Beauty Youth Market Shows Signs of Stabilization After Recession Declines

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Despite a decreas­ing per­cent­age of young con­sumers reg­u­lar­ly using beau­ty prod­ucts from 2007 to 2009, ana­lysts are begin­ning to see signs of improve­ment among both female tweens (8–12) and teens (13–17).


Teens’ and tweens’ reg­u­lar usage of beau­ty prod­ucts sta­bi­lized in 2011. Although the lev­el of engage­ment in the cat­e­go­ry today does not appear to be back to pre-recession lev­els (2007 lev­els), the types of prod­ucts being used have remained con­sis­tent with 2009 lev­els. Lip moisturizers/balms, body moisturizers/lotions, and mas­cara con­tin­ue to be the top three reg­u­lar­ly used prod­ucts among teens, and lip gloss, body washes/cleansers/gels, and lip moisturizers/balms con­tin­ue to be the top three beau­ty prod­ucts reg­u­lar­ly used among tweens today.


Aver­age month­ly beau­ty spend­ing esti­mates among tweens and teens show mod­er­ate increas­es rel­a­tive to 2009, anoth­er indi­ca­tion that things are improv­ing for young con­sumers in these age groups. Based on report­ed spend­ing in the past month, tweens esti­mat­ed spend­ing an aver­age of $9.80 on beau­ty prod­ucts, up $.60 from 2009 esti­mates. Like­wise, teens report spend­ing an aver­age of $13.60 on beau­ty prod­ucts in the past month, up from an aver­age of $12.10 in 2009.

The price of beau­ty prod­ucts is impor­tant to both age groups, and “price con­scious­ness” is the self-image that female con­sumers in each age group iden­ti­fy with most often. Teens appear to be even more con­cerned about price than tweens, with high­er report­ed men­tions of the state­ment “I am very cost con­scious when it comes to buy­ing beau­ty prod­ucts” describ­ing them com­plete­ly (42% vs. 25%, respec­tive­ly).


Few young beau­ty con­sumers report “pay­ing full price” when pur­chas­ing beau­ty prod­ucts, with two-thirds of teens, and about 7 in 10 tweens indi­cat­ing they “look for items that are on sale (66% vs. 73%, respec­tive­ly). Although more teens (37%) report “pay­ing full price” than tweens (25%), the per­cent­age of teens report­ing they “pay full price” has been con­sis­tent­ly decreas­ing over time since 2007.

Far from the fick­le and fis­cal­ly care­free image most adults asso­ciate with tweens and teens, youth con­sumers con­tin­ue to be price con­scious and savvy shop­pers like their old­er coun­ter­parts. These traits are reflect­ed in their behav­ior as they con­tin­ue to look for dis­count offers, and dis­play less will­ing­ness to pay full price for beau­ty prod­ucts,” said Karen Grant, vice pres­i­dent and senior glob­al indus­try ana­lyst, The NPD Group.

How­ev­er, it’s not only about the low­est price. It’s about what they feel they are get­ting in return for their mon­ey that influ­ences their choic­es. The over­whelm­ing major­i­ty of girls 8–12 years old tell us that they look to their par­ents and sib­lings to see what beau­ty prod­ucts they are using and that helps them decide what to buy and use. This under­scores the impor­tance of brands build­ing strong emo­tion­al con­nec­tions with con­sumers and stay­ing con­nect­ed. In some sense love for beau­ty prod­ucts and brands can be thought of as fam­i­ly heir­looms, passed on from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion,” end­ed Grant.

[Source:  "Insight into the Youth Beau­ty Mar­ket."  The NPD Group.  15 May 2012.  Web.  17 May 2012.]