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Price, Aesthetics and Added Value Key to Bath & Body Sales

A recent Mintel survey reveals that price is a leading factor in consumer purchase decisions for soap, bath and shower products. Scent and moisturization, however, are significant influencers. Thirty-eight percent of Mintel respondents who have purchased soap say their decision is based mainly on scent, while 35% say they prefer shower products with extra moisturizers.

“Although many top brands have answered demand for these qualities, there are substantial opportunities for private label brands to enter this arena during the slow economic recovery,” said Kat Fay, senior beauty analyst, Mintel. “The U.S. soap consumer is looking for bargains now more than ever as household budgets remain tight, therefore private label brands need to have a lower price-point and deliver lather, fragrance and significant moisturizing ingredients.”

Meanwhile, 60% of Mintel’s respondents claim that finding soap or body wash products on sale or at the lowest cost is important/very important to them, and 18% of soap-buying consumers say they look for the least expensive brand of soap or body wash.

While this segment is often targeted toward women, men are starting to make a substantial impact in the market of bubbles; a plain old bar of soap is no longer going to cut it. Men between the ages of 18–34 report the highest usage of body wash at 58%, compared to 50% of those ages 35–54 and 42% of those who are 55+.

“Men represent a key demographic for sales of body wash products, and marketers of these products should attempt to gain the attention of men to boost their sales,” said Fay. “Having said that, a whopping 74% of women buy liquid body soap or wash compared to 50% of men—so women are still the key purchasers.”

With the growing trend of body wash, it seems people need a little help lathering up, so it isn’t surprising, states Mintel, that scrubbers and massagers grew nearly 10% in 2010, and Mintel expects this segment to continue growing by 63% between 2010 and 2015.

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