Beiersdorf and L’Oreal ride the recession to come out on top in Germany

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Personal care Personal care market

Germany-based Beiersdorf, and French company, L’Oreal, have seen their respective brands Nivea and L’Oreal Paris, outshine P&G in the German personal care market, partly influenced by the nation’s emergence from the recession.

Overall beauty and personal care sales values have increased in Germany in 2009, albeit slower compared to the previous year, according to a Euromonitor report.


This was mainly due to Germany’s gradual recovery from the economic crisis, with Germany and France the first European countries to emerge from the recession. The improved economic condition has also led to an increase in consumer confidence.

According to Euromonitor, the German beauty and personal care market is valued at over €12.6bn, up 2.7 per cent on last year, accounting for 18 per cent of Western Europe.

Brand sales lead the way

Despite P&G leading the company shares ranking, sales of beauty and personal care products in Germany remain dominated by two major multinationals, L'Oréal and Beiersdorf.

L’Oréal slightly lead the way in terms of value share through L’Oréal’s Jade and L'Oréal Paris against Beiersdorf’s Nivea and Nivea for Men brands.

However Nivea in particular benefits from its positive image as a traditional domestic company among many German consumers, often synonymous with skin care.

Other important players include Hans Schwarzkopf & Henkel and Unilever Deutschland, with the former sitting behind Nivea and L’Oreal in brand shares, with its Schwarzkopf range, ahead of P&G’s Gillette.

Men’s grooming products suffer

Unlike overall beauty and personal care sales, after several years of healthy growth, there was a sharp decline in growth of men’s grooming products and particularly in demand for men’s toiletries and skin care products, accounting for the Gilette’s comparative performance.

While value sales of these products sees some growth, this is almost entirely due to increases in unit prices of existing products and new product launches, as manufacturers increasingly tried to offset stagnating sales through adding value, Euromonitor said.

The German beauty and personal care market is not expected to repeat the level of growth of 2009 in the coming years, although it is expected to record stable growth throughout the forecast period, according to the Euromonitor report.

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