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Due to its status as a discretionary category, color cosmetics was one of the hardest hit globally, slipping from 5% growth in 2008 to 3% in 2009. However, despite the continuing difficult economic climate, the desire among women to look good remains, and the size of the category is set to swell by $5 billion between 2009 and 2014. However, the main issue for the industry is that this growth will be more than a third lower than the absolute growth of $8.5 billion achieved 2004–2009.
Color cosmetics players sitting tight and hoping things will pick up in traditional key markets might be disappointed. The U.S. is set to see $120 million absolute growth 2009–2014, just 16% of the figure it produced 2004–2009. A similar picture will be seen in the U.K. (absolute growth 2009–2014 will be 45% of that seen 2004–2009) and Germany (57%).
However, there are still opportunities even in these markets, particularly in naturally positioned color cosmetics and at the low end of the mass market for those prepared to discount.
Color cosmetics has traditionally had very low levels of private label sales. Since the onset of the recession, however, with both high-end and mass products impacted, consumers have become increasingly attracted to new private label ranges.