There is a perception that beauty and personal care companies ignore old(er) people – a perception that is not completely unjustified.
A search on Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), which covers beauty launches in 48 countries, reveals that while the number of launches targeting “mature” skin and hair rose modestly in numerical terms between January 2011 and August 2013, they actually represented a shrinking proportion of launches.
This is true even of the skincare, colour cosmetics and haircare categories, all of which have seen increasing use of anti-ageing terminology and ingredients in their marketing. And when it comes to products that directly target women aged 50+, the situation becomes even less promising, with only a handful of brands doing this.
Mintel’s Old Gold trend explains that manufacturers are facing two opposing forces. On the one hand, people in developed and some developing countries are living and working longer and represent a growing proportion of the population whereas younger consumers’ share is falling. On the other hand, usage of many beauty and personal care products falls away once people hit their mid-50s.
There will be an estimated 715 million people aged 65+ in 2020, so what can manufacturers do to keep them engaged in the beauty and personal care market? The answer is relevance. Beauty companies must take the physiological and emotional needs of this demographic into account and formulate and market accordingly.
Kanebo’s Chicca brand does this beautifully. Described as a make-up brand for “stylish and adorable women in their 50s and 60s”, the shades and textures have been specially selected to flatter older skin, while the sales environment is tailored to suit older women. In the skincare space, proving that BB creams aren’t just for younger women, Zoe Revital BB Technology Complexion Enhancer Day Cream is specifically developed for the needs of mature skin aged up to 65 years and improves elasticity and smoothes wrinkles.
When it comes to haircare, Dessange may not mention a specific age band, but its Age Sublime Orchidee Shampooing Nutri-Repulpeur is said to add thickness and shin to mature weakened hair; and Pola’s Growing Shot BK Hair Tonic is designed for mature women to revitalise the scalp and make hair stronger and more elastic – although it also promises to help prevent hair loss and thinning hair after childbirth.
However, putting products on the market won’t be enough. This generation may have more to spend than younger people, but they demand value for money. Brands will have to justify their prices by explaining and proving how and why their products work. Diagnostic equipment is already appearing on counter in department stores and perfumeries, and taking a cue from Chicca and providing a semi-private consultation area may entice more older men and women to have their hair and skin analysed for a personalised regimen, driving up usage and repeat purchases.
These are just a few highlights from Mintel’s coverage of the mature beauty market. For more information, please visit us at the Innovation Zone at in-cosmetics Asia 2013 (Bangkok, 29-31 October 2013).