European deodorant manufacturers are going 'cosmetic' and moving on from anti-sweat marketing campaigns and picking up on consumer desire for skin care benefits and hair growth retardants in under arm protection, according to a new report.
The report, by market researcher company Mintel, states that over 94 per cent of women and 89 per cent of men in the UK used deodorants in 2006, higher than any other countries in Europe, with main player Unilever leading the pack, owning Lynx, Sure, Dove and Impulse– with own label brands only comprising five per cent of the market.
Mintel stated that consumers are increasingly expecting an array of product benefits from their deodorants and are no longer satisfied with simple anti-sweat marketing strategies.
Alexandra Richmond, author of the report, told CosmeticsDesign that, "whereas previous product benefits had been sweat-related i.e. dry formula or longer lasting protection etc, the benefits are now leaning towards the cosmetic. This is seen in advertising campaigns such as Nivea prompting women to 'accessorize your underarms'."
With recent growth being driven by these notable additions in deodorants, numerous other manufacturers have begun to tap into the trend by promoting the skin care and hair retardant benefits of their deodorants ranges.
Currently valued at £459m (€683m) the deodorant and bodyspray industry is, however, still predominately driven by fragrance use, with one in two people saying they buy the nicest smelling deodorant over other benefits.
According to the Mintel research, capitalising on the benefits of fragrance is key for manufacturers who want to build market share and consumer awareness of their brand.
"The use of pheromones (to enhance attractiveness to members of the opposite sex) is nothing new in the fragrance industry. However, given that the focus of many ad campaigns from deodorant manufacturers such as Lynx and Impulse, it seems the use of pheromones is spreading into the deodorant segment" Richmond said.
Indeed, both the larger corporations and smaller businesses are creating product lines to suit this consumer need, with companies such as Unilever and Coty leading the way for innovation in 2006 with line extensions, improved and repackaged products.
According to the Mintel database smaller players such as Kings of Deos and Guaber and Pitrok came up trumps for launches, challenging the larger companies with deodorant lines specifically making use of hair retardants, skin care and scented benefits.
Despite this, Mintel has suggested that the market is still strongly driven by brand loyalty, with four in ten people in 2006 choosing to use a well-known brand with a proven reputation, with smaller brands having to prove themselves as efficacious rather than just novelty products.
Another key driver for deodorant sales in 2006 was men's deodorants, falling in line with the fact that male grooming industry has reached unprecedented heights of late.
The Mintel report states that trends from other cosmetic and toiletries sectors will continue to cross over into the deodorant segment, with the added benefits expected to improve product performance, resulting in higher prices and more frequent usage.
However, the significant decline in the amount of young consumers holds a worrying effect for deodorant manufacturers, with the retention of young people being flagged as another key market driver.