The suncare category is largely dependent on the weather, and with a wet summer in 2014, the category is predicted to decline in value by 8%. This offers opportunities for brands to advertise in the winter or position products outside the summer season. Innovations in multi-functional products, as well as products with appearance benefits such as anti-ageing, also present opportunities for the category.

2013_Mintel_hi-resAlthough sales of self-tanning products also showed a decline in the year to August 2014, the decline was smaller at 5%. This may have been driven by a reduction in prices, with the price per unit of self-tanning products declining by 2.4% in August 2014 compared with August 2013 . In turn, the decline in price may have been driven by special offers and discounting in the category, which has struggled to show growth historically.

In terms of launch activity  own-label launches saw a rise in 2013, with the pattern continuing into 2014. In 2013, the proportion of own-label launches made up 36% of new launch activity whilst in the period of January-September 2014, own label made up 34% of new launches, up from the 29% in 2012. Retailers have also focused on promoting their own ranges. Appearance and skin health-related claims saw a rise in the sun protection category in the period January-September 2014. Anti-ageing claims rose from making up 12% of new launches in 2013 to 24% in the period January-September 2014, and moisturising claims increased from 44% of new launches in 2013 to 58% in January-September 2014. There have also been a number of face-specific launches, such as Caudalie’s Anti-Ageing Face Suncare SPF 50.

Research confirms low consumption presents a barrier, as only 45% of purchasers buy new sun protection every summer. This may be driven by price, as 40% stock up on sun protection products when they are on special offer.

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