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US Premium Beauty Products Achieve Double-Digit Growth

Posted: December 20, 2013

The NPD Group is reporting sales of premium-priced prestige beauty products in the U.S. reached $2.2 billion in the 12 months ending November 2013, a 23% increase versus the same time period last year. Premium unit beauty sales for makeup ($50+) reached 5.1 million units sold for December 2012–November 2013, a 25% increase from the same period from the prior year; premium fragrance (items +$100) saw the sale of 4.5 million units for the same time period, a 42% increase from the previous year; and premium skin care (items +$80) saw 9.4 million units sold December 2012–November 2013, representing a 15% from December 2011–November 2012.

“The value of premium-priced beauty products to a consumer can range from the quality of the ingredients and product performance to something as simple as cost benefits that come with a larger format,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Whatever the motivation, consumers continue to be more willing to invest in their beauty products.”

For December 2012–November 2013, the average selling price for prestige beauty makeup was $26, a 2% increase from the same period the previous year. The average selling price for the same time for prestige fragrance was $68, a 5% rise from December 2011–November 2012, and for prestige skin care, the average price increased 4% from the previous year to $44.

During the past two years, the average price of prestige beauty products has increased consistently. Fragrance is the category with the highest average selling price, largest price increase, and most significant increase in unit sales of premium-priced products. Fragrance juices, face makeup, and sun-related skin care are the segments with the highest increases in average selling price between December 2012 and November 2013.

“The willingness of today’s consumers to spend a little more on their beauty products is a continued opportunity for manufacturers and retailers. It is the right time for communicating the end benefit of investing in better products and service to get the attention of your customer, and delivering on those promises will do the rest,” said Grant.