Makeup takes the US prestige beauty crown

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Prestige beauty, Dollar, Perfume

The latest report from NPD on the prestige beauty market shows that
for the first time in ten years makeup accounted for the largest
category in 2006, toppling sales of prestige fragrance.

Other key trends include a significant increase in the skin care as well as the face and eye segments, together with a significant increase in the number of prestige fashion brands entering into the cosmetics category. NPD revealed that prestige makeup accounted for 37 per cent of total sales in the category, rwith a figure of $3.1bn, compared to the fragrance industry which had sales of $2.9bn in 2006, accounting for 35 per cent of the overall sales. The company has been tracking the dollar share of the prestige beauty market category for a total of ten years now, and has recorded a significant amount of movement, in line with the fast growth and rapid evolution of the category. When figures first started to be collated in 1997, makeup accounted for a far smaller percentage of the total prestige beauty sales, and is said to have increased 66 per cent in terms of dollar value up to last year, when it represented 30 per cent of the total volume. NPD highlighted that the largest growth within the makeup category came from the face and eye segment, which, with a value of $1.4bn, grew by nearly 3 per cent in 2006, accounting for almost half of the total makeup sales. One of the biggest driving forces behind this growth appears to be the growth in interest of organic and natural-based cosmetic products, as NPD industry analyst Karen Grant explained. "The latest trend bringing excitement into the Face segment is mineral makeup. The recent popularity of mineral makeup illustrates that natural ingredients are resonating with consumers and have broad appeal." "Green beauty is reflecting changing world beliefs. We see natural ingredients as being part of a lifestyle, rather than just a trend. I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg and we will see significant activity in this area," added Grant. Likewise, the research also drew attention to the fact that prestige fashion and designer houses are getting in on the cosmetics act, with names such as Chanel and Dior increasingly getting in on the act. Grant highlighted the fact that since 1997 the number of fashion brands has doubled since 1997, backed up by a big increase in artist and alternative brands, something that is helping to maintain the interest of younger consumers. On the fragrances front, total sales slipped by 2 per cent in 2006, something that was brought about by slower sales during the holiday season, which is when the vast majority of sales are made within the industry. The trend for more fashion and designer brands making their mark in the category was particularly reflected in the fragrance segment, where major launches were fronted by names such as Vera Wang and Juicy Couture. It is interesting to note that the much heralded celebrity endorsement of fragrances has in fact been overshadowed by growth from fashion and design endorsements in recent years. Indeed the NPD figures reveal that designer fragrances have been adding 'more incremental dollars to the fragrance category in recent years', having grown sales by $115m since 2003. This is in contrast to the trend with celebrity endorsed fragrances, which, despite all the pomp and pageantry associated with glamorous advertising and marketing campaigns, showed that sales figures fell by 17 per cent in 2006.

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