UK nail sector growing in right direction


Valued at £221m in 2011

The UK nail sector is looking healthier than ever after recording double-digit growth in 2011, bringing its total value up to £221m, according to Mintel.

The impressive figures are partially down to the increasing number of women using nail varnish – in 2011, 61% of women used polish compared with 52% in 2007 – as well as a particularly strong year for npd, with new polish effects, nail wraps and transfers attracting consumers.

And it is not just the UK that has seen a rise in interest in nail products. Europe as a whole has also seen an increase in the level of innovation and consumer interest in the sector; in 2008, nail products accounted for 10% of all colour cosmetic launches and by 2012, this had risen to 26%.

Vivienne Rudd, head of beauty and personal care insight at Mintel, said: “In terms of colour, nails have stolen the limelight from eyes and lips, and have become an arena for self-expression in the form of nail art. While the prim, ladylike look of French manicured nails is unlikely to ever go out of style, recent trends have covered less subtle, even outrageous looks ranging from two-tone manicures and classic red polish, to ombre and metallic shades. Nail make-up has also witnessed one of the biggest increases of all core beauty sectors in its consumer base in recent years.”

The nail sector now represents 15% of the total colour cosmetics market value in the UK, however cosmetics for the face still take the largest share, accounting for 38% of the total market value at £526m, followed by eyes at £410m and lips at £224m.

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In terms of launch activity by region, the UK was the most active, accounting for 29% of all new product activity in the colour cosmetics market during 2012, followed by Germany accounting for 22% and France accounting for 20%.