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HAIR COLORANT SALES GET A BIG BOOST IN EUROPE.

THE EUROPEAN hair care market suffered mixed fortunes in 2000. Shampoos and conditioners found the going rougher than colorants, but the market overall is bracing itself for a slowdown. The UK hair care market fell 6% to nearly $650 million last year. Penetration rates for shampoos and conditioners are so high (91% and 29% respectively) that it has been hard for manufacturers to maintain growth. As a result they have turned to an exhaustive schedule of price and multibuy promotions to encourage consumers to try their brands and to buy into their hair care regime. The result is that nearly half of all shampoos are sold through some sort of promotion but only 25% of consumers are persuaded to stick to the same brand.

Shampoo and conditioner usage was slightly lower in Germany, with penetration set at 89.8% and 16.5% in the year ending March 2001. Sales were down 2.9% to $615 million. However, the outlook for 2001 may be a little sunnier as Wella says that sales (including colorants) grew 4% in the first four months.

France, in contrast, had a fantastic year for shampoos and conditioners. At 86%, penetration of shampoos was still above the Big 5's average of 85.6% but the penetration rate of 14.8% is by far the lowest of the Big 5. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that conditioners are the fastest growing hair care category in France, putting on 70% in value between 1995-2000. More surprisingly, growth slowed to 5% in 2000 and was outpaced by shampoos, which added 6% to their value.

As in other categories, Italy and Spain have a lot of ground to make up in the hair care market and their growth rates would have been expected to be high. However, Italy managed to add just 3.6% to the value of its hair care market (including colorants) in 2000, even though its shampoo penetration rate was just 76.8%. This represents a considerable slowdown from the growth of 6% sustained over recent years.

Spain, however, has cause for celebration. Despite respectable penetration rates of 81.8% and 15.8% for shampoos and conditioners, the Spanish hair care market grew an impressive 8% last year to reach $658 million, including colorants.

Roots of Success

The key to growth has been a combination of technological advances, natural ingredients and caring claims. Add a dash of spiritual pampering and corporal well-being and you have a skin or body care product in a hair care package. Marketers have responded to consumer demand for value-added products with the proposition that hair and skin share many components and characteristics. Shampoos are becoming increasingly intensive and one-shot sachets are becoming correspondingly successful. As a result, hair care shelves have become increasingly segmented and a number of niches have opened up.

Wella's new Vivality range has attempted to push all these buttons. The Wella Vivality concept is based on emotion and empathy. It's more than hair care, it's a feeling, according to the company. The 15 shampoos, conditioners and treatments all contain protein formulas tailored to normal, dry/damaged, fine and colored/highlighted hair.

Manufacturers are also responding to the aging population. Lever Faberge's Organics added an Anti-Aging sub-brand to its Vital brand, featuring vitamin E and lysine in two shampoos and an intensive conditioner. Arch-rival L'Oreal has just launched Elvive Regenium, described as a replenishing range for the thinner, drier and duller hair that is said to afflict women over 45.

Energy is another key word for marketers. In Germany, in particular, a number of launches have promised to add energy to the hair. Schwarzkopf & Henkel, for example, introduced Schauma Energie in July with the claim that its calcium-limonene complex gives hair vitality and strength. Nivea's Hair Care also features calcium, this time combined with vitamins for a marriage of strength and energy.

And when it comes to naturals, the ingredients are becoming increasingly high-end. Alterna, for example, brought out Enzymotherapy Age-Free line in April. This is said to be the first hair care range to contain caviar extract and the lineup includes a Protectant shampoo, conditioner and reconstructor, all of which are said to turn hair care into a spa experience.

The same promise is made by Italian company Ischia Thermae, which has launched Thermal Mud Shampoo said to be particularly suitable for fine and fragile hair. The shampoo contains not just thermal mud, but also thermal water rich in mineral salts. Italy has embraced the naturals trend in the last couple of years and 2001 is proving no exception. Intercosmo has introduced Natural Biopoint, a range of shampoos featuring vegetable extracts and essential oils for different hair types.

Fading Away

Stronger colors, easy formulas and more adventurous consumers have propelled the colorants market in recent years. In 2000, however, there were signs that the sector is slowing down dramatically.

In the UK, the sector lost 3% in 2000 and in France it fell 0.9%, with industry sources predicting steeper declines by the end of 2001. And while Germany put on 13.8% in 2000, growth has slowed in 2001 to less than 1% over the first four months. Bucking the trend, Spain added 18% to the category and Italy put on 3.2%, with higher growth predicted for this year.

Manufacturers have sought to appeal to new consumer groups with advanced technology. With the popularity of vivid, temporary shades all but over, the key consumer group is women aged 25-35, and market leader L'Oreal has launched two new ranges aimed at just such women.

In June, Laboratoires Garnier launched Lumia, a cream colorant said to integrate light-diffusing, natural pigments with nourishing cationic polymers for visible but subtle color. Last month, L'Oreal Paris introduced Open Color. Described as the first soft permanent gel colorant, Open Color has a low ammonia formula which is said to lift hair color by just one level for a natural, sun-kissed look.

The regrowth of subtlety has led to a new subcategory of color strippers and boosters. Schwarzkopf & Henkel, for example, has developed Ravive Color, a color booster which colors damp hair in just five minutes for an effect which lasts up to four washes. Keranove (Eugene Perma) added Entre Deux Colorations, an ammonia-free gel which boosts color for up to eight washes.

EUROPEAN COSMETICS MARKETS IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY WILMINGTON PUBLISHING LTD. IT PROVIDES IN-DEPTH DATA AND ANALYSIS OF THE EUROPEAN COSMETICS AND TOILETRIES MARKETS. FOR SUBSCRIPTION DETAILS CONTACT WILMINGTON PUBLISHING LTD.,

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Author:RUDD, VIVIENNE
Publication:Household & Personal Products Industry
Date:Sep 1, 2001
Words:1090
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