The trends driving growth in the UK beauty market

February 21, 2019

Following on from the 2019 CEW Beauty Awards Product Demonstration Evening, new research from Mintel highlights the trends driving innovation in skincare, colour cosmetics and haircare in the UK beauty market.

The UK takes the global top spot for facial skincare launches targeting the skin microbiome

  • Recognising the importance of the skin’s unique ecosystem, the UK is leading the way globally for facial skincare launches targeting the skin microbiome. Over 37% of the world’s launches in 2018 were in the UK, followed by the US (25%) and France (15%) – according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).
  • As consumers embrace a ‘treat yourself’ mindset, prestige/luxury facial skincare accounted for 71% of launches in the UK in 2018, compared to 54% 10 years ago (in 2008).
  • In contrast, budget and mass facial skincare launches are losing out, slightly declining from 14% of all UK launches in 2008 to just 10% in 2018.

The UK is the European leader for clean colour cosmetics launches

  • The importance of being transparent and toxin free has never been greater: in 2018, the UK was the leading European market for ‘clean’* colour cosmetics launches, and second globally only to the US. Indeed, the UK accounted for 21% of all global ‘clean’ colour cosmetics launches in 2018.
  • Mintel also reveals that the UK is the 4th biggest colour cosmetics market globally, valued at an estimated £2.1 billion in 2018 – following beauty powerhouses US, Japan and China. Brits are also the 4th biggest colour cosmetics spenders, with an average per capita spend of £32 per year.

Beyond the plate – The rise of vegan and gluten-free haircare

  • Embracing beauty with a conscience, according to Mintel, vegan claims trebled in haircare between 2014-18 in the UK, rising from 6% of all launches in 2014 to an impressive one in five (20%) in 2018. In comparison, only 10% of haircare launches across the globe carried a vegan claim.
  • Meanwhile, gluten-free claims trebled in haircare between 2016-18 in the UK, rising from 3% of all launches in 2016 to 9% in 2018. In comparison, just 4% of haircare launches across the globe carried a gluten-free claim.
  • Ending with a touch of glamour, prestige/luxury haircare accounts for 29% of haircare launches in 2018, rising from just 12% in 2008. At the other end of the scale, budget/mass is rising too, from 30% in 2008 to 39% in 2018.

Caroline Neville MBE, President of CEW:

“With over 1,800 beauty brands operating in the country, it’s no surprise that we are seeing some of the most exciting and creative innovation coming from the UK and shaping the future of beauty across the world. CEW nurtures and supports the leaders and brands that contribute to the success of the UK beauty business, giving them the means to achieve their vision and stay one step ahead.”

Jane Henderson, Global President – Beauty and Personal Care Division at Mintel:

“The UK is a hotbed of beauty innovation, with major global trends emerging and developing. British skincare brands have been among the first to understand the importance of the microbiome, the natural bacteria found in and on the body which can be balanced through skincare. In the next 5-10 years, the skincare industry will expand from simply focusing on the microbiome to also include the exposome, ie external environmental factors like pathogens, fungi, pollution and plants that interact with our DNA and affect our health. This will inspire NPD that takes a bespoke and holistic approach to skincare and health, such as exposome-measuring wearable devices, bespoke ingestibles, personalised DNA nutrition, and products that boost skin health and personal air quality.”

“The clean beauty movement started out in skincare and is now quickly moving into colour cosmetics, with the UK leading the way. Consumers are holistically looking to clean up their lifestyles, so clean makeup will become increasingly important in the coming years. Clean beauty is more than a trend, it’s a lifestyle, and as such brands must adapt to the changing landscape to secure their place in the future market.”

*Colour cosmetics products carrying ‘free-from’, ‘natural’ and ‘ethical & environmental’ claims

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