IRI figures for the summer period [52 w/e October 2, 2004] reveal that the poor summer, aggressive volume promotions on own-label and mass market brands, and price wars among the brands combined to wipe nearly 12% off the average retail selling price of sunpreps last year.
Averaging just £4.44 a product, the market ended the season down 5% in value to £143.2m, but up 7.7% in volume to 32.2 million units.
Out of the affray, own label emerged as one of the few volume share winners, adding 1.8% to win 34% of sales [IRI]. Remploy marketing manager Lyndsay Jones says: “Consumers are beginning to realise that SPF15 is SPF15, whatever label it’s under.”
Thanks to concerted efforts to hammer home the safe sun message, higher sun protection factor (SPF) rated products now make up the bulk of suncare purchases.
A recent Mintel report suggests that SPF15 remains the single bestselling sunscreen, a fact borne out by Malibu, where SPF15 and higher products are said to account for more than 60% of all sun protection sales.
Mintel further states that SPF30+ sunscreens have grown at more than twice the sector average since 2001, with sunscreens with SPFs of 21 or more now accounting for more than 40% of sales.
The report also notes that lotions and sun milks remain at the core of the sun protection sector, claiming 60% of value sales. However, they are under increasing pressure from sprays, whose share of the sun protection market is growing, and other ‘no-mess’ formats such as sticks, roll-ons, mousses, gels and, more recently, wipes.
Ambre Solaire manufacturer L’Oréal believes the mess factor associated with sunpreps is sufficient to keep more than 70% of potential purchasers away, explaining the launch this year of its Clear Protect transparent spray format range.
Budget brand Malibu is also in on the game with its new sun protection mousse in SPF12 and 20, as is Remploy’s new Soleil range, which is presented in three SPF variants of lotions and sprays.
The Soleil range also includes skin moisturising and anti-ageing benefits, despite the products being priced from just £1.99. As Remploy’s Lyndsay Jones explains: “Consumers want it all but are not prepared to pay for it.”
Sales of self-tan products are also increasing, possibly reinforcing the view that consumers are reluctant to use sun protection regularly through the summer in the UK, and only seriously purchase it for holidays abroad, says Malibu marketing manager Phillipa Varney.
With this market in mind, Malibu has launched a self-tanning mousse, while Ambre Solaire is extending its bestselling No Streaks Bronzer self-tan wipe range to include a body wipe. According to the company, wipes are now its largest self-tan segment, with a 40% share.