Euromonitor found that the Bulgarian cosmetics and toiletries market grew by 5.1 per cent to be worth Leva270 million in 2003, mainly owing to consumers trading up to higher-quality and added-value products.
The market was also favoured by the exchange rate, with the weaker US dollar making imports more competitive against local products and helping to increase the market share of international companies.
The biggest growth was in the skin care sector, which increased its sales by 7 per cent. Avon and Oriflame emerged as the leading companies in this sector.
Analysts at Euromonitor attributed this particular, and the more general, growth to the greater purchasing power of the population, combined with a wider range of new products targeting niches such as anti-ageing and anti-cellulite body care. The group also found that consumption had largely shifted from economy brands to mid-price brands.
During the 12 month period, the cosmetics distribution system given the biggest boost was direct sales, while the biggest losers were outdoor markets.
Euromonitor believed that this enlargement of the Bulgarian cosmetics market was set to continue and forcast that growth would be up by 28 per cent by 2009. The organisation based its figures on a strengthening economy, the expansion of the distribution system, the development of unsaturated market niches and the greater maturity of domestic manufacturers on the one hand, and a shrinking and ageing population on the other, which would stop any exponential growth.