New opportunities emerge as the industry pulls out of recession

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Macroeconomics

Although global consumer spending is still not at pre-recession levels, the signs are clear that the cosmetics sector has emerged from the recession, throwing up new opportunities for the industry.

This was the conclusion of Irina Barablova, head of beauty and personal care research at Euromonitor International, who outlined the continuing shift to key developing markets, the re-emergence of the premium and luxury market and opportunities to bring added value in western markets.

During the presentation Barbalova highlighted the fact that the global market for cosmetics and personal care grew by 5 per cent in 2010, underlining a clear recovery from the downturn experienced in 2008 – 2009.

The premium cosmetics category was particularly hard hit by the economic recession, but although recovery has proved slower to get off the ground, there are now some clear signs that key worldwide markets are returning to pre-recession spending patterns.

Premium cosmetics returns to growth

“Premium cosmetics registered 2.5 per cent growth in 2010,”​ said Barbalova. “Growing the premium segment in the USA, United Kingdom and Germany outperformed that of mass cosmetics.”

“China has more than doubled its share of premium sales since 2000 and this is set to reach 18 per cent by 2015, largely driven by premium skin care.”

In Latin America there are also significant opportunities for growth in personal care, as most countries in the region continue to register strong economic growth, with opportunities likely to be particularly evident in the mass market category.

Movement from mass to masstige products

However, Barbalova believes that the movement from mass to masstige products will continue to gather pace, with much of this growth likely to be attributed to developing markets worldwide.

Contrary to the strong economic growth in emerging market, many Western markets, particularly hard hit countries in Europe, are continuing to struggle in the face of economic uncertainty and high unemployment.

In these markets, Barbalove stressed that bringing added value to consumers is crucial to maintaining or increasing market share in economies that are challenged by high unemployment and reduced spending power.

Irina Barbalova also took part in a video interview with at the in-cosmetics show to discuss the growing impact of technology on the industry. That video will be published on the website in the course of the next week.

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