According to market researcher Euromonitor, Western Europe remains the largest market for sun care products; however Latin America is beginning to show dynamic growth, primarily driven by Brazil.
And this rapid growth could make the Latin American region a future contender for the number two spot globally, replacing Asia-Pacific.
However, it appears there is no chance that Western Europe will be knocked off its perch, as Euromonitor predicts it will remain number one for the next four years.
Sun care meets skin care
Euromonitor has released its latest report on the global sun care industry, announcing that sales of sun care products around the world reached $9.3 billion in 2011, with protection and skin care benefits driving the growth.
"Sun protection is driving growth for sun care products, and the merging of skin care properties with sun protection is supporting a distinct global trend towards high factor sun protection," says Irina Barbalova, global head of beauty and personal care research at Euromonitor International.
Demand for protection comes after consumers around the world became increasingly aware of the dangers of sun damage, and are looking more for products with sun protection properties.
This has led to an increasing amount of skin care products incorporating sun protection properties, while, conversely, sun care products are offering skin care benefits, such as anti-aging and moisturising.
"In the race to compete against other categories and brands, a common tactic for manufacturers is to launch products that offer as many different functions as possible," adds Barbalova. "In consumers' eyes, having an SPF is no longer enough."
According to the report, Nivea has done this successfully and continues to reinvent itself, consolidating its position as the world's leading sun care brand, and enjoying high levels of consumer trust.
Forecast growth provided in the report indicates that sun protection will continue to be a driving force in the global sun care market, delivering 96 percent of all value growth between 2011 and 2016.