Top beauty and personal care brands 2022? Colgate, Lifebuoy, Dove and Sunsilk ‘most chosen’

By Lynda Searby

- Last updated on GMT

Colgate remains the most-chosen beauty and personal care brand in the world, entering into the 'brands of the decade' because of its successful growth [Getty Images]
Colgate remains the most-chosen beauty and personal care brand in the world, entering into the 'brands of the decade' because of its successful growth [Getty Images]

Related tags kantar worldpanel Colgate Dove Lifebuoy Nivea Sunsilk COVID-19 Beauty brands

Colgate, Lifebuoy, Dove and Sunsilk are the most chosen beauty and personal care brands in the world, but L’Oréal Paris is the ‘biggest online adopter’, according to Kantar Worldpanel’s 2022 Brand Footprint.

This year’s report - a special edition to mark ten years of Brand Footprint – also named Colgate, Dove, Sunsilk and Nivea as ‘Brands of the Decade’ due to their strong growth over the past ten years.

Top 50 FMCG brand rankings in the world

Each year, international consumer knowledge specialist Kantar releases its Brand Footprint report under its Worldpanel division, ranking the top 50 most chosen fast-moving-consumer-goods (FMCG) brands in the world, with category and regional breakdowns.

In this year’s 2022 report*​, the picture was one of resilience and rebound for the beauty sector, now firmly on the road to post-COVID recovery, while hygiene-focused personal care brands experienced a slowdown. Both beauty and personal care brands featured strongly in the top 50 list, with four securing a spot in the top ten most chosen brands globally: Colgate (no.2); Lifebuoy (no.4); Dove (no.9); and Sunsilk (no.10).

Within beauty and personal care, Colgate maintained its top spot for another year as the most chosen brand in the world - it is purchased by more shoppers than any other FMCG brand and is the only brand with global penetration of over 50%. The next nine most-chosen beauty and personal care brands globally were: Lifebuoy, Dove, Sunsilk, Lux, Head & Shoulders, Pepsodent, Close-Up, Nivea and Palmolive.

With online now accounting for over 7% of FMCG purchases in value terms and even more in the beauty sector, coverage of brand performance via this channel provided some interesting insights. Colgate was the most-chosen beauty and personal care brand online (no.5 in the entire FMCG list), with L’Oréal Paris (no.6) and Dove (no.9) also making it into the top 10. L’Oréal was singled out for leading the way in growing its online CRPs (consumer reach points) threefold since 2015 to 21 million in 2021. A big contributor was L’Oréal’s performance in China, where it has enjoyed success with digital try-ons, said the report.

*​The 2022 report rankings were calculated looking at brand penetration [number of households reached] and consumer reach points [number of brand choices made globally based on number of households in a country, percentage of households purchasing a brand, and number of brand interactions across categories in a year combined]. Data was compiled from 52 countries, representing 87% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), from the 52-week period ending October 2021.

A tale of two sectors

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Europe, Benjamin Cawthray, global thought leadership director of Kantar’s Worldpanel division, said the rankings reflected “two contrasting stories in beauty and personal care”.

“Before COVID, the beauty sector was the fastest growing part of the FMCG industry. But then masks went on, lockdowns came in, and the best performing sector suddenly found itself struggling in the face of people going out less often and using fewer products,” ​he said.

Cawthray said that fortunately the beauty sector was now on the road to recovery, with a visible rebound taking place in 2021 across all categories (cosmetics, face & body skin care and hair care). He said this was most apparent in the face care category, which fell by 4% in 2020 then grew by 4% in 2021. Personal care, on the other hand, benefitted from COVID owing to an increased focus on hygiene, with Dettol and Lifebuoy experiencing “astronomical growth”​ in 2020, explained Cawthray. He said both sub-categories subsequently saw a significant slowdown in 2021, although they still remained ahead of where they were in 2019 in terms of consumer reach.

Regardless of sector, the brands that performed and maintained their positions in the rankings were those that grew the number of shoppers they have, according to Cawthray.

“Brands have a variety of levers they can pull to find more shoppers, from increasing their presence, targeting non-buyers, to playing in more categories or establishing new needs,”​ he said.

Brands of the Decade: Colgate, Dove, Sunsilk and Nivea

Four brands that have consistently attracted more shoppers over the last ten years are Colgate, Dove, Sunsilk and Nivea - all four were named Brands of the Decade in this special edition report.

“Over the decade they all increased their shopper base through a mixture of innovation, celebrity endorsements and having a great understanding of their consumers,” ​Cawthray noted.

Notably Dove has managed ten years of continuous growth - a feat only matched by one other brand in the global top 50. The report’s authors said Dove had achieved this through “innovation, strong purpose-driven communication, category extensions and renovations”.

“Time and again, the brand has actively looked to shatter beauty stereotypes and go against toxic beauty standards,” ​the authors wrote.

Colgate was named ‘fastest growing oral brand of the decade’; in 2021, 708 million shoppers bought a Colgate item - an increase of over 70 million shoppers in a decade.

Sunsilk, meanwhile, was profiled as the ‘fastest growing hair care brand’ on the basis that it has achieved on average 5% CRP growth every year for the past ten years.

The report emphasized that winning in the competitive and fragmented hair care category was “no easy task”​, stating: “To become the fastest growth brand of the decade in such a competitive category, Sunsilk has demonstrated impressive consistency of buyer growth to build real brand momentum.”

Nivea is now the 29th most chosen FMCG brand globally and the most chosen health and beauty brand in Europe. Prior to the pandemic, it had experienced eight years of consecutive growth, earning it the title of ‘fastest growing skin moisturising brand’ in this year’s report.

While Nivea is best known for its skin moisturising products, its growth over the years has come from its whole portfolio, with deodorants, body wash and sun care becoming key ingredients in the brand’s success.

Ones to watch

Among the established brands, Cawthray said it would be interesting to see how Dove and Nivea performed in the next 12 months.

“Will Dove be able to grow for an 11th straight year and will Nivea be able to return to growth having grown for eight years in a row but having suffered due to COVID? The data certainly indicates it is moving in the right direction,”​ he said.

“L’Oréal Paris too is an interesting one given its strength online, particularly in the Chinese mainland, and with this channel growing even faster for beauty and personal care than for the rest of FMCG,”​ he added.

Outside of these three, Cawthray predicted that one of these days a local giant from India or China could make a real impact globally.

“Dabur, from India, for example, grew at 20% in 2021 and plays across multiple categories - predominantly oral care and hair care - and is famous locally for its natural products,”​ he said.

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