According to the market research company, a 6 percent drop in sales compared to 2008 puts the value of the US prestige beauty market at $8.19bn (€6.06bn).
“2009 was indeed a very challenging year for the beauty industry,” said NPD vice president and global industry analyst Karen Grant.
Fragrance sales showed biggest drop
Fragrance was the primary driver for the overall industry decline, stated NPD Group, which also tracked make-up and skin care sales.
Fragrance represents 30 per cent of the total US Prestige Beauty industry, according to NPD, and the sector showed a decline of 10 percent on 2008’s figures, falling to $2.48bn.
However, sales of smaller-sized fragrances increased, with women’s fragrance juices less than one ounce in volume growing 8 percent from 2006.
Make-up and skin care performed similarly
Although the prestige beauty market saw sales declines across all three categories, make-up and skin care performed significantly better than fragrance.
Make-up sales, which represent 39 percent of the total market, fell 5 percent to $3.16bn, and skin care sales fell 4 percent to $2.47bn.
According to NPD, a 50 percent increase in the number of mineral make-up products introduced in 2009 helped the face sub-segment to outperform the market, which showed a drop of 2 percent.
“It is important to point out that prestige only captures a small slice of the mineral make-up pie, but this product remains a big focus and is a major driver of the face segment in prestige,” said Grant.
For prestige skin care, 2009 was the first year the category has declined, and it was the only category to show growth in the fourth quarter, mainly due to sales of basic skin care products for sensitive skin, according to NPD.
Also for the first time, sensitive skin care outperformed anti-aging.
According to Grant, 2010 will continue to be a challenging year for the prestige beauty industry.
“As our consumers increasingly seek the best product for the price or the best price for the product, we must continue to stay focused on what will increase our relevance to them,” said Grant.