The European body care market has posted only modest value growth of 7% during the past five years, topping $4.8 billion in 2012, according to the latest Datamonitor research. A major reason is that most women do not consider body care as a “must have” within their daily beauty regime, especially during the colder winter months when legs and arms are covered. However, the outlook is fairly bright, given the increasing number of launches targeting specific body care needs.
Eastern Europe Is a Hot Spot
In 2012, Datamonitor recorded the key European markets for body care products as being Germany ($1.1 billion), Italy ($973 million), France ($676 million) and UK ($568 million). German body care sales are fairly static, with forecasted growth of just 0.9% for 2012-17, compared to the Italian market, which is growing at a rate of 2.7% annually.
“The Italian body care market is looking poised to outsize Germany by the end of the forecast period,” comments Catherine O’Connor, an analyst with Datamonitor Consumer. “This is due to strong growth (c. 3.1%) in the Italian premium body care segment, where steady price increases of ‘affordable luxury’ goods are driving the value sales upwards.”
The UK is one of the fastest growing markets in Europe for body care products and is forecast to overtake France by 2017, which declined due to economic pressure on the premium segment.
“In 2012, the market share of premium body care in France was 49.8% and by 2017 is forecasted to shrink by a rate of 3.7% to 48.0%,” explained O’Connor.
According to Datamonitor, one of the largest markets for premium body care products is The Netherlands, where moderate economic recovery has resulted in consumers having greater spending power.
Eastern Europe is proving to be a hotspot for body care sales, albeit from a lower base. Datamonitor records per capita expenditure in Poland at $4.46 and Russia at just $1.06, compared to the Western European average of $8.02. However, strong body care growth in Russia (7.1%) and Poland (3.8%) have propelled these two markets into 5th and 6th place, overtaking Spain, which has slipped back -0.4% over the forecasting period.
“In Spain, the continued economic strain is causing consumers to switch to cheaper body care products and private label offerings. By contrast, Eastern Europe shows increased potential,” observed O’Connor.
Body Care Concerns
Noella Gabriel, director of product and treatment development at Elemis, has noted that body care concerns and needs are similar for all European women. For example, when arms and legs are more exposed during the summer months, consumers become more aware of areas such as the backs of the arms, backs of hands, knees and feet. Elemis is adding two new body scrubs to its range this summer: Frangipani Monoi Salt Glow is described as a skin conditioning salt scrub which has an exotic aroma from fragipani, monoi, coconut oil and hibiscus flower. Skin Nourishing Body Scrub contains milk proteins, wheatgerm oil and oat extract to soften and smooth the skin.
“People are more conscious about the importance of good body exfoliation to deliver that ‘cared for’ look. This is why we are extending our body range into decadent, luxurious body products,” she said.
Another key trend is linked to the body care needs of an aging population. “As the body matures, the skin begins to lack tone and elasticity,” said Gabriel.
Elemis introduced Pro-Collagen Body Lotion in 2012, which targets ageing skin with a formulation that deeply hydrates and visibly tones to give skin a lifting and firming effect.
Products that have moisturizing and firming properties include Darphin’s Nourishing and Firming Velvet Cream, which is enriched with menyanthes trifoliate, and ESPA Smooth & Firm Body Butter, containing larch extract to firm and pumpkin seed extract to maintain elasticity.
Natural & Organic
According to Organic Monitor, sales of natural and organic body care products in Europe are strong and account for about half the $3.2 billion natural and organic beauty products market. Germany is the largest market for natural and organic body care products, which make up about 6% of the all body care products sold. After Germany, the next largest markets are in France, Italy and the UK. Leading brands include Weleda, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Dr. Hauschka and Alverde.
Not included in Organic Monitor’s figures are the mainstream brands reformulating to become more natural. For example, leading German brand Nivea has added natural ingredients gingko extract and shea butter to its Nivea Body Irresistibly Smooth variant, while Unilever’s Vaseline Essential Moisture Body Lotions include natural extracts of oat, aloe vera and cocoa.
Sarah Brown, founder of organic face and body care brand Pai Skincare, points out that many so-called natural body care products use esterified oils that are an attractive alternative to vegetable oils. They are also relatively “dry” oils, which feel lighter on the skin and absorb quickly.
“Though they are practical, esterified oils have very few skin benefits,” she claimed. “As a certified organic brand, we only use natural vegetable oils in our formulations and particularly favor those high in essential fatty acids such as rosehip.
“Meanwhile, we’re seeing natural brands developing more sophisticated formulations, creating products to really rival mainstream in terms of performance and greater efficacy data to support their claims.”
For example, Melvita L’Or Bio Extraordinary Oil, a multi-use nourishing dry oil, uses five organic oils, including argan oil from Morocco, known for its exceptional skin care properties, kendi oil from Indonesia and inca inchi oil from Amazonia for their regenerating properties, burriti oil from Brazil to nourish and promote a healthy skin glow and pracaxi oil from Amazonia to improve hair shine and strength.
The trend for botanical and herbal ingredients is verified by Mintel data, which shows that the key claims made by European body care launches are moisturizing/hydrating (76%) and botanical/herbal (69%). Other “natural” claims include ethical—animal-free (27%), paraben-free (25%) and organic (21%).
Although botanicals are nothing new, they currently have strong appeal with consumers who believe that natural and organic formulations are better for the skin. As a result, increasing numbers of launches include botanicals, even if they cannot claim to be truly natural.
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Imogen Matthews is a respected consultant, journalist and researcher focusing on trends in the beauty industry. She regularly contributes to many of the world’s foremost beauty trade titles. Every year in April, she publishes The Premium Market Report, focusing on trends in the UK premium beauty markets. www.thepremiummarketreport.com