Manufacturers must go niche to find growth in US hair care market

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hair care, Marketing

The US hair care market is expected to drop in value over the next five years and manufacturers will have to target niche areas such as ethnic hair care to find growth.

According to figures from market research company Datamonitor, the US hair care market stood at $7.35bn in 2009, and is estimated to be worth $7.08bn in 2014.

While a slight drop in volume sales is expected, this drop in market value can be explained in the most part by lower prices, Datamonitor analyst Mark Whalley explained.

“The US hair care market is a very mature market and the sheer number of different brands available drives prices down,”​ he told USA. In addition, the popularity of private label products is also expected to affect the value of the market.

“Consumers are looking at private labels more, post recession. They don’t necessarily think that they are trading down, it reflects a growing belief that the quality of private label is comparable,”​ Whalley explained.

Niche hair care

In order to find growth, in particular for a new manufacturer, the analyst said the niche areas were the ones to be targeted, focusing on smaller demographics.

“In the last few years the growth in the ethnic market has been much stronger than industry growth as a whole,”​ he said.

Another sector that offers growth opportunities is the natural and organic market. Hair care products containing natural or organic ingredients appear to be performing well, according to Whalley, as are those that offer a more complete sensory experience with strong, remarkable fragrances.

Ambitious claims

Another approach to the niche market is the development of anti-aging hair care products, which are just beginning to appear on US shelves.

“The claims that are being made on some products are becoming more ambitious, including a number of products that tout anti-aging benefits,”​ he said.

While the analyst expects a certain amount of initial skepticism towards these claims, if manufacturers can convince the consumer of real benefits then it could be a winning strategy.

Related topics: Market Trends

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