Kline & Co. is tallying last year’s sales data, but early indicators point to the skin care category and the direct sales channel as the growth leaders.
“We expect skin care to still be the foothold of the industry,” said Carrie Mellage, director of Consumer Products, Kline & Co., adding it appears mass market creams are growing at the expense of the luxury tier, where sales have softened.
She suggested consumers who have artfully avoided shopping malls to minimize temptation may have turned some of their attention online. In the U.S. direct sales channel, Internet beauty sales have tripled over the last five years, ended in 2008. The ’Net now accounts for 1.4 percent, or $498 million, of the $35.6 billion dollar U.S. personal care industry [in manufacturing sales]. “The Internet is now a truly viable channel” for beauty, Mellage said.
Kline & Co. has finished crunching the numbers for the natural personal care category, which gained 8.3 percent to $3.5 billion last year. The rate of growth for naturals, which have gained the most traction in the mass market and via direct sales, slowed from 15 percent in 2008. But the natural segment continued to outpace the personal care category, which Mellage estimated likely declined in the low-single digits in 2009. She forecasts the spa, professional skin care and salon likely had a challenging 2009.