The sun shines over the European suncare market

April 16, 2012

Attitudes to the sun are changing. Although a sun kissed complexion is still seen as healthy and attractive, a big number of sun-conscious consumers are concerned about the damaging effects of the sun on their skin. Indeed, according to latest research from , in the big 5 European countries, almost half (49%) of consumers use sunscreen when spending a whole day out in the sun and around a quarter (29%) use it to prevent premature skin ageing.

Spanish consumers are among the most sensible about suncare in Europe. Half (50%) of them use sunscreen to avoid the risk of burning or developing cancer, the highest percentage within the Big 5. And 19% use sunscreen to avoid tanning altogether, more than twice the average for the UK (8%), France (7%), Italy (6%), and Germany (4%).

Nica Lewis, Global Skincare analyst at Mintel, said:

“Greater media coverage and health education programmes are helping to improve consumer awareness regarding the dangers of too much sun. As awareness grows of overexposure to the sun’s UV rays, more consumers across Europe are taking extra care by using sun protection products when they are out in the sun, and not just when they are on their holidays.”

Meanwhile, the UK continues to dominate launch activity for new self-tanning products. Between 2009 and 2011 the country saw a 30% increase in the number of self-tan launches.

Anti-oxidant claims in sun protection are another growing trend. According to Mintel GNPD (Global New Product Database), 30% of new suncare products launched in the Big 5 last year (2011) promoted antioxidant benefits, a 36% increase in only one year (2010/2011). This reflects brands’ strategy to meet consumers’ desire for fighting premature ageing.

Mintel GNPD also shows an increase in facial care launches with UV protection. In France alone there was a 43% jump in the number of new face creams with SPF between 2011 and 2010. “This reflects further sun savvy as consumers incorporate sun protection into their every day skincare routine,”Nica concludes.
In Europe, amongst the Big 5 European countries, France remains the largest market for sun care products, with €401 million market value in 2011. Italy follows with €366 million, the UK with €280 million and Germany €191 million. In Spain, sales of suncare products are forecast to grow 4.1% this year (2012), ahead of France, Germany and Italy. With high usage rates, high penetration and both women and men switching to higher SPFs, the €144 million (2011) Spanish market is highly competitive.

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