Body care manufacturers used to rely on the twin pillars of fragrance and function. But products now combine indulgent, multi-sensory experiences with hard working actives. Julia Wray discovers how the sector has evolved
Consumers, it appears, still view their face as their fortune. While the global skin care market grew 2.7% to reach $80.51bn in 2012, the body care market dropped 0.4% to $16.41bn in the same period, according to data from Euromonitor International.
Commenting on body care’s performance in the UK, Ashley Anzie, Consumer Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel, states: “It’s not having the best time. It has gone from being a £172m market in 2009 [52 weeks to 14 June 2009] to about £161m in the latest year [52 weeks to 9 June 2013].” Reasons for this, says Anzie, include a “huge emphasis on reduced prices... to try and get people to buy into the category”, which in practice has rewarded those who already buy into it, and “a move into the middle ground... so general purpose body moisturisers are doing well, but the premium and anti-ageing markets are struggling”.
That said, he notes: “There is always potential [for recovery] as long as brands innovate and as long as they innovate with what I call ‘true NPD’, by creating something that doesn’t yet exist.”
Fortunately the cosmetics and toiletries industry is working hard to meet people’s ever growing checklist of body care demands. According to Anzie: “Shoppers want more from products, but are not necessarily prepared to pay a premium for it. So in the last few years, consumers have opted for products that communicate lots of different benefits in one product.”
“Modern women look for simplicity, fast action, fast absorption and application, and the sensoriality of the products, including colours and perfumes,” adds Monica Broccoli, R&D Supervisor at Italian beauty brand Collistar. “We are looking for products that are easy to use with immediate and perceptible results.”
In addition to multiple and instantly perceivable effects, today’s consumers are choosy about the secondary characteristics of their body care. “There is a realisation that if we want to look our best then we need to moisturise and scrub, and have the kind of routines in place that we’ve been using on our faces for years,” Louise Moore, Head of Product Development at Sanctuary Spa owner PZ Cussons, tells SPC. “Body care is changing... from being merely about function and fragrance to become a multifunctional, sensorial experience. Whereas you once had lotions and oils, and later body butters, now you are talking about ‘cushiony soft creams’ and ‘whipped’ textures, as well as scrubs that heat and ones that cool. The expectation of how a product delivers its benefits has increased.”