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Dynamic Sun Care Sector Continues to Thrive

By: Carrie Lennard, Euromonitor International
Posted: December 7, 2009, from the December 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Sales in Brazil have been driven largely by the rapid rise in disposable incomes in the country and growing consumer awareness of the damaging effects of sun on the skin. The influence of fashion has increased the younger generation’s awareness of the risks of unprotected and excessive sun exposure, in particular its aging effects, boosting demand for sun protection products. Euromonitor data shows that self-tanning products registered excellent value growth, 18% from 2007–2008, as young female consumption patterns came in line with those in Western markets and consumers looked for safer alternatives to a natural tan.

Western Europe Accounts for Lion’s Share of Sales

Despite the rapid pace of development in Brazil and China, Western Europe remains, by far, the prime region for sun care value sales. At $3.3 billion in 2008, Western Europe accounted for a 42% share of global sun care sales. Public health campaigns have been prevalent in the region since the 1980s, and the resultant increase in use of sun protection products has significantly lowered the incidence of the most common skin cancers, according to Euromonitor International, and has helped boost both value and volume sales of sun care products (respective compound annual growth of 4% and 3% over 2003–2008).

Sales of High SPF Products on the Rise

Euromonitor data notes that sun protection accounted for 87% of sun care value sales in 2008. As much as people are concerned about the dangers of skin cancer, the revelation that up to 90% of skin aging is caused by exposure to sun has captured the attention of the public and fueled demand for high factor sun protection products like never before. In the key U.K. market, for example, the percentage of sun protection products with an SPF factor of 0–4 dropped from 20% in 2004 to 14% in 2008.

Meanwhile, the share of products with an SPF of 50 and above soared from 15% in 2004 to 20% in 2008. In particular, there have been many new product developments that incorporate antiaging benefits in addition to strong protection from the sun. Many of these new launches are designed specifically for use on the face, such as Nivea Sun’s recent SPF 30 and 50 DNAge range, which promises antiaging properties such as preventing brown spots and reducing wrinkles. The success of products such as these is a strong indication that fears of sun-induced aging plays an equally significant role as health concerns in the demand for products with a high SPF.

Despite experts saying that products with SPFs higher than 50 are no more effective than those with an SPF of 50, many new launches in the category have featured increasingly high SPFs. In July 2009, Hawaiian Tropic added to its Ozone line with Ozone Ultimate Continuous Clear Spray, a sunscreen spray that offers an SPF of 80.