Lipstick may no longer be a recession staple as sales in the lip care category were outstripped by those of nail polish in 2009, according to a recent report from market researcher, Kline and Company.
‘Cosmetics & Toiletries USA 2009’ revealed that sales of lipsticks and lip glosses declined 5.3 per cent last year, while nail polish was the only industry category to post double digit growth; a figure of 14.3 per cent.
According to Kline, its recent popularity is due to a greater number of product launches in the nail polish category, a shift from salon visits to at-home applications and the return of nail color to the fashion world.
US cosmetics market posted slight decline
The report found that sales in the US market for cosmetics and toiletries declined by 0.8 per cent in 2009.
However, Kline noted that this decline was ‘not a detrimental drop’ given that sales declined by 1.9 percent during the last major recession in 1991.
Manufacturers’ sales in the cosmetics and toiletries industry have reached a total of $35.5bn, according to Kline.
Luxury and professional sectors hardest hit
As both consumer confidence and spending has been weakened by unfavorable economic conditions, the market for luxury and professional products has been the hardest hit.
In particular, the fragrance market suffered from falling sales, with 2009 being even worse than 2008 in terms of revenue, according to Nancy Mills, industry manager for Kline’s consumer products practice.
“There are a number of factors contributing to this, including fragrances losing their appeal as gifts, and over-crowded selection of fragrances leading to consumer confusion,” she noted.
Multi-benefits appeal to consumers
In contrast, as consumers are increasingly looking for cheaper products or ones that represent better value for money, mass market and direct sales outperformed the prestige and professional categories.
According to Kline, anti-aging continues to be a popular product feature amongst consumers, and SPF is becoming more widespread in the beauty segment.
However, Kline noted that the increase in sales of SPF-containing products in the beauty segment has led to fewer sales in the sun care category, which was crowned last year's double-digit winner.
The report also revealed that staple products and necessities such as personal cleansing products, deodorants and antibacterial gels suffered the least in terms of sales.
“It is evident that practical purchases and small indulgences kept the industry alive during this very difficult year,” concluded Mills.