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Hair Care Growth Thinning for the Near Term

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By: Carrie Lennard, Euromonitor International
Posted: April 30, 2009, from the May 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

In 2008, the global hair care market was worth $63 billion, second only to skin care in terms of value size. In spite of the difficult economic climate, the segment still achieved respectable year-on-year value growth of 4%—slightly lower than the cosmetics and toiletries market as a whole at 5%. Although the recession is set to deepen, Euromonitor International believes hair care will continue to grow, posting a constant value compound annual growth rate of 1% in the next five years as consumers maintain an interest in new hair care products. That said, the industry has been far from immune to the impact of the credit crunch, and growth will be slower than in recent years, and lower than the anticipated compound annual growth rate of 2% for cosmetics and toiletries as a whole from 2008–2013.

Specialized Products Boost Sales Globally

Segmentation is one of the primary trends driving growth in less developed markets. Hair care products for different genders, age groups, and various hair types and needs are still a relative novelty in emerging regions, and are driving value growth in these markets as consumers are becoming more accustomed to buying several products to treat different needs. Antidandruff products are one of the most popular variants, as seen by the success of the Head & Shoulders brand—whose share has grown consistently in the past five years due, in great part, to the strong demand for the brand in China.

Pantene has also enjoyed global success thanks to its strategy of offering product ranges such as Colour Expressions Blonde, Perfect Curls and Enhanced Layers—each of which are tailored to highly specific hair needs and types. Male-specific hair care is one of the few areas where segmentation has struggled to boost sales, with the exception of styling products. Barriers to growth include the fact that men are still largely secondary consumers, and marketers have struggled to convince men to switch from standard hair care products. Brands such as the masstige-priced range L’Oréal Professionel Homme are, however, making some inroads into changing this situation.

Targeting Baby Boomers With Antiaging Hair Care

Antiaging skin care products have been the driving force behind global skin care sales during the past 10 years. With many key Western markets typified by an aging demographic, more and more hair care manufacturers have begun to realize the potential spending power of the baby boomer generation, and are launching products specifically designed to appeal to this lucrative consumer segment. Unilever’s Dove Pro-Age and Sunsilk’s Aging Care ranges, for example, are marketed as helping to restore hair’s youthful appearance.

Natural Hair Care Brands on the Rise