“Change was the theme of the beauty industry in 2017, from the shifts in trends and category performance, to the wave of mergers and acquisitions which show no signs of abating in the near future,” said Larissa Jensen, executive director and beauty industry analyst at The NPD Group. “The industry has not only adapted to this change, but has continued to achieve strong and consistent growth, as it has seen for the last few years. We can expect change to continue to be the catalyst of growth for the industry in 2018.”
After several years of soft performance, skin care was revitalized in 2017. Reaching $5.6 billion in sales, growth has stemmed from smaller segments including masks (+32%), facial exfoliators (+12%) and cleansers (+6%), and other face products (+39%) which, among other items, includes emerging formats, essences, and facial sprays. Larger segments such as facial moisturizers (+7 %), skincare’s largest by dollar volume, and age specialists (+7%) also fared well in 2017.
The body, sun, and hair care segments of skincare all experienced growth as well, according to NPD.
Though makeup’s growth rate slowed in 2017, it remains beauty’s largest category, bringing the most dollar volume to the industry and $8.1 billion in 2017.
In fragrance, where sales totaled $4.0 billion in 2017, juices grew by 4%. Niche areas of the market including natural and artisanal fragrances grew their sales by 32% and 14%, respectively.
The prestige beauty industry had a good fourth quarter in 2017, with sales consistently strong throughout the holiday season. Across the industries tracked weekly by NPD throughout the season, beauty was the growth leader during various weeks including Thanksgiving/Black Friday week. Some of its hottest holiday sellers were false eyelashes, lip gloss, skincare sets and kits, and home ancillary gift sets. Overall, fragrance juices brought in the most dollars for the entire holiday season driven entirely by Christmas week, followed by makeup and skincare face products, which showed consistent growth throughout the holiday season.
“As beauty brands and retailers look to understand ‘what’s next’ to keep the momentum going, their focus should be on developing new and alternative ways to engage with consumers. Amidst the news headlines around store closures and challenges facing traditional department stores, it’s important to remember that brick-and-mortar is a critical component to driving growth,” said Jensen. “We’re seeing more brands enhance their in-store interaction with consumers through pop-up, pop-in, and other experience stores, and we expect this will accelerate in this new year.”