Top beauty and personal care brands 2020? Colgate, Lifebuoy, Sunsilk and Nivea ‘most chosen’

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Colgate has held its position as the second most chosen brand in the world behind Coca-Cola and still ranks as the most chosen beauty and personal care brand globally (Getty Images)
Colgate has held its position as the second most chosen brand in the world behind Coca-Cola and still ranks as the most chosen beauty and personal care brand globally (Getty Images)

Related tags kantar worldpanel Beauty brands Colgate Lifebuoy Sunsilk Dove Nivea

Colgate, Lifebuoy and Sunsilk are the most chosen beauty and personal care brands in the world, but Nivea steals the top spot in Europe, according to Kantar Worldpanel’s 2020 Brand Footprint.

The global rankings – based on data from the 52-week period ending October 2019 – aligned closely with last year’s 2019 Brand Footprint that tracked 2018 data​, though this time the mega-brands shone especially bright, particularly across Europe.

Top 50 FMCG brand rankings in the world

Each year, international consumer knowledge specialist Kantar releases its Brand Footprint report under its Worldpanel division, ranking the top 50 most chosen fast-moving-consumer-goods (FMCG) brands in the world, with category and regional breakdowns.

In this year’s 2020 report*​, much like last year, beauty and personal care brands featured strongly in the top 50 list, with four securing a spot in the top ten most chosen brands globally: Colgate (no.2); Lifebuoy (no.5); Sunsilk (no.7); and Dove (no.8).

Within beauty and personal care, Colgate maintained its top spot for another year as the most chosen brand in the world – it also tallied up the most shoppers worldwide across all FMCG categories; even more than Coca-Cola that held top spot overall. The next nine most-chosen beauty and personal care brands globally were: Lifebuoy, Sunsilk, Dove, Lux, Head & Shoulders, Nivea, Palmolive, Pantene and Pepsodent.

In Europe, the top 10 rankings looked very different. Nivea was the most-chosen beauty and personal care brand, followed by Colgate, Dove, Garnier, Always, Gillette, Rexona, Oral-B, Palmolive and Schwarzkopf.

*​The 2020 report rankings were calculated looking at brand penetration [number of households reached] and consumer reach points [number of brand choices made globally based on number of households in a country, percentage of households purchasing a brand, and number of brand interactions across categories in a year combined]. Data was compiled from 52 countries, representing 74% of the world population and 85% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and spanned 22,900 brands in total.

A ‘revival’ for global brands 

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Europe about the rankings, Benjamin Cawthray, global thought leadership director of Kantar’s Worldpanel division, said the 2020 Brand Footprint showed an interesting uptick for global brands.

“What we’ve seen this year, for total FMCG, was a bit of a revival for global brands – and that’s fairly consistent across all the sectors, health and beauty included,”​ Cawthray said.

“…This has been the strongest year for global brands since we started doing the Brand Footprint.”

The report found that more global shopping baskets were being filled with mega-brand names, with global brands [those that retailed in two or more continents] now accounting for one in three brand choices around the world.

In Europe, global brands had a particularly strong presence and were “holding their own better than in other regions”,​ Cawthray said.

‘Heritage’ power in Europe

Looking at the biggest five manufacturers in beauty and personal care – Unilever, Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal, Colgate-Palmolive and Johnson & Johnson – he said these collectively made up 49% of spend in Europe for the 2019 year ending in October, versus just 31% of spend globally and 24% of spend in Asia.

“I think where Europe differs is that these brands remain strong – the biggest of the big brands remain strong and there’s less competition in Europe from local and smaller manufacturers or indie brands,”​ he said.

“…There is this heritage aspect in Europe – we know these brands; we trust these brands, and whilst there is probably an appetite to try new things, they’ll always do well in Europe.”

Beiersdorf with its Nivea brand – the most chosen brand in Europe – was a great example of that, Cawthray said. The brand had an “impressive”​ penetration in Europe, he said, reaching more than 50% of households in the region. “Even outside of health and beauty, the only other brand in Europe that has over 50% penetration is Coca-Cola,”​ he said.

However, whilst the 2020 Brand Footprint showed a “strong year”​ for global brands, Cawthray said there had been a tremendously strong performance among local brands too – “even stronger” ​in CRP terms. Total CRP growth for local health and beauty brands was 7.7% for the year, versus just 5% for global brands, he said.

“Big, global brands have to keep an eye out on the local players and see what trends are coming out of Asia – this is where the hotbed of innovation is. You can imagine that any of the local brands there could easily disrupt the European market if they expanded into Europe or beyond.”

Health and beauty soars – Colgate sits strong

Across total FMCG, the health and beauty category grew fastest in terms of consumer reach points (CRP) – up 6.1% for the year versus a 2.7% CRP growth for all FMCG brands.

“Health and beauty was doing amazingly well; growing faster than the rest of FMCG, actually growing twice as fast. But, with recent developments [around COVID-19], personal care has been hit harder than other sectors,”​ Cawthray said.

Asked if it was a surprise Colgate had secured its top spot in the rankings, he said: “No, as it’s got the highest penetration of any brand in the world, so it’s not a surprise it has maintained it’s number two spot in the global ranking and top spot in beauty. What is pleasant reading is to see its growth.”

Despite already ranking consistently high across FMCG and health and beauty, he said the brand grew its total CRP by 7% - “very strong growth in the latest year”. ​India was the primary source of this consumer reach point growth for Colgate, he said, though performances in the UK and other markets had also contributed.

Sunsilk and Dove switch spots, Head & Shoulders spotlighted

In the 2020 Brand Footprint, Sunsilk ranked as the no.7 most chosen global brand, just ahead of Dove at no.8 – a change to when the two held different positions in the 2019 ranking (Dove no.8 and Sunsilk no.9). So, why the shift?

“Sunsilk and Dove have a similar level of CRP, but Sunsilk has just grown that bit faster and managed to overtake Dove in the ranking. Dove is still doing well, it’s just that Sunsilk is growing at a faster rate,”​ Cawthray said.

In fact, Dove had shown “really amazing growth”,​ he said, despite this switch in position and it remained one of the few brands that had grown in every edition of Kantar’s Brand Footprint for the last eight years.

Cawthray said Sunsilk had benefitted from a stronger presence and growth in southern and southeast Europe compared to Dove, but also growth in the “high frequency”​ markets – India, Philippines and Bangladesh. Shoppers in these markets, he said, tended to buy smaller pack sizes and Sunsilk hair care products were often bought in small sachets versus larger bottles. “That’s a dynamic going on which is behind Sunsilk seeing slightly stronger growth than Dove,”​ he said.

Still, with both brands owned by Unilever, he said the continued growth of each was a “double win”​ for the manufacturer.

A look across all top performing health and beauty brands also showed important gains for Head & Shoulders, owned by Procter & Gamble. The hair care brand ranked among the top 10 brands across all FMCG with the biggest penetration gains for the year. Household penetration was up 0.3% on the previous year, indicating the brand reached an extra 4.4m households globally.

Related topics Market Trends All Asia-Pacific

Related news

Show more