Europe’s AP/Deo Market Freshens Up Its Act

By Katie Rodgers, Editor, European Cosmetic Markets | July 7, 2009

The Big 5 countries were, for once, united in their results when it came to the deodorant sector—sales rose in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK during the past year. France reported the highest growth at an impressive 10.1% while Italy added just 1.6%.

Compared to last year, this was certainly good news as many of the Big 5 experienced both peaks and troughs last year and the most recent results would seem to suggest that the European deodorant market is freshening up its act once and for all.

According to French industry body FEBEA, the French deodorant market soared in the past year to $953 million. Of this total, the mass market has done particularly well, reaching $797 million, a rise of 10.8%. In this channel, supermarkets and hypermarkets continue to dominate sales, accounting for 82% of deodorant sales in 2008. The selective sector has also made impressive gains, rising 10.3% last year to $85.6 million, while pharmacy sales climbed 5% to $48.7 million.

Natural deodorants have always been big business in France and 2008 was no exception. Sanex (Sara Lee) extended its Natur Protect range to include anti-white mark and men’s variants. The products, available in spray and roll-on formats, reportedly contain natural mineral salts extracted from alun stone, which is said to eliminate odor-creating bacteria while allowing the skin to breathe. The products also guarantee 24-hour protection and are paraben- and aluminium salt-free, which is a top priority of French consumers.

Spritzing for Success

Germany’s deodorant sector reached $863 million in 2008, a 3.9% increase. Volume, however, was disappointing, as figures slipped 6.2% to 47.67 million units. Format-wise, the German deodorant sector is dominated by aerosols and roll-ons, which were worth $483 million and $248 million, respectively. The next most popular format was water-based deodorants, which totaled $105 million, according to IRI Germany.

Over at German market leader Henkel, there have been two key launches in the best-selling Fa line. Many deodorants now boast top, heart and base notes in their ever-complex fragrance compositions, and Fa Golden Star—part of Fa’s Glamour Collection—is a good example of this trend.

The new arrival features top notes of ylang, ylang and rose blossom, a heart of peach and a base of musk and sandalwood. The company’s other 2008 launch was Rice Dry Sensitive, part of Fa’s existing Rice Dry range. This is an alcohol-free variant of the existing line designed to appeal to German consumers with sensitive skin. The formula includes caring ingredients such as rice extract and aloe vera.

Modest Gains in Italy

According to industry body Unipro, the Italian deodorant market has grown just 1.6% in the past year to $557 million. The majority of sales were made through the ever-popular mass market channel, accounting for $449 million of business. Pharmacy sales reached $60.5 million, while sales in perfumeries totalled $47 million. When it came to favored formats, aerosols, creams and gels were the top three methods of application in Italy. Despite the modest gain, there was lots of local innovation.

New from Istituto Ganassini is Bioclin Young. Sold in pharmacies, the alcohol-free formula comes in scented and unscented variants and is designed for young and sensitive skin that tends to suffer from redness, irritation and intense perspiration. Meanwhile, new to the Neutro Roberts stable is Perfect Touch with palmatine, an Asian plant said to reduce hair growth by 20%. Hair minimization is a key trend across Europe.

When the Sun Shines, Spray

AC Nielsen’s figures showed that AC Nielsen’s figures showed that Spain’s deodorant market increased in both volume and value terms last year, perhaps not surprising in such a hot country. Sales amounted to $442 million and volume came in at 15.3 million units, increases of 4.3% and 2.8% respectively. Mass market channels accounted for 94.5% of value and 98.4% of volume. The selective channel in Spain lost ground however, slipping 17.7% to 245,000 units and value sales fell 11.7% to $24 million.

Natural ingredients flourished in Spain last year. Nivea Double Effect enriched with natural avocado oil provides round-the-clock antiperspirant protection while it smoothes and softens skin at the same time. Meanwhile Spanish brand Byly introduced two cream deodorants in the form of Byly Advance 50. The Sensitive variant is based on natural antioxidants and silk protein while Fresh freshens skin with an aloe vera and green tea formula.

Britannia Keeps Cool

The UK deodorant market showed spirit last year, according to data from TNS Worldpanel, climbing 4.8% to $934 million. In terms of formats, aerosols took the lion’s share of the market at 77.2%, followed by roll-ons.

In terms of new products, market leader Unilever targeted heavy sweaters, after research showed that more consumers are suffering from this problem than ever before. Unilever’s Maximum Protection products include a formula that was also introduced across the Sure Men, Sure Women and Dove brands. It is said to provide 48 hours of protection with the Trisolid cream it contains. Unilever also pumped more than $8 million into an advertising campaign for this new technology. The keen move had products flying off UK shelves.

All in all the year was a fresh and fragrant one for the European deodorant market with so many gains across the sector. This was backed up by vast new product development and new trends emerging such as hair minimizing formulas and increasingly natural ingredients. If 2009 proves to be as lucrative, things will be smelling promising for a good while to come.
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