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Cosmetics and personal care industry buffered from economic downturn

By Pooja Kondhia , 06-Sep-2011
Last updated the 07-Sep-2011 at 10:02 GMT

The UK cosmetics and personal care industry has weathered the economic downturn relatively unscathed, according to Mintel.

In the report the group revealed that, despite flat sales in 2009 at height of the economic downturn, the total value of the UK cosmetics and personal care sectors increased 50 per cent over the last decade.

 

The researchers also reported that ‘fun’ rather than ‘functional’ cosmetics and personal care products achieved the biggest sales growth over the period.

 

This decade-long upward trend, the authors suggest, indicates that UK consumers view hygiene and grooming products as basic necessities and beauty products as accessibly priced treats.

 

Lipstick index

 

Mintel also looked at the ‘lipstick index,’ which uses lipstick sales as a measure of the beauty sector’s performance in tough economic times, and found that over the ten years 2000 to 2010 revenues increased by 90 per cent.

 

Colour lipsticks were the key driver in the category which, the authors suggest, is because such products are relatively inexpensive so women will shell out for a new nail varnish or lipstick despite being stretched budget-wise.

 

The authors cite the increase in nail varnish sales, which almost doubled between 2005 and 2010, as further evidence of this trend. They also said that part of this growth is a result of the introduction of new, innovative products such as scented polishes and stick-on colours.

 

Make-up boom

 

The Mintel team also looked at the make-up category over the decade and found that total revenues grew 88.3 per cent.

 

In this sub-category, facial make-up accounted for almost 40 per cent of sales in the UK and, according to the authors, has replaced ‘lipstick’ as an economic bellwether.

 

They also suggested that, within the make-up category, products with additional properties have helped drive growth.

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