With the majority of people confined to their houses, cosmetics and beauty segments were “de-prioritized” during the lockdown period and sales plunged within categories such as deodorants, hair color and skin care, according to Nielsen. However, all of them rebounded sharply last month in concert with easing of restrictions.
“We have always maintained that what we are experiencing is more of a supply side crisis than a demand crisis,” insisted Kavita Angre, director, consumer & market insights & media, L’Oréal India. “Consumers will come back to the essential beauty categories as the economy opens up. In fact 80% of consumers surveyed by L’Oréal India said they will continue to color their hair despite reduced out-of-home occasions.”
Consumers are getting used to the new normal and want to use their beauty products as they are fed up with the restricted lifestyle, said Prasun Basu, president-South Asia Zone, Nielsen Global Connect. In addition, sales were aided by trade channels opening up in June leading to more stores remaining open for longer hours. Both factors on the supply and demand side have contributed to the sharp recovery in these categories, he added.
What are consumers buying? Hand sanitizer, of course, but also facial skin care products and sunscreen, according to Jayant Khosla, managing director, VLCC Healthcare Ltd.
“As lockdown rules gradually eased across the country from June onwards, there has been a corresponding uptick in the sale of our range of personal care products,” he said. “There has been a gain in momentum in July, though pre-COVID numbers are still to be crossed. We are expecting a reasonable growth in numbers this quarter. It is only going to improve from here on.”