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Mixed Fortunes for Sun Care

By: Carrie Lennard, Euromonitor International
Posted: May 4, 2010, from the May 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

­Despite dwindling value growth in Western regions, there is still plenty of mileage left in the sun care category, with fresh innovations, awareness of the risks of sunbathing and growing demand from emerging regions all helping to maintain demand for sun care, according to Euromonitor International.

Sun Protection Accounts for Lion’s Share of Sales

Sun protection products accounted for 85% of all sun care sales in 2009, up from 84% in 2008. Yet, despite consumers being more aware than ever of the potential dangers of the sun, value growth in sun protection fell from 9% in 2007–2008 to 5% in 2008–2009. The key factor in the dip was the recession-induced trend for consumers in key Western markets to become staycationers—holidaying in their (often cooler) native countries as opposed to flying abroad to sunny climates. According to Euromonitor International data, the total number of leisure departures globally fell from 576 million in 2008 to 553 million in 2009.

Trade Down to Private Label Sun Care Impacts Industry

Buy one/get one free offers and consumers trading down to less-expensive brands and private label impacted sales in crucial sun care markets such as the U.S. and Germany, where the idea of a correlation between price and better protection from the sun has taken something of a hit in recent times. Consumer test magazines have consistently rated certain private label products as better than certain branded products. In Germany, Stiftung Warentest, a widely trusted German consumer magazine, recently published efficacy tests of sun protection products that showed some premium-priced brands offer inadequate protection from the sun’s rays. As a result, the share of private label sun care rose from 26% in 2004 to 32% in 2009 in the country. Private label sun care is also emerging as a very potent competitor in the U.S., with its share rising from 7% in 2004 to 11% in 2009, according to Euromonitor International.

Globally, however, many consumers still aren’t convinced that private label is equally as effective as branded products. The share of private label sun care was still just 6% in 2009 due to this widespread lack of conviction and also limited availability in many key regions. Asia and Latin America (which accounted for a combined 32% of global sun care sales in 2009) both have a negligible share of private label sun care.

Low SPFs Fade Away