Restrictions during lockdown periods have resulted in at-home beauty alternatives and an increased focus on self-care. The new normal has led to new beauty regimes and habits, represented in the dynamic of growth and decline of the segments.
Channel shift in beauty categories
During lockdown, beauty may no longer become the sole purpose of the shopping occasion. Last year saw a spending shift from pharmacy to grocery and mass channel. While total grocery pharmacy growth for skin care has remained flat, grocery is growing at 5 per cent, for a 2-per-cent gain in channel share. An even greater growth gap is observed in hair care, where grocery is growing by 5 per cent and pharmacy remains flat. However, an exception to the trend is observed in the nail care segment, where the pharmacy channel provides a wider product range, thus outpacing grocery’s dollar growth by just under four share points.
Significant change in basket assortment
The new normal has also changed shoppers’ purchase assortment in beauty categories. Hierarchy of shopper priorities is reflected in market performance. In cosmetics, fewer social gatherings and largely home-bound consumers have led to dollar decline in lipstick (-20 per cent) and make-up foundation (-17 per cent). On the other hand, the enforced closure of beauty parlours has encouraged consumers to bring the salon home and try out a host of DIY options. This is reflected in significant growth for nail care and colour, adding $9.8 million in dollar growth in the latest year, as well as salon-grade brow and lash products, rounding up incremental dollar growth of $3.3 million. In the hair care category, the $13 million dollar decline in styling is compensated by $25.7 million dollar growth in the hair colour segment, again, representing the adoption of in-home salon solutions in response to lockdowns. In skin care, shoppers have moved to premium facial anti age and acne products, while in body skin care, shoppers move to the economic bigger pack sizes.
Premium solution answering basic needs
Pandemic video calls may have magnified presence of fine lines, blemishes, and other skin problems. Amidst closures of beauty clinics, consumers resort to what was readily available in the market. Value growth of $ 14.6 million dollars in the acne category is mainly driven by pharmacy exclusive dermo-cosmetic brands. Shopper gain comes from the below 40-year-old shopper segment (+1.2 share point) while spend gain (+30 per cent) from the 40-49 year-old segment. Being present in both channels, Anti Age has gained $18.5 million incremental dollar growth in grocery compensating the $7 million dollar decline in pharmacy. Both shopper (+2.5 points) and spend gains (+17 per cent) come from the below 50 year-old shopper segment. Associating efficacy with clinical grade and superior ingredients, the trend points to the adoption of serum in consumers’ beauty routine. At a premium price point, serums featuring Hyaluronic acid, Retinoids/Retinol, Vitamin C, and Niacinamide have been the main drivers leading to 3-per-cent value growth in Anti Age and 13 per cent in Acne.
Beauty in the new normal
Moving forward, the change in shopping mission should influence manufacturers’ channel and assortment strategies. As some DIY beauty hacks are easier to embrace than the others, the rate of sales recovery in the new normal are different across the segments. Pandemic pampering has re-written the path to win shoppers and their wallet shares – a half glass full perspective for astute manufacturers seeking competitive advantage in this evolving beauty market.
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