“The beauty industry has gained $1 billion for three consecutive years, and while this is something to celebrate, industry players must not get too relaxed. This is no time for walking; it is still very much a run,” said Karen Grant, global beauty industry analyst. “A proliferation of trends has fueled growth and innovation in many aspects of the industry; however, it has brought with it a restructuring in beauty. As consumers seek feel-good experiences and strive for healthier lifestyles they are, at the same time, redefining the meaning of beauty in their lives.”
Four out of every five dollars gained in prestige beauty stemmed from makeup. Looking at new product launches in 2016, makeup’s dominance was also evident as sales grew 24% over 2015, achieving almost $1 billion, while skin care and fragrance sales declined. Market drivers in skin care are those products that help the face to be makeup ready, such as masks (24%), lip treatments (20%), cleansers (7%), and exfoliators (5%).
In the prestige fragrance category, sales of juices grew 2% for the year. In the prestige fragrance sector, flankers were a growth driver, generating 21% of total fragrance sales and 161% of fragrance gains.
In addition, coinciding with experiential beauty, fragrance beyond the body was a key growth driver for the category in 2016. Home scents contributed over one-quarter of fragrance gains, with growth coming from diffusers (19%), candles (16%), home ancillaries gift sets (75%), and other home ancillaries (21%).
At a topline channel level, the prestige market outpaced the US mass channel, where sales grew 2% for total beauty in 2016, as per Nielsen.
According to NPD, restructuring was also evident by the industry’s performance during the holiday season. While the season has traditionally been viewed as the “fragrance season,” makeup now leads; prestige fragrance sales declined 1% in Q4 2016, while makeup grew 12%. This shift impacted overall holiday performance, as dollar growth slowed in the fourth quarter of 2016 (5%) compared to 2015 (7%). Surpassing fragrance sales in the fourth quarter, prestige makeup sales generated nearly $525 million more than fragrance during the 2016 holiday season.
“How consumers are using and choosing their beauty products is different today. More than ever, consumers are turning to beauty to look and feel their best. Across industries, services and experiences are on equal, if not higher, footing than products alone. These trends convey to us that there’s a shift in what makes consumers feel good, and how they are gifting to others,” said Grant. “The top-performing brands today are social and community-driven. To be successful, brands and manufacturers need to look beyond the traditional retail channels and find more opportunities to adapt to the emerging trends. They must recognize that it is not only important how many consumers are aware of your brand, but how many convert to it. Those that master this technique will thrive.”
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