Kantar Global Beauty Report - p
The future looks bright for the Beauty sector. Before Covid, it was the fastest growing sector of FMCG and the primary driver behind overall growth of...
On trend: The evolving Beauty consumer
2022 GLOBAL E-REPORT
On the road to recovery
The Beauty sector may have been down during the pandemic – but it’s certainly not out. The rebound is happening, and there are now new opportunities for manufacturers.
The future looks bright for the Beauty sector. Before Covid, it was the fastest growing sector of FMCG and the primary driver behind overall growth of FMCG.
But Covid changed that. Masks went on. Lockdowns came in. And one of the best performing sectors suddenly found itself struggling in the face of people going out less often and using fewer products.
Fortunately, the Beauty sector is on the road to recovery. Despite the global market declining in 2020, 2021 saw a rebound. This rebound happened across all categories, but is best represented by the Face Care category, which fell 4% in 2020 before growing by 4% in 2021.
And in some markets, we’ve seen not only recovery but positive value growth when we compare value sales of 2021 vs. 2019. For example, Brazil and Mainland China have both grown by 4% since 2019.
In the past, the opportunity in the Beauty sector was geographical expansion – the kind of economic opportunism we’re used to around the world. Now, though, the key opportunity for manufacturers is in their ability to anticipate their audiences’ changing needs and lifestyles.
Consumers are becoming more conscious of what goes into the products they buy. The perception of Beauty has become more holistic and health driven, with a focus on internal wellness and environmental harmony at the core of many consumers’ decision-making process. The question for manufacturers in the Beauty space now is – how exactly have our lifestyles changed, and where does the opportunity to differentiate now lie?
Sophistication & Simplification:
the Yin and Yang of Beauty
The pandemic saw consumer trends diverge in two distinct directions – simplification and sophistication. Yet the pandemic only served to accelerate what was already a long-term trend.
In Europe, we’ve seen a simplification in total number of personal care occasions between September 2021 vs. 2017. This is likely due to the pandemic reducing the total number of trigger occasions, i.e. moments that we might use Beauty products.
In contrast, Mainland China and Brazil has seen sophistication during the same period with both markets seeing a double digit increase in the longer term.
The trend towards simplification and sophistication is mirrored in value sales – those regions which have trended towards simplification have not performed as well as their sophistication counterparts.
In this report, we’ll examine a number of trends that are currently influencing the Beauty sector, across cosmetics, haircare and face & body care, including:
- Sustainability as a USP
- The trend towards ‘Natural Looking beauty’ and what this means in Europe & US vs. Asia & Latin America
- The growing focus on natural ingredients and wellness
- What premiumisation looks like in today’s market
- The long-term impact of Covid
Cosmetics: fewer, higher quality occasions
A near-global decline in value sales reflects a longer-term fall in usage that the pandemic only accelerated.
Cosmetics value sales declined in nearly every market from 2019 to 2021, with this fall in sales down to the fact that cosmetics occasions declined everywhere in the last year. The pandemic certainly exacerbated the global decline, with cosmetics most impacted by less triggers for usage.
However, this fall in usage was a trend that was in full flow before the first case of COVID-19 was discovered. The UK for example has seen the number of usage occasions down by nearly 50% since 2017.
In pursuit of the
One of the major factors affecting usage is the global trend towards achieving a ‘natural look’. Over two-thirds of females globally prefer to wear little makeup for a more natural look. This is a growing trend, except for in Brazil, which is experiencing a decline in women wanting a natural look. Brazil is also a heavily professional market – with 17% of females (in 2021) getting their makeup done professionally, a much higher proportion than anywhere else.
Spotlight on Mainland China and the ‘natural look’
90% of Mainland China agree they prefer a natural look and to wear little makeup, higher than anywhere else. Mainland China is also seeing a growth in occasions (10% up 2021 vs. 2017), which might indicate that Chinese females are achieving a natural look through increased usage.
Fewer occasions will require a more
The global trend towards fewer usage occasions is particularly strong in Europe. Routines are also simplifying – people are spending less time applying makeup across a number of occasions. ‘On getting up’, ‘getting ready for work/school’ and ‘pre-socialising’ have all seen a fall in the number of minutes consumers spend getting ready within.
With fewer usage occasions comes the need to premiumise. Manufacturers need to focus on how they can target these fewer occasions with a more premium product or offer to capture this more limited market share.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…
When we look at number of occasions across face, eye and lip, we see an interesting pattern emerge. Face and lip occasions fell significantly (by 27% and 40% respectively in Spain). However, if we continue to examine Spain as an example, there was an increase in the number of occasions (up 2%).
One possible explanation for this is that masks fortunately don’t cover our eyes. So, while face and lip makeup declined as masks covered up these areas, there was an increased focus on eye makeup. But the arrival of masks wasn’t the only cause of this trend. In Europe and the US, the comparatively better performance of eye products is part of a longer-term trend, as people go foundation and lipstick free in pursuit of the natural look but continue to apply makeup to their eyelashes and eyebrows.
There’s also been a global increase in ‘enhancing eye colour’ as a primary reason for using eye makeup – indicating not only a growing market for eye makeup, but also a specific niche through which to target consumers.
Sustainability is front and centre of the global conversation when it comes to cosmetics. We’re seeing a global emphasis from consumers on using sustainable products. Mainland China has been consistent in its pursuit of trying to avoid using products which are harmul to the environment – maintaining an impressively high 90% between 2017 vs. 2020.
Across Europe, we’ve seen an upward trend towards sustainability. In Britain, the percentage who try to avoid using products that are harmful to the environment has risen significantly, from 41% to 49%.
These trends mirror our report, ‘Who Cares, Who Does,’ in which we found that the amount of Eco-Active households globally had risen from 16% to 22% between 2019 vs. 2021. Not only is the number of eco-active households on the rise – these households also spend more than the average household on Beauty. For example, in France Eco-Active shoppers spend 5% more per Beauty trip.
Hair care: a tale of split ends
Rising value sales, coupled with a fall in occasions, point to shifting priorities and premiumisation.
From cosmetics to haircare – and the story shifts slightly. Hair care remained in value growth in both 2020 and 2021. Conditioner and treatment in particular have helped drive growth, rising from 4% growth from 2020 vs. 2019 to 7% growth 2021 vs. 2020.
Yet when we look to usage data, we see a similar story to Cosmetics. In Europe, there’s been a decline in the number of occasions – for example, the UK has seen a decline of 18% between 2017 and 2022.
The US has remained stable, but in Mainland China and Brazil, positive growth in occasions continues – albeit at a slower rate than in 2017. Shampoo usage in particular is driving the overall simplification of haircare – the frequency of hair washing has declined globally as people remained indoors and felt less need to wash their hair, which may be linked to the trend towards longer hair which we’ll cover on the next page.
This decline in occasions coupled with a rise in value sales points to a sector that is seeing premiumisation in its products driving higher price points - but driving sustainable growth will require keeping up with changing consumer needs.
The trend towards longer hair
We’ve seen a global increase in the % of females with shoulder length hair or longer – with the exception of Mainland China, which has fallen from 76% to 70% since 2017. Mainland China is also the only country that hasn’t seen a fall in the frequency of hair washing. But the rest of the globe has seen consistent growth. Spain has seen an increase from 53% of females with shoulder length hair or above up to 59% in 2021.
This trend, coupled with the increase in working from home, might explain the overall decrease in the number of people washing their hair.
While we’ve seen a decrease in the total hair care occasions in some markets, this is mainly due to the fall in styling. Conditioner and treatment are in occasion growth, linked to a growing awareness of concerns such as hair loss which require special treatment to address.
Treatment is the primary way to maintain healthy hair. Awareness for hair loss has risen globally – but particularly in Mainland China, from 30% to 35% between 2017 vs. 2021.
This awareness is translating directly into value sales. Total value sales for shampoo has grown at a steady rate between 2021 vs. 2020, rising as high as 10% in India. Yet products which target specific hair conditions, such as anti-hair loss and anti-dandruff products have grown at a faster rate.
For example, Korea saw 38% growth in value sales for anti-hair loss products 2021 vs. 2020, and Taiwan saw a 21% value growth in the same time.
A move away from professional haircare to in-home
One of the key trends we’ve found is a move away from professional colouring. This is in decline across all markets. In the UK, this has fallen from 25% to 19%. It seems this shift may be headed towards in-home treatments. In the same time period, the UK has seen an increase from 25% to 27% in females who have coloured their hair at home themselves.
The average consumer is shifting away from professional haircare and seeking this quality at home instead. The number one hair colour dyed professionally, blonde, is still relatively strong in the professional market – but this could serve as an opportunity for manufacturers looking to expand into the blonde at-home treatment category.
Face & body care: in recovery
A renewed focus on personal care is driving recovery and value growth – particularly in Asia and Latam.
The overall trend for face and body care is recovery and value growth. Body care has performed particularly strong, rising 10% over the last two years. Face care declined (-4%) in 2020 but bounced back in 2021 (+4%).
When it comes to usage, the overall trend is fairly flat - Europe has still seen decline, though to less severe levels than in cosmetics and haircare. The US, meanwhile, has seen 14% growth since 2017, and Brazil has seen an impressive 50% growth.
One result of the pandemic was an increased focus on personal care. Functional categories tend to be more resilient in times of crisis - and while occasions for going out might have fallen, face & body care are consistent whether or not someone is staying in or going out.
Across most markets we’ve seen a value growth in skin moisturising between 2019/2020 v 2020/2021 as people become more conscious of certain skin conditions – something we will explore later on in the report.
Spotlight: The bodywash spike in Brazil
Brazil has seen a strong spike in body wash occasions between 2017-2021. Weekly occasions went from less than 100,000,000 to just under 200,000,000 by 2021 – a rise of 100,000,000. Brazil has traditionally been a bar soap reliant market but has now added in body wash. At the same time, bar soap hasn’t declined – meaning Brazilians are likely using both in many cases.
When we look at the reasons for using bodywash, ‘feeling hygienic’ is the strongest reason for use, having risen from 29% of occasions in 2017 up to 46% in 2021.
A growing awareness of skin conditions
Skin condition awareness among females has grown consistently globally except for Mainland China. Skin conditions might include wrinkles, blackheads, spots, or a number of other specific areas.
In Mainland China, however, awareness of skin conditions has fallen from 87% to 85%. This fall could be linked to improved air quality following lockdowns, leading to less congested skin and fewer reported conditions as a result.
Why do people buy skincare products?
The importance of naturally produced ingredients has grown consistently around the globe. In France, 23% stated it was a reason for purchase of face & body products in 2017 – a figure which rose to 32% in 2021.
As a result, the Derma sector has seen value growth over the same time period. Natural and vegan products continue to grow in popularity as the world becomes more conscious of the ingredients in, and sustainability of, what they’re buying.
Consumers who are environmentally cautious are also actively seeking out more natural and Derma brands. In both France and China, a number of the top 10 over indexed brands amongst Eco-Actives are natural or Derma focused (As shown on the next page).
And we already know that environmentally conscious shoppers are willing to spend more, so long as the product offers sustainable or naturally-focused benefits.
Derma: growing demand thanks a growing focus on holistic care
Derma is gaining global attention as the view of Beauty evolves beyond the skin deep perception of the past. Consumers are now concerned with a more holistic view of Beauty – one which shifts the focus from Care to Cure. Derma’s heritage in pharmaceuticals makes it a prime target for those interested in using the right ingredients to truly look after their skin.
In Asia in particular, Derma has become a driving factor behind the premiumisation of skincare products. For example, in South Korea, we can see roughly 59% market penetration for Derma, meaning it has been embraced by a significant degree of the female population. Meanwhile in all other markets, the Average Price Index is significantly higher, indicating Derma’s ability to command a premium.
Painting the full picture
Why you should be combining data sets to understand what drives the latest trends.
Manufacturers in the Beauty sector need the full set of data to make decisions for the long-term.
Making decisions based on purchase data or usage data alone isn’t enough, the two work in tandem. By combining purchase and usage data, you can understand how your market is shifting and the reasons why. And this is the crucial part – the part which will allow you to get ahead of the latest trends and identify where the gaps are for you to operate in.
As the Beauty sector rebounds from Covid and continues its long-term evolution, opportunities for growth are everywhere. The areas identified in this report are only the beginning. Consumer trends are the driving force behind purchasing or the driving force working against it – and in order to futureproof your business, you need to be aware of what these trends are.
Over the next few pages we recap just a few of the areas we’ve identified in this report:
- Consumers are using products less – but there are still pockets of growth to be found. Manufacturers should identify one hero product that is easy to use and long lasting, and champion this to consumers on these attributes.
- For those manufacturers selling to the Asian market, targeting products towards the ‘natural look’ could offer significant growth.
- Total usage occasions are in decline, as is time spent on getting ready – focus now needs to be on fewer products, speed of use out the door, and long-lasting products.
- Eye makeup has weathered the storm better than any other cosmetic occasion – manufacturers should seek to champion these products and focus on eye colour enhancing as a marketing tool.
- Organic/natural ingredients and sustainability are key premiumisation points – consumers are actively avoiding non-sustainable products, and Eco-Active shoppers spend more than the average shopper.
- Consumers are willing to spend more money on premium products – manufacturers should seek to target premium product attributes.
- Manufacturers should seek to tap into the lengthening hair trend – targeting long-haired individuals with specific messaging around split end products, damage-focused products, and long-haired variants.
- Manufacturers have an opportunity to target more functional product offers – hair loss treatment, anti-dandruff, sophisticated usage moments.
- As professional haircare moves in home, manufacturers should consider how they can target those wishing to dye their hair blonde with messages of reassurance to help attract more of this market and products for treatment that are needed post-colouring.
- Manufacturers should look to this growth market for opportunities – particularly in face care in Asia and body care in Latam.
- Brazil is a strong growth market in face & body care, and one to watch for manufacturers. Focusing on hygienic benefits in Brazil to attract this growing market (primary reason for purchase is hygiene).
- Target products as solutions to skin conditions – growing awareness is an opportunity for growth in these areas.
- Manufacturers seeking to premiumise their products should look to sustainability and Derma as USPs.
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