Most Markets in Europe Have a Colorful Future

By Katie Rodgers, Editor, European Cosmetic Markets | November 7, 2008

It has been a good year on the color cosmetics front with sales up in all of the Big 5 countries (France, Germany, the UK, Italy and Spain). In particular, Germany and the UK registered very positive growth with gains of 10% and 8.7%, respectively.
Taking each country in turn, the color cosmetics market in France rose 4.4% last year to $1.7 billion. Results from French industry group FEBEA show that this gain, although positive, was not as impressive as the one recorded in 2006, when the market grew 6.1%.
Industry experts blamed the slowdown on a weakened performance by the selective channel. There was good news for the pharmacy channel, however, which recorded an impressive gain of 21.8% to reach $123 million. The mass market also reasserted itself as a consistently strong performer in the category, widening its lead over the selective market as the largest channel for makeup, with sales of $720 million, an increase of 6.4%. Direct sales however continued its downward spiral of recent years, losing 7.3% to $24 million.
When it comes to new product launches, the French, it seems, always come up with something new and innovative on the cosmetics front. This year it was Thierry Mugler who recently added Teint Onctueux to his L’Art de la Métamorphose makeup line. It debuted earlier this year with 15 products for the eyes, lips and face. The new mousse foundation is heralded as “the ultimate pleasure foundation,” featuring a fine silicone texture that resembles whipped cream. Sensual to the touch, Teint Onctueux is said to leave skin feeling velvety, while looking radiant.

Colors of the Day

There was more positive news in Germany too. According to industry body IKW, the German color cosmetics industry was worth about $1.7 billion last year, a gain of 10%.
IRI Germany confirmed this good news, adding that volume had also climbed an impressive 5.9% to more than 66 million units, with virtually all sub-categories (except lipgloss) registering solid value and volume increases.
More specifically, sales of eye products (the largest category) rose 9.2% to $516 million, while facial products were next in line with sales of $486 million, a 9.8% increase.
The lip category, unfortunately, didn’t do quite as well. Value only grew a slender 0.7% to $268 million, while volume dipped 0.9% to 30.9 million. Nail products, on the other hand, were more successful; sales rose 1.7% to $126 million and units increased 5% to 28.4 million.
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Launch wise, Korres, a natural brand from Greece which is very popular in Germany, decided to focus on natural ingredients with the launch of its latest lipgloss collection. This range is based on jojoba and moisturizing cherry kernel oil, which reportedly gives a high-gloss effect without stickiness. The glosses are available in 10 shades ranging from beige and pale pink to deep coral and fuchsia. There is also a new Lip Butter lip balm range with shea butter and rice wax, which is said to moisturize lips while adding a hint of color. 

Italians Eye Eye Color

Color cosmetic sales in Italy reached $1.4 billion last year and now represent 14% of the entire cosmetics and toiletries market share in Italy, which is very positive news.
Taking a closer look at the category, facial makeup rose 2.6% to $420 million. Interestingly, while sales of eyeliners and eye pencils rose 4.9%, eyeshadow sales dipped an identical 4.9%.
Another sector to perform very well last year was hand care, with nail removers growing 17.3%, nail lacquers adding 9.8% and creams, gels and lotions growing 3.5% to $230 million. Makeup sets surged 11.5% to $331 million.
Several products launched in Italy in 2007 provided anti-aging benefits and/or sun protection factors as this is another key trend that has appeared in the color cosmetics sector recently.
For example, Deborah launched two new foundations last year—Fondotinta Newskin Compatto and Fondotinta Age Reset. The former is made with sodium, potassium, calcium, almond oil and vitamin E and reportedly has antioxidant properties. Meanwhile, Fondotinta Age Reset is specifically designed for more mature skin and promises to provide an immediate lifting effect for the face.

Sunny Side Up

When it comes to sunny Spain, despite the slowdown in many sectors of the local economy, color cosmetics still proved a very popular category. Sales of color cosmetics in Spain topped $700 million, with the mass and selective channels accounting for 61.8 million units sold in total.
In the mass channel, cosmetics sales rose 4.8% in volume and 7.3% in value terms to 55 million units and $516 million, respectively. In the selective channel there was also an increase of 8.6% in value and 5.5% in volume to $196 million and 6.4 million units, respectively.
In particular, facial foundation, the largest and most dynamic segment for mass color cosmetics in Spain, posted a significant gain with year-on-year sales rising a respective 10.6% and 7.9% in value and volume terms. These gains were driven by the popularity of new mineral-based formulas as well as value-added products with anti-ageing properties that have become more popular in Spain in  recent years.
Spanish consumers had a plethora of new products to choose from in 2007. Some of the latest launches included Astor’s Age Vitality SPF 22, which is based on hyaluronic acid to firm and smooth the skin while pure gold extracts activate microcirculation to freshen and revitalize facial expression, according to the company.
Meanwhile, Maybelline by L’Oréal Paris also introduced its Pure Mineral makeup based on micro-minerals that naturally enhance skin tone and radiance. Italian firm Deborah also launched a new anti-aging foundation called Age Reset. It is said to provide skin with an instant lifting effect as it reduces wrinkle visibility.

And in the UK

When it comes to my very own little island, the UK had a good year on the color cosmetics front, rising 8.7% to reach nearly $1.5 billion last year. Volume jumped 7.5% to 175.8 million units.
According to research from TNS Worldpanel, 62.1% of British women wear makeup and that percentage is growing. Facial cosmetics were the most popular of all color cosmetics purchased in the UK, growing 17%, followed by lipcolor at 15.8% and eye products gaining 8%. Trailing the leaders were nail care and makeup accessories.
Color trends in the UK eye sector are a mix of metallic, sultry tones and natural coordinating shades. Taken together, they give women a range of color options. Nails, meanwhile, have been given a bold shake up by the likes of Miss Sporty and OPI which launched playful colors that are bright and bold such as Taxi! yellow and OPI’s Past Present and Fuschia pink shade.
And the eyes really did have it in the UK in 2007, with a variety of new launches designed to suit all types of peepers. Givenchy (LVMH) opted for a sultry look with its Shadow Show eyecolors including Star Caress and Stylish Grey shades. Combined with the new Phenomen’eyes High-Precision Panoramic Mascara, the look is dramatic and defined. 
In addition, the company created a plethora of limited edition shades for winter 2008. These included Prisme Again! Shimmer’Eyes in Smoky Shimmer and Precious Shimmer and the natural look Dandy Beige color. Similarly, Me Me Me also created a soft look eyeshadow with the Beautifully You color that accompanied the Drama Queen Mascara and Glitterize Sparkling eyeliner pencil.

Connecting the Dots

It can be seen, that while all of the Big 5 countries enjoyed growth in color cosmetics sales last year, some gains were more noticeable than others. However, in Europe, which is increasingly affected by the credit crunch, these gains surely point to a rosy future. Color is back in business and the sheer number of new products flying of the shelves is also testament to the fact that interest in color cosmetics will never fade.

European Cosmetic Markets is published monthly by Wilmington Media. It provides in-depth data and analysis of the European cosmetics and toiletries market. For subscription details contact Wilmington Media, Tel: (44) 20 7549 8626 Fax: (44) 20 7549 8622