million, down from a 3% gain in 2010. A summer filled with clouds and rain no doubt contributed to this decline.
Despite their low protection levels, Italians prefer oils, probably due to their association with hydrating and nourishing the skin. Several new oils have been launched in mass markets, which incorporate higher SPFs including L’Oréal Solar Expertise Tanning Oil containing an SPF30 in addition to anti-aging properties.
Another L’Oréal brand, Garnier, has released a similar product, Ambre Solaire Protective Optimum Tanning Oil, with an SPF20 and is enriched with coconut oil for intense hydration. In the spray category, Collistar launched Moisturising Tanning Spray (SPF10, 20 and 30). The spray has a fast-drying formula and features a 360° nozzle for easy application.
Spain was the only country in the European Big 5 to report a sales gain, according to SymphonyIRI. Sales of sun protection, aftersun and self-tanning products rose 3.8% to exceed $215 million on a 1.9% decline in volume to 7.5 million units. Breaking the category down further, 71% of overall sales were sun protection products and, of that, some 15% were aimed specifically at protecting the face.
By comparison, last year in Spain, $30.6 millon was spent on tanning products and $16.7 million was spent on aftersun products. And while sun care as a category is traditionally dominated by branded products, there has been a growth in own brand alternatives, according to SymphonyIRI Spain.
Coty had some notable launches. Its Lancaster brand, for example, added sun treatments to its range that have been designed to include protection from infrared rays.
Continuing the trend for high factor protection, the company launched SPF 50 Comfort Touch Cream, which is for the face, and Sun Beauty Satin Sheer Oil, an alcohol-free oil that has SPF30 protection and is said to activate the tan. Both contain titanium dioxide to block UV rays, while an enriched antioxidant complex helps neutralize free radicals.
Barcelona-based Skeyndor introduced three products: Age Preventing Sun Lotion is a water-resistant SPF30 emulsion that is ideal for all skin types, while Vanish Spots Sun Cream DNA Protection is an SPF20 cream to reduce the appearance of spots.
The final product, All Climates Protection, is an SPF50 cream designed for people with sensitive skin or those who are most intolerant to the sun.
In the UK, sales slipped 6.2% to $324.8 million, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Volume fell 4.5% to 35.2 million units. In terms of new product development, manufacturers continue their support of the convenient spray format and lightweight formulas, incorporating them into ranges featuring traditional creams and lotions. Retail giant Tesco launched a comprehensive range of sun protection and aftersun products in spray, lotion, cream and light lotion formats—in lines for normal or sensitive skin, and children and babies.
Soleil Suncare contains a specially formulated cell shield complex infused with antioxidant green tea and vitamin E that aims to prevent premature skin aging caused by the sun.
Johnson & Johnson’s Piz Buin added In Sun Ultra Light Sun Spray, which offers advanced ultra-light protection with a non-greasy and non-sticky finish.
Despite dismal sales, innovation remains brisk. Hopefully a European heat wave will bring consumers back to the shops—where a bevy of fantastic products are waiting for them.
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.