Behind the change is an evolving consumer. The great news is that while our consumer may evolve, she is not moving away from making beauty a priority. Four out of five U.S. women shopped for beauty in the past year and the number of female beauty shoppers who cut their spending on beauty has dropped to the lowest level in six years. Our consumer is willing to spend —the key is delivering on what she values.
Our beauty consumer reflects the evolution in our population as well as the evolution in attitudes and sentiments. While Boomers are still, and will remain important in the mix, the voice of other groups has grown louder. Preventative care categories surpassed the growth of corrective (anti-aging) facial skin care categories for the first time in 2014. Expect this shift in focus to bring new blended product and benefit applications further to the fore in 2015. With this change, facial skincare, the leader of growth for several years, takes a back seat to makeup.
Part of the shift to greater emphasis on the quick fix of makeup is the evolution in our beauty consumer’s lifestyle choices. As active wear apparel has become everyday wear, the beauty consumer is similarly evolving in her product preferences to accommodate an on-the-go, somewhat more casual approach to beauty. In this environment, women are opting more for a “no-makeup” look. That does not mean she is opting for no makeup, but the “look” of no-makeup. Quite a difference when you consider the array of products and new applications— including multiple concealers, highlighters, bronzers, shadows, brushes, etc.—necessary to achieve a flawless, no makeup appearance.
Another element driving the shifts is our population. Unlike the markets in Europe, in less than 10 years, the size of the U.S. population under age 30 is projected to be larger than the population aged 50 and over. The sheer size of this group creates a force in our market. As this population is more multicultural, multi-ethnic and multinational, we see their influence in a broader approach to beauty and an arena where indie and or specialized experts thrive with distinct offerings. In skincare, multi-benefit products and once forgotten items like masks, as well as basic and natural hair care products, gain traction. Fragrance gets a boost as artisanal fragrances gain in awareness and usage. Classics and designer fragrances also grow with portable, mini options, as well as large investment options. Makeup takes on the appearance, like a return to classic beauty, as small categories like eyebrow products come out of the shadows and there is growth from bold lip colors, as well as an increased use of lipstick.
The full force of change has brought with it many opportunities in beauty. There are opportunities for new, as well as once forgotten, categories of product. There are opportunities for brands and retailers to establish, strengthen, and reestablish relationships with an expanded and sometimes entirely new population. The year 2015 can be a great one as change is embraced. •
About the Author
Karen Grant is vice president and global beauty industry expert for The NPD Group. In this role, she provides a comprehensive view of the market—coupling expertise of brand management in department stores with the strategic insight of market research. Karen’s concentration is in uncovering emerging market trends, brand vulnerabilities and opportunities. She also provides industry insights on key trends to associations such as HBA and to the media.