Transformation in Body Care


While facial care continues to account for the lion’s share of skin care total value sales, body care has been going through a transformation period, driven by innovation and further expansion into emerging markets.

Body care remains a low priority in spending for consumers globally compared to facial care, with individual consumers spending an average of U.S. $2.50 on body care in 2014, compared to more than U.S. $12 on facial care.

However, body care’s great importance to beauty companies stems not only from Western Europe holding a significant share of its premium sales (42% in 2014), but also from its strong growth in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America—at just under 10%—in 2014.

Convenience and Customization

While body care continues to show stable growth in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, Western Europe and North America beauty companies turned to innovation to rejuvenate the category.

A key complaint consumers traditionally have about body care offerings is the amount of time it takes for application and absorption of the product. This has been a key focus for companies, which have targeted convenience as a way to add value to body care offerings.

Being viewed as a timely and secondary part of the skin care routine can drop a product down or off consumers’ shopping lists.

Beiersdorf emphasized in its first-half results presentation that its new launches, including the In-Shower Body Care line, which has been expanded to six products, including In-Shower After Sun and Q10 Firming Body Lotion, have been recording double-digit growth. The company also stressed the Nivea Express Hydration line reaffirms the brand’s commitment to creating convenient products for consumers.

Beyond convenience, skin care brands have also invested in developing more sophisticated and customized body care offerings for consumers similar to those found in facial care. Customization has been visible in order to add value to body care offerings, with brand owners segmenting their ranges to create more personalized solutions to groups of consumers.

Creating an Experience

Body care brand owners are also working on improving the experience of their products through lighter, faster-absorbing formulations as well as looking to create a more pampering experience through exotic fragrance and luxurious texture.

These launches aim to glamorize the basic body care category and create a positive experience around the application of body care offerings using scent and texture.

Furthermore, the introduction of leggings, jeans and underwear with skin care properties (commonly known as cosmotextiles) is a further example of trying to create a better experience for consumers, especially for firming and anti-cellulite products.

Firming and anti-cellulite body care grew by 1.6% globally in 2014, despite continued declines in Western and Eastern Europe as well as North America. The Middle East, Africa and Latin America lead growth in this category, as in general body care.

Nivea and Mixa have been introducing leggings and shorts with anti-cellulite properties to provide consumers with an alternative experience in using these products. The introduction of moisturizing cream in jeans by Wrangler and in underwear by Triumph two years ago was also aimed at providing a more luxurious experience for consumers while wearing their products.

Future Challenges

Dove’s latest beauty makeover campaign showcases neither a skin care nor a color cosmetics product, instead being about body shower. This illustrates the potential power of body shower products with moisturizing properties and how they can create a luxurious experience for consumers, which may persuade them to skip the body moisturizer.

Finally, one of the key obstacles to body care’s growth prospects remains the low penetration in the dominant skin care region of Asia Pacific. In Asia Pacific, where over half of total skin care value sales are generated each year, body care remains of low priority, as culturally, consumers are more accustomed to spending on multi-step, complex facial regimes than on any body care offering.

However, body care offerings with added properties, such as whitening, have helped push the category forward and Asia Pacific is expected to be the biggest contributor to body care’s absolute value growth over 2014-2019, adding half a billion dollars to its value. Continuing penetration into this region, especially to capture new consumers, will be pivotal to body care’s future global growth prospects.

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