Although it is growing from a relatively small base, latest research from the NPD Group suggests it is set to be developed beyond a niche categories as it bites into sales from other categories, such as tinted creams.
The UK Alphabet Cream market grew by 3.5 times in 2013 to reach a total value of £10.6 million, up from a relatively small figure of £3 million in 2012, according to NPD figures.
New alphabet launches are increasingly focused
The growth is being fuelled by a rash of new launches on to the market, which is seeing increasingly sophisticated multi-functional products that replace a number of other products in one simple formulation.
Alphabet creams started off with simple blemish cover-up products, known as BB creams, but have since evolved with increasingly complex formulations covering any number of skin care issues, with CC and DD creams becoming ever more prevalent.
In the UK, new alphabet creams that caught the consumer’s imagination last year included Clinque’s Moisture Surge CC cream, which was the top-selling product in the category, together with Skin Perfection BB cream from Clarins.
Consumers want multi-tasking products
“Women are using Alphabet Creams in two ways: some as the beauty sector would prefer, are adding them to their daily routine, but others are looking for multi-task products that replace the need for several products, for instance a moisturizer and foundation in one,” the NPD report summarises.
But there is a price to be paid for the success of the category, with NPD pointing out that sales of tinted creams have begun to slide, with a noted 12% drop in the value of the category in 2012 and a 15% drop in value seen in 2013.
Although the foundation category has not seen any drop in sales in the country, NPD believes that the market for Alphabet Creams is set to soon eclipse the value of the tinted creams category.
EE cream is in the pipeline
The category is set to expand further with the advent of new formulations targeting ever-more focused areas of skin care, and the next one to look out for will be EE creams!
So what does the EE stand for? ‘Extra Foliation’, of course. According to NPD this launch is set to be made in the next few weeks in the UK with the Previse Skincare that contains marine granules.
But NPD Group Beauty UK director June Jensen believes that, although targeting this category could be highly lucrative, clearly defining what the product is about is crucial to avoid leaving consumers confused.
“The huge variety of products in the prestige beauty sector offers the chance to experiment, but there is some confusion about the functions of the various Alphabet Creams and how to fit them into an existing beauty routine,” she said.
“There’s an opportunity here for the brands to show how their products can be used alongside existing product ranges to complement existing beauty regimes.”