|Title:||United Kingdom suncare and skincare product take-home sales in pounds sterling, number of packs, and percent change for year ending December 25, 2011|
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Suncare & skincare: XX w/e XX December 2011
VALUE VOLUME [pounds sterling] m y-o-y % Packs (m) y-o-y % Sun protection XXX.X -X.X XX.X -X.X Artificial tan XX.X XX.X X.X X.X Aftersun XX.X -XX.X X.X -X.X TOTAL XXX.X -X.X XX.X -X.X
Facial moisturisers XXX.X X.X XX.X -X.X Cleansers XXX.X X.X XXX.X X.X Body moisturisers XXX.X -X.X XX.X -X.X Mens' skincare XX.X -X.X XX.X -XX.X Hand preparations XX.X -X.X XX.X -XX.X Lip preparations XX.X -XX.X XX.X -XX.X Toners XX.X -X.X X.X -X.X TOTAL X,XXX.X -X.X XXX.X -X.X
Summers need to be hot and winters cold for the suncare and skincare category to thrive - and unfortunately, neither were in 2011. An unusually lukewarm summer (even by British standards) coupled with fewer people holidaying abroad conspired to send suncare sales tumbling X.X% by value and X.X% by volume [Kantar Worldpanel]. Skincare, meanwhile, suffered from a mild winter (especially compared with a cold and therefore profitable 2010) and fell X.X% in volume terms.
Not even the more perennial products - facial moisturisers, cleansers and fake tans, for instance - could keep overall suncare and skincare sales buoyant. So what can suppliers do to weather the weather?
For a start, say experts, they need to cut back on promotions. This is a particular issue for suncare - although brands and retailers have started to reduce featured space promotions in the past year [Assosia], the category remains heavily promo-driven. Compared with skincare, and taking into account the categories' relative sizes, suncare is promoted almost half as much again.
"The suncare sector operates on promotion for the bulk of late spring and summer," confirms Liana Gregorians, consultant at The Value Engineers. "Brands and own label are sacrificing profits for short-term volume."
Not only have three of the top four suncare brands seen their value sales slump, own label has struggled too, falling XX.X% [SymphonyIRI]. Worse, there hasn't even been a short-term volume gain. According to Kantar Worldpanel, unit sales have dropped X.X% for sun protection - and twice as much (X.X%) for aftersun. If people don't see the need to buy, they won't - however many enticing promotions or appealing new products they're offered.
The only player to buck the downward trend was Nivea, the bestselling suncare brand, which has grown both in value and volume. Strong NPD, such as pocketsized XXml formats and a Pure & Sensitive addition to its Sunkids range (both unveiled in March 2011), undoubtedly played a part, but the brand also benefited from stock shortages affecting Boots' own-label Soltan line and from stealing share off Gamier Ambre Solaire, according to Kantar Worldpanel.
Indeed, Ambre Solaire had a disastrous year, losing X.Xm in sales - a fall of XX.X% [SymphonyIRI]. Owner L'Oreal declined to comment, but Kantar Worldpanel attributes the slump in part to reduced promotional activity in Tesco - the brand was off promotion in store for six weeks, while rival Nivea was on promotion. Across all retailers, L'Oreal slashed its suncare promotions by XX% year-on-year [Assosia]. Nivea, although it also cut back, did so by a much less drastic XX%.
L'Oreal will be hoping NPD, such as the Golden Protect Shimmering Protection range launched in February (see pXo), can rescue Ambre Solaire sales. Indeed, in focusing on addedvalue products that go beyond simple sun protection - in this case, by 'enhancing radiance' - the brand is tapping into a crucial trend for the sector: multifunctional NPD.
More and more sun protection products boast additional benefits such as antiaging technology, tan enhancers and toning effects. Although facial suncare still lags behind somewhat - it has to work harder to shake off the sector's 'oily' image - multifunctional sun protection is destined to grow, says Gregorians. "Increasingly we are seeing suncare and skincare overlap, a trend likely to remain key over the next few years."
This trend is driven by the brands' need to differentiate themselves and give consumers extra reasons to splash out on pricey products. But multifunctionality is also key to helping the industry break its dependence on sunny weather. Sales of suncare over the winter period are growing - by X.X% year-on-year [SymphonyIRI] - thanks to a mixture of added-value NPD, effective merchandising (with retailers such as Tesco and Boots introducing permanent suncare fixtures) and increased awareness of the year-round risks of UV exposure.
Artificial tan, in particular, is continuing to benefit from consumer savviness about the dangers of natural tanning and sunbeds, with value sales up XX% year-on-year [Kantar]. It also got a boost from last year's poor summer, although the 'TOWIE effect' - consumers looking to emulate permatanned reality TV stars from the likes of The Only Way Is Essex and US hit Jersey Shore - has proved an even greater driver of sales.
"The growing popularity of shows like The Only Way Is Essex has had a significant impact," confirms Cheryle Wilkinson, marketing manager for Rainbow Cosmetics, which owns the Sunkissed self-tan brand.
As fake tan becomes more ubiquitous, brands are being forced to offer more, for less. Dawn McDaid, marketing director for self-tan brand St Moriz, says competitive pricing has been key to the sector's growth. "Consumers are realising you don't have to pay [pounds sterling]XX-plus for a highly effective self-tan," she adds.
The level of price sensitivity across the category as a whole does not bode well for skincare. Less weather-dependent than suncare, skincare dipped only slightly in value, by o.X%, but it fell X.X% in volume as prices rose and four of the big five cut featured space promotions, with Waitrose and Morrisons more than halving the space available [Assosia].
The slide in volume sales is partly a symptom of skincare "returning to normal" after an unusually strong 2010, when extremely cold weather boosted sales, says SymphonyIRI. In 2011, the late onset of winter meant growth was particularly stymied for certain types of skincare. Hand and lip preparations, heavily dependent on cold weather, plunged almost XX% in volume sales.
But it wasn't all doom and gloom. The two largest sub-categories - facial moisturisers and cleansers, both of which, tellingly, have year-round appeal - grew value sales by X.X% and X.X%, respectively [Kantar Worldpanel]. And own-label skincare sales were strong, up X.X% [SymphonyIRI] as cash-strapped consumers traded down from pricier brands.
The migration has prompted a fresh wave of NPD from the brands. Unilever relaunched its Vaseline hand creams in January with new anti-bacterial and UV protection formulations - a move that may also help it even out the seasonality of hand moisturiser usage.
Garnier, meanwhile, balanced a bad year in suncare with the most impressive performance of the skincare brands. Its Simply Essentials range, launched in January 2011, capitalised on demand for affordability by hitting a lower price point of [pounds sterling]X.XX across all five products: make-up remover, eye make-up remover, cleansing wipes, cleansing milk and toner. The new range helped Gamier boost value sales X% - and volumes a whopping XX% [SymphonyIRI].
Although the performance of skincare, and suncare even more so, will always be dependent on the weather, creative NPD can help iron out seasonal variations - and help suppliers weather the economic climate, too.
"Increasingly we are seeing suncare and skincare overlap, a trend likely to remain key"
Liana Gregorians, The Value Engineers
* After a good 2010 for the combined skincare and suncare market, 2011 was more subdued, with overall value down nearly X%.
* This decline was driven largely by suncare, with the fall in overseas holidays and a mild summer - temperatures in June and July were lower than in the previous two years-taking a toll on the category.
* Suncare shopper numbers fell by over XXX,XXX compared with 2010 and shoppers bought less - hitting the aftersun sub-category hardest.
* Skincare has put in a mixed performance. Facial moisturisers and cleaners grew in value, but sales of hand creams and lotions fell when no 'big freeze' materialised at the end of 2011. Volume sales of these products were XX% lower than in 2010.
* As the price of skincare products rose, shoppers also began to switch away from brands. Own-label products contributed XX% of skincare value sales (up from XX% in 2010) and XX% of volume sales (up from XX%).
The take-home snapshot is produced by KantarWortclpanellanlar Worldpanel monitors the grocery retailer take horse purchasing habits of XX.XXX demographically representative Brie ish households. Call XXX XXXX XXXX or visit www.kanlarwurldpanet.com for details
Suncare: XX w/e XX January 2012
SALES CHANGE [pounds sterling] m y-o-y % Own label XX.X -XX.X Nivea XX.X X.X AmbreSoIaire XX.X -XX.X PizBuin XX.X -X.X L'Oreal XX.X -XX.X
Skincare: XXw/eXX January 2012 SALES CHANGE [pounds sterling] m y-o-y % Olay XXX.X -X.X ...