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P&G and L’Oréal battle it out for Canadian supremacy

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 21-Jan-2013
Last updated the 21-Jan-2013 at 17:32 GMT

It is as surprising as the Coke and Pepsi, McDonalds and Burger King, and the Oilers and the Flames rivalries, but Procter & Gamble and L’Oréal continue to duke it out for top spot in the Canadian cosmetics arena.

According to a new report on the Canadian personal care market from Companies & Markets, P&G and L’Oréal Canada lead the way in a prospering field.

In 2011, the Canadian beauty market grew at a faster constant value rate than at any time since 2007, says the market researcher.

However, as economic recovery was slower than anticipated, and the labor market remained fragile, overall sales growth was not as strong as the growth shown in pre-recessionary years.

The beauty and personal care market is projected to grow at a modest constant value rate through to 2016. While retail sales are not expected to be excessive, some products, such as anti-aging skin care, will continue to outpace overall market growth, stimulated by the aging consumer base.

Product opportunity

This is where the cosmo-rivals have seen their opportunity, with the Ohio-based consumer goods giant and the cosmetics king’s Canadian subsidiary both leading the beauty and personal care in market value share terms.

P&G's Olay brand has been successful in integrating the anti-aging agents from its skin care line into its line of body washes and bar soaps, as well as seeing growing market share for its Cover Girl line of color cosmetics.

In addition, Companies & Markets highlights that the Olay brand launched a new hair removal system called Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo, and enhanced its Crest line of oral care products which has helped the firm’s fortunes.

Market share

L'Oréal, meanwhile, saw an increase in market value share in both the mass and premium segments of color cosmetics due to the success of its L'Oréal Paris, Maybelline New York and Lancôme brands.

Drugstores in Canada also continue to lead in retail distribution of beauty and personal care products.

“Furthermore, in an attempt to recover sales and seek out higher-margin products to compensate for reduced revenue from prescription drug sales (due to changes in legislation), many pharmacies and drugstore chains (previously focused almost exclusively on healthcare) are turning more towards beauty care products,” says C & M.

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