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Advantage Prestige: 2013 U.S. beauty sales serve up ace versus Mass comparison

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 18-Feb-2014
Last updated on 19-Feb-2014 at 10:07 GMT

Healthy gains in skin care and make-up helped to boost the U.S. prestige beauty market as it grew 5% in dollar sales in 2013.

In North America consumers are still coming to terms with a tough economic climate, affecting almost every industry, but the NPD Group announced the positive news for the cosmetics and personal care segment at its 14th annual ‘Hot Off The Press’ event in New York, in conjunction with Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW).

"Beauty is among a handful of industries showing growth in 2013," says Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group. "Consumers continue to struggle with lower income levels, but the global economic environment continues to stabilize.”

“The social trends all around us indicate an improving outlook and a willingness to invest when the associated risk is low; this is a real opportunity for our industry."

Prestige vs Mass

Skin care and make-up were the stand-pout performers, both exhibiting 7% growth whilst fragrance remained flat.

Outside of prestige, sales within the U.S. mass channel also increased slightly, up 1% for total beauty in 2013. Make-up and skin care were the victors once again, albeit with lower figures than in prestige (2% and 1% respectively).

However, all was not smelling rosy in fragrance, as the sector struggled with a 6% decline in dollars compared to 2012.

Prestige advantage

So despite, a perception that value is of utmost importance to U.S. beauty consumers, it is the premium-priced offerings that are thriving in U.S. prestige beauty, says the market researcher.

Even though sales for the total prestige fragrance category were flat, fragrances priced $100 and over grew 30% in dollars; while face make-up priced at $60 and up increased 28%, and skin care for the face gained 15% in dollar sales.

"The beauty industry has a unique opportunity to seize the moment, embracing the evolution and blurring of lines at retail, category experience, and brand leadership,” adds Grant.

“Prestige has the advantage of offering more of the quality of life experiences in beauty. When we give consumers the products that fit them, their wants, and their needs for results ‘now’, we deliver a winning combination," she ends.

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