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According to Euromonitor International, retail demand for packaged sun care formulations rose a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7% 2005 to 2010, second only to hair care—up 7.3%. The positive performance of sun care products is due, in part, to consumers’ growing awareness of the need for sun protection—and this awareness is further apparent in the widening array of other skin care and facial cosmetic products on the market that provide substantial ultraviolet (UV) protection for everyday use. Consumers’ awareness of the correlation between sun exposure and the appearance of premature aging skin and skin cancer will no doubt continue to develop, driving product innovation with multifunctional skin care and sun care products becoming more commonplace.
Despite heightened consumer knowledge about the dangers of unprotected sun exposure and widespread product and packaging innovation, 2009 proved to be a particularly weak spot for sales of sun care lines, largely impacted by the global economic downturn and the consequent drop in global leisure travel (with the number of leisure trips taken down 3% amidst the peak of the recession).
However, 2010 proved more buoyant, with sun care up 3.7% in packaging unit volume terms to reach 953 million units. A further 4.1% growth in sun care sales is expected in 2011, partly commensurate with consumer concerns about the harmful effects of the sun and further bolstered by the ongoing recovery in the travel industry, with the number of trips made for leisure purposes forecast to rise by 3% in 2011.
Brand owners are continually looking at ways to aid consumers in their sun care use/purchasing decisions, and smart phone apps are gaining in presence. In 2010, core brands such as U.S. sun care brand leader Coppertone launched Coppertone MyUVAlert, a downloadable smart phone app that provides consumers with sun protection information and local UV index forecasts, while L’Oréal’s Instant Beauty de L’Oréal de Paris app enables users to scan bar codes for more information on specific L’Oréal products to help in sun care purchasing decisions, and more such apps are likely in 2011.