Sun care – beyond protection

4-Apr-2012

Sun care products are more sophisticated and convenient to apply than ever before. In addition to UVA and UVB protection, gradual tanning, melanin boosting, anti-ageing and DNA protecting claims are now commonplace, and brands are increasingly launching products for specific consumer groups or designed to address specific needs. In addition, advances in formulation technology mean that higher protection claims can be incorporated into a wider range of formats than in the past. Protection, trust and education, however, are still of primary importance

Sun care products are more sophisticated and convenient to apply than ever before. But protection, trust and education remain paramount, says Julia Wray

Something was clearly shining on sun care in 2011, preliminary figures from Euromonitor International would suggest. The sector avoided all the traditional pitfalls - sun care is notoriously vulnerable to price discounting during peak selling periods - increasing 6% on 2010 to over $9.2bn thanks to dynamic sales in Latin America and Asia Pacific.

Not all regions thrived however. Of the UK’s sun protection market, Ricky Lakhani, personal care analyst at Mintel, says: “Between 2009 and 2011, the sector has suffered a 3% decline in value sales with cool summer temperatures since 2009 being a key reason for this decline. A reduction in overseas holidays has also contributed to the sector’s value decline between 2009 and 2011.”

Spain and the US also suffered. “The recent economic troubles in the Eurozone have hit Spain hard and 2011 saw a 20% increase in sales of private label sun care, which had a negative effect on value sales,” Euromonitor beauty and personal care analyst Nicole Tyrimou tells SPC. The US sun care market was also adversely affected by lower volume sales and a shift towards cheaper own brand products.

On a brighter note, the sector’s global performance was buoyed by strong sales in Latin America with Brazil (the largest sun care market after the US) enjoying a boom in the use of self tanners. Sales grew 23% in the country and 20% in Latin America as a whole.

According to Euromonitor, the best growth opportunities are in developing markets where sun care usage among middle income consumers is now growing. “In these markets the way to reach consumers is to increase awareness of the health dangers and to offer basic, inexpensive sun protection products,” says Tyrimou. “Also it helps to add benefits like moisturising effects or whitening, depending on what consumers in that region want the most.”

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