U.S. Prestige Beauty Industry Grows 7 Percent in 2015, NPD Group Reports

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The NPD Group Presented its 2015 Review of Beauty Sales at the “Hot Off The Press” Event in New York

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Economic and generational factors are influencing how consumers shop for, view, and prioritize the beauty categories. The consumer base has changed demographically, socially, and functionally.

The U.S. prestige beauty industry reached $16 billion in 2015, a 7 percent increase over 2014 sales*, according to global information company The NPD Group, Inc. Makeup experienced the healthiest sales growth (13 percent), while the fragrance category outperformed skincare for the first time; fragrance dollars grew by 4 percent, and skincare by 3 percent.

The NPD Group presented the beauty industry’s first look at 2015 year-end results for makeup, fragrance, and skincare at its 19th annual “Hot Off The Press” event at The Harmonie Club in New York on January 28. Cosmetic Executive Women Inc., (CEW), a leading professional organization in the beauty, cosmetics, fragrance and related industries, partnered to host the event for the fourth consecutive year.

“The beauty industry has been growing at a rapid and consistent pace for the last few years, but what is happening below the surface, at the category level, is changing considerably,” said Karen Grant, global beauty industry analyst, The NPD Group. “For example, in 2015 we saw even more concretely how the roles of makeup and skincare are becoming intertwined. The immediate results of slimming, lifting, tone correcting, and radiance achieved by makeup face products is not only influencing consumers’ relationship with makeup, but also with that of skincare.”

The prestige market outpaced the U.S. mass** channel, where sales grew 2 percent for total beauty in 2015, versus 2014, as per Nielsen. As in prestige the mass growth was driven by the makeup category, and both skincare and fragrance sales were down for this channel in 2015.

“Consumers are shopping for and using makeup differently, which is a factor in softer sales of skincare products,” added Grant. “Looking at some of the top performing brands, we’re also seeing that consumers are increasingly drawn to emotional rather than functional appeal. This craving of a more sensory experience is having a positive influence on fragrance sales as well. Brands and manufacturers that win listen and find compelling ways to respond to the increasingly diverse crowd of consumers before them, who are being influenced and inspired by society in ever-changing ways.”

Category Growth Drivers
The growth in prestige face makeup is accelerating, driven largely by concealer and other face products including primers and contour, highlighting, and sculpting kits – in line with the contouring and strobing trends which came to life in 2015. Eye brows continued to outperform the eye makeup segment, and lip color saw the largest increases within the lip segment. For the first time, brown/nude lip color shades surpassed pink or red as the leading color. Within skincare, facial skincare growth slowed as age specialists and facial moisturizers experienced a drop in dollar sales, tying in with the blurring of lines between makeup and skincare. What is driving growth in skincare are smaller categories like masks, alternative formats such as oil, clay, and paper, as well as hair and sun products. Looking at fragrance, growth in juices outperformed the overall fragrance market in 2015, and home ancillaries such as candles have also performed well.

“Economic and generational factors are influencing how consumers shop for, view, and prioritize the beauty categories. The consumer base has changed demographically, socially, and functionally. This new base of consumers has more options than ever before, and they look for brands and products to work for them, satisfy their needs, connect with them on a more personal level, and embrace their values,” said Grant.

*Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market
**Source: Nielsen, Food/Drug/Mass

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. By combining unique data assets with unmatched industry expertise, we help our clients track their markets, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth. Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food / foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, and video games. For more information, visit npd.com and npdgroupblog.com. Follow us on Twitter:@npdgroup and @NPDstyle

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Marissa Cox
The NPD Group
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