Beauty Industry Continues to Trend Upward Despite Economy

The NPD Group and SymphonyIRI Group, recently announced the first quarter 2011 (January through March) results of their partnered product, the Beauty Cross Channel Monitor. The Beauty Cross Channel Monitor is the U.S. beauty industry's first and only point-​of-​sale tracking product that looks at sales performance in department stores (prestige) and the food, drug, and mass market, excluding Walmart (FDMx).

Total U.S. beauty sales in the prestige and food/​drug/​mass channels are trending similarly in first quarter 2011, up 5% and 4%, respectively. Makeup sales, while also trending similarly, tell a slightly different story with the food/​drug/​mass channel faring better than prestige due in part to the double-​digit sales in the $127 million nail segment.

"Despite the current economic situation, the beauty industry continues to trend upward showing growth for the fourth consecutive quarter in both the food/​drug/​mass and prestige channels," said Diane Nicholson, president, Beauty, The NPD Group. "After a positive, yet cautious 2010, it's encouraging to see consumers continue to embrace newness and innovation in the beauty space."

According to NPD's Economy Tracker, 35% of consumers planned to maintain or increase their spending in cosmetics and fragrances for first quarter 2011, up two percentage points from last year. This is despite the fact that consumers are also dedicating a larger percentage of their wallets to gas and groceries, as prices of these categories rise.

In fragrance, the prestige market (roughly five times larger than the food/​drug/​mass market) grew by 6% during the first quarter of 2011 versus flat sales in the food/​drug/​mass channel. The increase in prestige fragrance is due to the positive performance in top existing juice brands, as well as strong sales from 2010 fragrance introductions.

Conversely in skincare, the food/​drug/​mass channel is triple the size of the prestige channel, yet prestige is trending better, up six percent versus three percent in food/​drug/​mass. The face, suncare, and gift set segments were key drivers in the growth of prestige skincare.

"Now more than ever, as the beauty consumer evolves and channel shifting continues, the Beauty Cross Channel Monitor is a valuable resource for understanding beauty trends across the prestige and mass markets," said Victoria Gustafson, vice president, Beauty Vertical, SymphonyIRI Group. "Capitalizing on the dynamics between these channels is a critical component to maximizing brand strategies."

[Source:  "Beauty Cross Channel Monitor."  The NPD Group/​SymphonyIRI Group.  10 June 2011.  Web.  15 June 2011.]