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A Sun-kissed Segment

By: Rosemarie Downey, Euromonitor International
Posted: May 4, 2011, from the May 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Within sun care, sun protection remains central to the category, accounting for 85% of all sun care sales in 2010, and rigid plastics in the form of HDPE bottles and squeezable plastic tubes are the leading packaging formats. Western Europe ranks as the leading regional destination for sun protection purchase, accounting for 35% of global packaging demand.

The U.S. remains the single largest country consumer for sun care packaging, with HDPE bottles retaining position as favored pack format for sun protection, though sales rose just 1% in 2010 as pack and dispensing closure developments abound to facilitate product application and dent sales of HDPE bottles. In this vein, continuous spray aerosol cans continue to make particularly strong gains in the U.S. while pump spray fitments on HDPE bottles are serving to slow down the overall fall in U.S. sales of HDPE bottles for sun care.

Product formulation developments have resulted in a number of higher SPF sun protection products, including the launch of Aveeno’s Continuous Protection spray SPF70 product and Neutrogena’s SPF 100 line.

Sun care has had stellar performances in China and Brazil, with retail sales up 5% and 9% in 2010, and rely heavily on HDPE bottles. In China, the traditional aesthetic preference for light skin has manifested in the widespread popularity of skin-lightening products across facial skin care products, and this very specific passion for pale skin offers very good ongoing potential for packaged sun protection lines, especially those that contain anti-aging and skin-whitening attributes. For the same reason, self-tanning products are likely to remain negligible across the Asia-Pacific region, with usage largely remaining centered in Western Europe and North America where sun-kissed skin remains a popular look.

Innovation Through Delivery of Lightweight Formulations; Boon for Products Delivered Via Pump Sprays and Aerosols

The launch of lightweight, non-greasy sun care products that are both easy to apply and absorb into the skin is a clear product formulation trend evident in sun care, and is spurring packaging development. In response to a common complaint that many products are too greasy and difficult to absorb into the skin, particularly about facial sun care products with high SPFs—characteristics that can put people off from using these products on a daily basis—new lighter formulations are being launched. A good example is Beiersdorf’s Nivea Light Feeling Daily Face Sun Fluid.