Sales of body care in Western Europe reached nearly $3.8 billion in 2016, but only managed to add 1.1% last year, according to Euromonitor International. The main cause was a poor performance in France, where body care sales dropped 3.2% in 2016. In contrast, sales in Germany rose 3%, Spain increased 1.9% and the UK added 1.4%.
Western Europe’s uninspired performance was offset by 4.6% growth in Eastern Europe, where body care sales topped $706 million, mainly due to Russia, where the category surged 7.5%. The trend was repeated across all product categories, with Eastern Europe forging ahead in both mass and premium general purpose body care and firming anti-cellulite body care.
The NPD Group, which focuses on sales of premium body care, reported a decline of 2% across France, Italy, Spain and the UK. The drop was primarily due to a 16% decline in sales of anti-cellulite products. Premium body moisturizers fared better, adding 5%, helped by stellar UK sales of gift sets, which rose 15%. Mathilde Lion, beauty Europe industry expert maintains that investment in innovative premium body care has been lacking.
“In 2016, new launches are declining 43% year-on-year, compared to existing lines which held up well,” she explained.
According to NPD data, Clarins Multi-Intensive Haute Exigence Crème Mains 100ml was the most successful premium launch in 2016.
Body moisturizing regimens are complex, as users combine and differentiate between creams, butters and lotions, notes Kantar Worldpanel. The UK is the exception, where 26% of women preferred body lotions to any other product in the first half of 2016. Further insight reveals that Brits are the most likely to use body skin care to feel clean and fresh, whereas Russians are the most likely to use it for moisturizing properties.
Lots of Options
There is strong evidence from GlobalData’s Q4 2015 consumer survey that consumers across Europe incorporate several products into their daily body skin care routine. According to GlobalData, 88% of consumers use one to five products in body skin care, with Poles most likely to use five products. In contrast, the UK is one of the markets least likely to use this number of body care products at 60%. Both sets of usage data suggest that the UK is the least sophisticated market, where body care has yet to become a priority. Consumers in Turkey, Denmark and Greece are most likely to use 6-10 products daily, according to GlobalData.
Experimentation with different product types is strongest in Turkey, Russia and Poland, according to GlobalData. In particular, these Europeans are looking to achieve salon quality results at home.
“A number of companies within these regions have capitalized on these trends, offering professional salon-style skin treatments using store bought products,” comments Iliana Mesheva, associate analyst, GlobalData. Two recent spa-inspired launches replicate professional liposuction and lifting techniques. Eveline Slim Extreme 4D Slimming Remodeling Cosmetic Liposuction Serum (Poland), incorporates high tech and medicine inspired claims and Bielenda Sexy – Look Intensive Bust Serum is said to lift and tighten the skin around the bust with results claimed to be similar to those obtained through cosmetic medicine treatments.
One of the more interesting features of new body care launches in Europe has been a focus on locally-sourced ingredients and their potential for companies to invest in R&D and explore the benefits they may have beyond nourishing and moisturizing the skin.
GlobalData has recorded two launches from Russian brand Natura Siberica, which capitalizes on Siberian natural ingredients that have been used by local people for generations. Modelling Natural Body Scrub is enriched with Scottish wild thistle and Siberian ash berry which are said to be intensely moisturizing.
Hot Lipolytic Body Cream includes northern brown seaweed, thermal waters of Russia’s Kuldur Nature Park region, volcanic lily and far Eastern ginseng to help with weight loss, body shaping and cellulite.
Meanwhile, the Scandi trend continues to thrive, with formulations that draw on ingredients known to combat the harsh Nordic climate. Swedish general purpose body care brand All You Need Is Me multi-use balm includes concentrated natural and organic ingredients, such as blueberries, sunflower and olives, that are said to protect the skin against the weather and wind and soothe irritation. Björk & Berries is a Swedish botanical beauty brand that combines traditional Swedish natural beauty traditions based on local flora with advanced technology.
From Greece hails Messinian Spa Hand and Body Cream, containing extra virgin olive oil from Kalamata with Greek royal jelly, Cretan helichrysum and honey from Mani.
Another Greek beauty brand, Aptivita (recently acquired by Puig), combines naturally-derived active ingredients and extracts from Greek plants.
According to Mesheva, facial skin care concepts are also being picked up by body care brands.
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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.