Natural European cosmetics sales continue to grow at double figures

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Organic monitor Retailing Marketing

Sales of natural and organic cosmetics are forecast to grow by 13 per cent in Europe this year, despite the tough retail environment caused by the economic downturn.

Sales should reach €1.7bn by the end of this year and market researcher Organic Monitor predicts that this figure could easily hit the €2bn mark by the end of next year, according to the 2009 edition of the researcher's latest report ‘The European Natural Cosmetics Market’.

The strong growth is continuing unabated, mainly because of increased availability as distribution of these kind of products increases, together with the fact that consumers are still searching out ‘chemically-clean’ alternatives for the daily personal care routines.

Growth stalls in the UK market

Although the German and French markets have posted healthy increases in the past year, the market for natural and organic cosmetics has been hard hit in the UK, where consumers have tightened their spending budgets significantly.

According to Organic Monitor, the market growth in the UK has fallen by half in the past year, down from 16 per cent in 2008, to register an estimated 8 per cent in 2009.

However, in Germany and France growth has continued at the same sort of pace, registering double-digit figures, derived largely from the emergence of an increasing number of retailer private label launches.

Germany leads the way with private label

Indeed in Germany, private label brands have proved so successful that they now account for over 10 per cent of the total sales of there.

Indeed, it is this factor that has helped place Germany as the biggest market for organic and natural cosmetics in Europe, where sales now account for 4 per cent of the total cosmetics sales in the country, a figure that Organic Monitor expects to reach 10 per cent in the coming years.

Likewise, the total market for natural and organic cosmetics now accounts for 3 per cent of total sales in Europe as a whole, a figure that remains comparatively small, but one that also suggests there is room for plenty more development and expansion.

Increase in dedicated stores for natural cosmetics

Besides private label brands, which are commonly sold in larger retail outlets such as supermarkets, Organic Monitor also points to the fact that there has been an increase in the number of dedicated stores opened by leading natural cosmetics brands, large retail groups and private investors.

Most examples of this trend have so far been in Paris, where the established brand Dr. Hauschka and larger retailer Monoprix have both opened stores that follow this concept.

Although sales are continuing to grow at a healthy pace despite the economic downturn, competition is hotting up, which means that more targeted marketing strategies will be crucial.

Organic Monitor expects that in the coming years market winners will prove to be companies that manage to successfully differentiate their products and provide clear market segmentation.

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