Online Exclusives

Why this Summer Isnt Sizzling

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | July 6, 2010

Ready for a double-dip? More consumers in the U.S. are curtailing their vacation plans in an effort to save money. Their cost-saving measures play a role in the household and personal care industry, too.

Not so fast. A year ago, U.S. consumers were fairly optimistic when asked about the prospects for the U.S. economy. But a year later, with growth slowing, housing problems continuing and Wall Street indexes falling, consumers are not so sure about this recovery and not even the lure of a much-needed vacation can get them to loosen their purse strings.


SymphonyIRI’s recently-completed 2010 Summer Rituals Survey found that American consumers entered the current vacation season with a conservative spending mindset compared to a more optimistic outlook expressed by consumers in the summer of 2009. According to SymphonyIRI, this year, they are more apprehensive and are selectively keeping their wallets closed to “extras” and cautiously open for essentials.


For example, 57% of consumers in the lower-income brackets plan to spend significantly less or not spend any money on vacations in 2010—a 15-point increase over 2009. Meanwhile, in households earning $35,000-$54,999, 46% plan to reduce or completely eliminate their vacation budget in 2010, while 38% of households earning $55,000-$99,999 have the same plans.


Even the well-to-do aren’t feeling so hot about their prospects this summer. Among households earning $100,000 or more, 34% will reduce vacation spending this year. Furthermore, 12% of consumers within this income group plan not to spend for vacation at all in 2010. No one from this income group surveyed in 2009 said they would spend nothing at all on vacation.


“We found that last summer, consumer were opening their wallets more because they thought it was going to be a speedier economic recovery,” explained Susan Viamari, editor of SymphonyIRI’s Times & Trends. “This summer they think the recovery is taking longer and they’re not sure when it will get better.”

It may be difficult to connect-the-dots, but consumers who pull back on vacation spending are also finding ways to curtail their household and personal care product spending too. For example, in the beauty care category, they’re trying to make personal care products last longer by adding water to that seemingly empty shampoo bottle or trying to make household cleaning products last longer (see charts).


“There is a darkening in the consumer mindset,” observed Viamari.
“Consumers are saying ‘we became a little too free-spending (before the recession).’”


Now they’re trying to reverse that. But this new frugality doesn’t have to translate into gloom and doom for marketers of household and personal care products.


For example, marketers of at-home hair color kits stand to benefit from a decline in visits to hair salons.


“The CPG industry has a nice opportunity here,” insisted Viamari. “(Consumers) are eating at home more and when it comes to health and beauty aids and household cleaners, consumers are doing more for themselves such as coloring their hair and cleaning their own homes.”


Companies that can successfully tap into this conservative consumer mindset may have the best chance of thriving during this rocky recovery.
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Special Effects

    Special Effects

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||August 1, 2016
    Fall 2016 color cosmetics reflect light and offer a focus on elements like pigment, slip and wear.

  • Sustainability is Omnipresent

    Sustainability is Omnipresent

    Christine Esposito , Associate Editor||July 1, 2016
    Industry stakeholders convene in New York City for Organic Monitor’s annual event

  • Perceived Perfection

    Perceived Perfection

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 1, 2016
    From primers to pressed powders, facial cosmetics help create the illusion of a flawless complexion.

  • Long Term Sustainability In the Nonwovens Market

    Long Term Sustainability In the Nonwovens Market

    August 23, 2016
    Learn more at Cleaning Products USA, Nov. 9-11, 2016

  • Fro Yo!

    Fro Yo!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 22, 2016
    Project Beauty dishes out Hairgurt, a line of vitamin-rich hair shampoos and conditioning masques.

  • TLC for Those Who Need It Most

    TLC for Those Who Need It Most

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 22, 2016
    New curriculum debuting at Bellus Academy helps estheticians treat a population that needs TLC.

  • Individualism IS The American Way

    Individualism IS The American Way

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 15, 2016
    Why blue hair and BB creams still thrill US consumers.

  • Red, Black & Blue

    Red, Black & Blue

    August 8, 2016
    No matter who wins the US Presidential election, Americans expect their finances to get bloodied and bruised in 2017.

  • Athletes, Not Objects

    Athletes, Not Objects

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||August 1, 2016
    Dove Unveils My Beauty billboard in Times Square.

  • Patent Update

    Patent Update

    July 28, 2016
    Three-layered hair product from Lauder, palm oil extracts for wrinkle treatment and more in recently awarded patents.

  • Pushin’ the Cushion

    Pushin’ the Cushion

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 26, 2016
    AmorePacific, the creator of the cushion compact, continues to improve its unique product.

  • Senior Skin Care

    Senior Skin Care

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 19, 2016
    McCord Research and Product Quest Manufacturing roll out new hospital-grade skin care kits for seniors to use at home.

  • An Antioxidant Arsenal

    An Antioxidant Arsenal

    July 11, 2016
    BioRewind is Dermarché Labs' new anti-aging regimen that delivers broad-spectrum antioxidant protection against free radicals

  • Enter Éclair

    Enter Éclair

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 5, 2016
    A new naturals line rolls out in Rite Aid stores nationwide.

  • Patent Update

    Patent Update

    June 30, 2016
    J&J's anti-aging patent, LVMH and cannabis essential oil, transdermal botulinum toxins and more in recent patent news.

  • Start Stuffing The Ballot Box (Again)!

    Start Stuffing The Ballot Box (Again)!

    June 28, 2016
    Vote on the finalists in Happi's reader's choice Anti-Aging Product of the Year contest!

  • What

    What's Next for the UK?

    Sarah Boumphrey, Euromonitor International||June 27, 2016
    Euromonitor weighs in on how Brexit could impact consumer product companies.

  • The Future of Innovation

    The Future of Innovation

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||June 27, 2016
    Fashion Institute of Technology graduate students tackle a far-reaching topic for their Capstone project.

  • Problems for Preservatives

    Problems for Preservatives

    June 20, 2016
    David Steinberg details the issues surrounding this critical ingredient category.

  • Voyage to Better Skin

    Voyage to Better Skin

    June 13, 2016
    Skin Inc. rolls out new light-based device to US market.

  • Patent Update

    Patent Update

    June 9, 2016
    Avon’s use of melicope extract, skin care with SPF and chicory root, microdermabrasion cream and more in recent patents.

  • Exploring Green in Vegas

    Exploring Green in Vegas

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||June 6, 2016
    Cosmoprof North America sets the stage for brands dedicated to the growing and evolving eco-friendly beauty space.

  • We

    We're Surrounded!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||May 30, 2016
    Industry experts explain the important role that the skin microbiome plays in human health.

  • Luxury Re-Coded

    Luxury Re-Coded

    Nancy Jeffries, Online Editor||May 25, 2016
    Consumers have new expectations for beauty.

  • Procter Reels in Doctors

    Procter Reels in Doctors

    May 16, 2016
    The Procter & Gamble stand was abuzz during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.

  • If You’re Going to San Francisco…

    If You’re Going to San Francisco…

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||May 13, 2016
    Be sure to contact the Bay Area Beauty Association.

  • Kitchen Counter Cosmetics

    Kitchen Counter Cosmetics

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||May 2, 2016
    LOLI box marks the convergence of natural and organic ingredients, subscription service and DIY cosmetic chemistry.

  • Mapping Out Multicultural Beauty

    Mapping Out Multicultural Beauty

    April 25, 2016
    Agnieszka Saintemarie of Kline Group about current trends and challenges in multicultural beauty.