Haircare in a lather as market looks out of condition

July 16, 2009

While shampoo and conditioner traditionally feature as high priority for haircare must haves, latest research from Mintel reveals the UK’s £685 million market for shampoos – and conditioners in particular– is in a bit of a lather.
The exclusive new research shows that in response to the recession, a quarter of female shampoo users have spent less on shampoo, contributing to an estimated £15 million slide in value of the total market between 2008 and 2009. Price promotions and a savvy consumer waiting for regular brands to go on special offer are expected to contribute to difficult trading conditions and this is expected to see £6 million wiped off the value of the UK’s shampoo sector in 2009.
While the market for shampoo has increased year on year from £395 million to £397 million in 2008, the market value of conditioners stood at £303 million – a drop of £8 million from the previous year. Furthermore, Mintel predicts that the conditioner market is forecast to see decline well into at least 2010 as Brits continue to economise. Indeed, the research shows conditioners are likely to be hit by a cutback on hair treatments with as many as 14% of users having stopped using them in order to save money.
Its not just in the home that things are looking washed out. Salon conditioners are also expected to see value sales slide, with value sales estimated to drop by £6 million between 2008 and 2009. Salon shampoos are also forecast to drop in value by £9 million in 2009 as consumers cut back on their salon experiences.
Alexandra Richmond, Senior Beauty Analyst at Mintel, said:
“The UK market for shampoos and conditioners is witnessing a downward trend and hair treatments such as conditioner are the most likely to be cut from the haircare regime in the current economic climate. Advertising budgets have been cut and heavy price promotions at the point of sale are wooing consumers, a growing number of which are watching the pennies. This has significantly impacted on the value of the market which has, like the economy, seen a significant downturn. “
While just 3% of women said conditioners and hair treatments are currently something that they are prepared to spend more on, the research also reveals women are looking to save money on their essential purchase items such as salon visits, highlighting the potential to trade up to products that help achieve salon results.
“Re-education about conditioner benefits may present a future opportunity for the market. The recession could drive demand towards products that protect colour and keep hair looking better for longer to help reduce the frequency of salon visits. Increasing penetration of conditioners will be key to driving value sales of the total market. ” alexandra continues.
However, the market does look to be scrubbing up for some sectors, with value sized packs of shampoo and conditioner have seen a boom as Brits seek to economise. The Mintel research reveals that an estimated 3.5 million women bought a value-sized product in the three months to February 2009.

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