NPD Group Report Sees Incredible Prestige Beauty Gains, Immense Fragrance Growth

According to beauty market research conducted by The NPD Group, Inc., total U.S. prestige beauty generated $9.5 billion in 2011, an increase of 11% in dollars, compared to $8.6 billion in 2010. In addition, the outstanding dollar results were achieved with all beauty categories surpassing pre-recession levels.

“In the 15 years that NPD has been tracking the prestige beauty industry, we have never seen growth like this—especially across all categories,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group.

Prestige fragrances experienced the strongest dollar and unit performance in 15 years, coming in at $2.8 billion, which marked growth of 11%, while units grew 7%. Juices grew 14% for both women and men, driving overall fragrance performance of 11% growth for women and 12% for men. Fragrance juices priced at a premium of $100 and above helped to propel growth for the category with unit gains of 45% versus a year ago, and fragrance launches were up 21% percent overall, driven by women’s launches, which grew by 33%. Celebrity brands, specifically women’s, were the winners in 2011 with gains of 57%.

Prestige skin care continued to lead prestige beauty with growth of 14% in dollars and 9% in units, for a total of $3.1 billion. In 2011, all six segments posted dollar and unit gains versus 2010: face (dollars up 13%, units up 9%); sets and kits (dollars up 27%, units up 16%); body (dollars up 2%, units up 2%); hair (dollars up 16%, units up 12%); and sun (dollars up 11%, unites up 8%). Since 2000, anti-aging facial skin care has grown 16 dollar share points to account for 63% of prestige facial skin care, or $1.5 billion, a 17% increase over 2010. Products that have both anti-aging and brightening benefits almost doubled in share in the past four years, and premium face products priced at $75 and above experienced a 21% dollar increase and a 23% gain in units for the year.

Prestige makeup saw its second year of increases in both dollars ($3.6 billion, up 9%) and units (up 6%). It was the first time in 15 years of prestige data reporting, that all makeup segments grew in both dollars and units. Eye shadow grew 14%, the first increase since 2006, lip color posted 13% growth, and nail had the largest performance in both dollars (67%) and units (88%). Eye launches gained seven share points to be the largest launch segment in makeup with 39% dollar share. Premium price points outpaced overall prestige makeup performance. Premium saw the biggest increases in face (14%), eye (56%), and sets (25%).

“What is most intriguing about the acceleration in prestige beauty performance is the degree to which it stands in stark contrast to the overridingly lackluster consumer outlook,” said Grant. “Historically, prestige beauty performance followed the trend of consumer sentiments; however, that is not the case today. Though consumer confidence has inched back to the 2008 pre-recession levels, it remain quite shaky and is actually among the lowest levels the nation has experienced in the past 30 years. Yet, prestige beauty thrives. And although prestige beauty growth continues at both ends of the spectrum, it is the high-end, premium price points that experienced the strongest gains.”

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