The UK premium beauty market grew by 6 per cent through 2012, to reach an industry value of £989 million (1,164m euros), according to Companies and Markets; although this is slightly slower than 2011’s growth due to the impact of the recession, which took its toll on consumer confidence.
The fragrance industry, however, did its best to combat this and take advantage of the many British celebrations taking place in 2012.
Men's fragrances experienced a strong 6 per cent rise in sales says the market researcher, though this was slower growth than 2011's 7 per cent.
Women's fragrances, on the other hand, grew slightly more strongly in 2012 than in 2011, with an 8 per cent increase in sales, as many premium brands took the opportunity to release limited edition versions of their fragrances inspired by London as well as the many events taking place.
Some notable examples were Bond's no 9 Harrod's Jubilee Edition and Estée Lauder's limited edition fragrances in Svarowvski Union Jack crusted clutch.
Over the past five years, the UK luxury consumer has also become more environmentally conscious and this has seen the emergence of the natural and nature-inspired trend in hair care and bath and shower.
“In line with the growing popularity of organic food and organic clothing, beauty too has been becoming increasingly environmentally friendly,” comments the C&M report.
Exotic and natural ingredients, like the acai berries used by Kiehl and bee venom used by Munak Doctor, have become more common, and has given rise to many small niche brands that use the natural concept to offer a unique selling point.
However, C&M points out that there are threats to growth, such as the continuous economic recession which is bound to shake the confidence even of high net-worth individuals, who might cut down their spending.
“Due to the low prices compared to other luxury categories, premium beauty is expected to be the least affected with consumers more likely to buy less than trade down,” it adds.