2005 world cosmetic market dominated by P&G-Gillette merger

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

The biggest event during 2005 has proved to be the announcement of
P&G's merger with Gillette. But a new report also points out
that with Coty's acquisition of Unilever's fragrance division,
combined with continuing growth of developing markets, means that
certain markets have been buzzing.

The activity counterbalances flat sales in both the US and key Western European markets, leading to a market value of $231 billion (€195bn) in 2004 - a figure increased by 9 per cent on the previous year, according to figures from Euromonitor's​ new report, The World Market for Cosmetics and Toiletries.

What is driving the growth is major activity at the top of the almighty western European and US markets, combined with phenomenal growth in the increasingly strong economies of China, Latin America and eastern Europe.

But also it is the bigger western players that are getting involved in growth outside of Europe and the US. This was typified by L'Oreals various moves into the Asia Pacific market, having acquired Japanese company Shu Uemura and Chinese skin care brands Mininurse and Yue Sai.

A number of trends have also come to characterize the market this year. Euromonitor points to the fact that demographics are having an increasing influence of product segmentation, with new brands popping up to appeal to age, gender, race and specific cosemetic requirements.

All this has meant that ageing baby boomers, ethnic minorities and specific hair and skin conditions have all become an increasingly important part of cosmetic companies' targets. This has thrown up offerings such as colour cosmetic for ethnic groups and anti-ageing products for seniors.

Men have also become a growing target for cosmetics companies, and not just in Europe and the US. There have been a plethora of new skin care ranges that has included a new skin whitening range for men launched by Nivea on the Asian market.

Manufacturers have also tapped into the new spending power of teenagers and pre-teens. In particular Euromonitor points to Avon's new Mark range, which includes skin care, colour cosmetic and fragrance products aimed at teen and young women.

Furthermore the upper end of the mass market has continued to expand. The report highlights that this has been underpinned by increasingly refined consumer demand and manufacturer's attempts to generate growth through increasing product innovation.

Although the western European market grew 14 per cent in 2004 to reach $71.3 million, the slug performance of the French and German market continues to weigh heavily on the performance.

The picture is even more worrying in the US, where a persistently slow retail market led to negligible growth. This situation was further exacerbated by the continued expansion of large discount retailers such as Wal-Mart who are continuing to munch into manufacturers' margins.

But the experts also point out that strong growth in markets such as China, Russia and Brazil is expected to provide marketers with continued opportunities if market condidtions prevail.And let it not be forgotten that the merger of P&G with Gillette next year will create the world's largest consumer goods company - something that will inevitbably have a significant impact on the global cosmetic and toiletries market.

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