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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.

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Meanwhile, Australians took no chances with their skin. A study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Cancer Australia found there are currently nearly one million annual visits to general practitioners for the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer in the country.

Asia Instrumental in Driving Growth

Thanks to the region’s obsession with pale facial skin, Asia represented 21% of world sun protection sales in 2009. Demand for high SPF products is strong among affluent consumers in the region, but more from a desire for pale protection than for sun protection. Skin-lightening benefits are key in countries such as Japan and China, and many sun care products now provide whitening and antiaging features in addition to SPF. The small percentage of male consumers who use sun care products tend to purchase mass offerings, while women account for the bulk of consumption of sun care products in the region and overwhelmingly prefer premium brands. This is why 38% of all Asian sun care sales in 2009 were comprised of premium brands, far higher than other key regions such as North America at 7%.

Outlook Best in Emerging Regions

According to Euromonitor International, global sun care is set to swell by $1.3 billion 2009–2014, just over half of the absolute growth seen 2004–2009. Despite the maturity of sun care in Western Europe, the region will be the biggest contributor to this growth, accounting for 29% of the increase in value sales sun care. However, the growing dominance of budget brands and private label in the region means that premium sun care manufacturers, in particular, may be better off focusing their attention on Asia—where the threat of private label having a serious impact on the sun care market is still rather a long way off.

Carrie Lennard is a research analyst at Euromonitor International.