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Color Trends, Limited Edition Scents Drive C&T Sales

June 29, 2012

New trends in nail care, dramatic eye looks, and the appeal of limited edition scents significantly bolstered sales in the 2011 US personal care market, which exceeded $38 billion at the manufacturers’ level, surpassing pre-recession levels and representing robust growth of 4.2%, according to the recent Cosmetics & Toiletries USA report from global consulting and research firm Kline & Company.

56% of all Hispanics use perfume or cologne regularly, according to Kline & Company research.

According to Kline, after several years of declining sales, fragrances for women experienced high growth in 2011 as more consumers turned to fragrances as an affordable indulgence. The luxury trade class in particular experienced above-average growth of over 10%, where niche fragrances were a new trend in 2011. Limited distribution scents from brands such as Bond No. 9, Creed and By Kilian gained high visibility during the period. Conversely, celebrity scents saw substantial declines.

Kline’s consumer research has found that a higher percentage of Hispanics (56%) use perfume or cologne regularly, versust 32% of the non-Hispanic population. Furthermore, about half of African Americans use perfumes or colognes regularly, as compared to one-third of Caucasians and Asians in the US.

The ever-resilient skin care product class, dominated by facial treatments, remains the largest product class. Men’s skin care became more popular, seeing the best growth in several years and now offering expanded product lines exploring new applications by creating solutions for men, such as concealers, products free of parabens, formaldehydes, dyes, and added fragrances, Kline said.

The cosmetics and toiletries market continued its upward trend due to an especially strong performance in the luxury class, which saw nearly double-digit growth. Analysis also reveals that all trade classes posted gains in 2011.

“The comparatively low growth in the professional class correlates with the greater trend we’re observing with consumers’ relatively moderate expenditure on professional services,” explained Nancy Mills, Kline’s consumer practice industry manager. “And yet, driven by ‘frugal-fatigue’ and a rising financial confidence, consumers are compensating by purchasing premium products as affordable luxuries driving sales in the luxury and mass trade classes.”

Looking ahead, Kline projects skin care and makeup to maintain exceptionally high growth over the next five years. Additionally, Mills expects the dominating drivers in personal care to be multi-functional products that deliver promised results, a gradual replacement of harsh synthetic chemicals with more naturally derived products, and adoption of a more overt environmentally responsible profile.

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