Self-tanning category set to be turned on its head

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Self-tanning products Sun tanning

A new approach to self-tanning is revolutionising the category in
the UK. Johnson's Holiday Skin self-tanning body lotion was
launched last year but has already carved out a significant niche
in the market thanks to its more subtle approach.

The product accounted for almost 1 per cent of the general purpose body care subsector, accounting for £22m (€29.3m) according to the the latest figures from Euromonitor.

" This was an impressive result given the moisturiser, which is enhanced with a small amount of self-tan to build up a slow, natural-looking tan, is up against body care giants such as Nivea Body and Vaseline Intensive Care, in a subsector the Johnson's brand has no established presence in,"​ said Diana Dodson, Cosmetics and Toiletries industry analyst at Euromonitor.

Furthermore the success of this launch has led to a burgeoning number of combination products on the market, all aiming to capitalise on the growth of this newly formed niche - growth that Euromonitor believes could threaten the future of traditional self-tanning products.

Battling to get in on the mass market act is Unilever's already established Dove Summer Glow, Procter & Gamble's newly launched Olay combination product, while Clarins Radiance-Plus Self Tanning Body Lotion is taking on the premium sector and Boots No. 7 Naturally Sunkissed Body Moisturiser is targeted at the cut-price private label segment.

So what's behind the success then? Dodson says that the combination product addresses obvious problems with traditional self-tan products, such as streaking and the danger of an obviously fake effect, which many consumers dread.

Holiday skin also acts as a general body lotion, which means that as well as providing a controllable, subtle tanning effect, it also helps to maintain the skin's moisture levels and general condition.

In Northern European countries, where winters are longer and people generally have paler skins, self tanning products have achieved strong sales levels in recent years. And the potential for further growth could be enormous, as consumers shy away from real sun tans because of associated health risk.

In the UK alone £41m was spent on self-tanning products in 2005, a figure that has grown five-fold since 1998, indicating how much potential there is in the market for the right products.

If the success of Holiday Skin is anything to go by, it seems that combination self-tanning products are set to tap into this growth pattern in the future. According to Dodson, this is because they are within reach of a broader consumer base.

Furthermore the product also appeals to a more cost-conscious market, with Holiday Skin priced at $4.99 for 250m., compared to Piz Buin Self Tan Foam, which sells for £11.99 for 125ml.

With a plethora of other combination self-tanning products expected to be launched during the course of the summer, Euromonitor estimates that the market for self-tanning products could grow by 14 per cent to reach £47m could be 'overly optimistic'.

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