Ageing populations begin to drive skincare sales

Related tags European union Europe

British women seem most likely to grow old gracefully, accepting
the natural signs of ageing, and creating a more challenging market
for wrinkle creams, suggests a new report.

Amongst the French, Germans, Spanish and British, it is British women, who are by far and away the least likely to use anti-ageing or anti-wrinkle creams, shows Mintel research.

Today, just over one in three (36 per cent) British women use them, compared to just under half of women in Spain, over half in France (53 per cent) and an impressive 64 per cent in Germany.

New anti-ageing products today offer a real alternative to painful andexpensive cosmetics procedures such as Botox injections to iron outwrinkles. But in Britain almost two-thirds of women swear by goodold-fashioned water, with as many as 65 per cent of Brits saying drinking lots of water is the best thing for your skin.

"In Western Europe it is German women who seem particularly aware of the ageing process. They often strive to look young and they are clearly ready to try out new products that promise the results they are looking for,"​ comments Michelle Strutton, senior consumer analyst at Mintel.

But this is not only true of mature German women, as two-fifths ofGerman girls from as young as 15 look to use these anti-ageing productsas well.

"Although older women throughout Europe, naturally constitutethe prime consumer base for anti-ageing skincare, manufacturers are keen to target younger women with products that are preventative, rather than curative,"​ she added.

What is more, German women not only use anti-ageing creams more readilythan most, but also use skincare products in the hope of keeping theirskin young and supple. Today over three in five (63 per cent) German women admit to this, compared to a mere 46 per cent of British women.

In France, sales of facial skincare are expected to reach an impressive€2.2 billion this year. This phenomenal figure equates to some 40 per cent of the Western European (Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK)facial skincare market, with each French woman spending considerablygreater than in any other European country.

Indeed, French women spendthe same on facial skincare (which includes moisturisers, cleansers andtoners) as Spanish, German and British women do put together.Meanwhile, following some way behind France in second place is Italywith a market size of less than €1.1 billion.

"France is not only the world's leading supplier of toiletries,cosmetics and perfumes but is also clearly the largest European consumerof these products. In France, skincare and in particular facialskincare, has been one of the best performing beauty sectors in recentyears. A growing taste for self indulgence and women's interest inmaintaining their youthful looks as long as possible has boosted themarket,"​ continued Strutton.

The British facial skincare market is worth just over €791 million,accounting for a mere 15 per cent of the European market. Only the Spanishmarket at €502 million is smaller. That said, the Spanish marketis the fastest growing market in the group, having grown some 49 per cent overthe past five years. This compares to growth of around 35 per cent in France, 32 per centin Italy and 29 per cent in the UK. Germany has seen the slowest growth at just11 per cent over the same time period, with the market now totalling €797 million this year.

"The Spanish facial skincare market has been driven by innovation andincreasing specialisation. With such impressive growth the facialskincare market is in fact one of the most dynamic of Spanish consumermarkets and easily the fastest-growing cosmetics and beauty market,"​explained Michelle Strutton.

Over the next five years, the facial skincare markets in Germany, France,Italy, Spain and the UK are all expected to grow, but it is the Italianmarket that is forecast to increase by the greatest amount. By 2009 theItalian facial skincare market will be worth almost €1.4 billion,up some 26 per cent on 2004 figures. Interestingly, the UK market is also goingto perform particularly well over this period, growing some 24 per cent toalmost €1 billion.

Although the French market, the biggest in Europe, is expected to growthe least (17 per cent) over the next five years, the prospects can still be seenas good for this market. Sales have thrived of late, despite the recentFrench economic downturn, and the French beauty industry appears to berelatively unaffected by pressure on disposable incomes.

"The ageing population across the board in Europe is now really startingto have an impact on consumer markets. Because of this the key issuefacing skincare manufacturers is how to maximise the potential of theolder consumer aged 50 and above. This will require a fresh approachrather than simply grouping all over 50s together as has usually beendone in the past. NPD will play an important part in targeting thesewomen, as well as in delivering new skincare concepts to all consumersand we could see tailored skincare solutions based on age, skin type andlifestage,"​ concluded Strutton.

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