Despite Government cuts, employment insecurity, financial worries and inflation, Mintel’s latest research finds UK consumers are still prepared to pay handsomely to look and feel good, with 33% happy spending more for quality fragrances and over one in five doing so on skincare (23%) and cosmetics (21%). Mintel reveals UK total spend on beauty has risen 8.5% from £15.4bn in 2009 to £16.8bn in 2010, above and beyond pre-recessionary levels.

European women clearly won’t let worry lines and wrinkles settle in. According to Mintel, they may economise on many areas of personal care expenditure, but facial skincare isn’t one. In fact, facial skincare was one of the strongest beauty categories last year in the Big Five European countries, resisting economic uncertainties to reach €6.2billion at end 2010, up from €6 billion in 2009.

Fine lines and wrinkles are the top ageing concerns for 44% of female consumers in the UK. Mintel’s research shows that image conscious British women splashed out €15 per head in 2010 on anti-ageing. And among new face and neck care launches in the UK, 44% had anti-ageing claims.

While the economy provides little to smile about, UK shoppers go on brushing up on their oral hygiene routines, with oral hygiene products growing a refreshing 14% over the past five years to £833 million in 2010. The nation’s mouths have never been cleaner: Mintel tracked sales of mouth wash as increasing a spectacular 44% in the last five years alone, making mouthwash the fastest growing sector in oral hygiene.

Back in 2006 45% of Brits used mouthwash, today this has risen to more than half the nation (55%), with sales increasing from £110 million in 2005 to a glistening £158 million in 2010. The bulk of these sales (84%) are non-medicated washes (£132 million), while the rest is medicated (£26 million).

Valued at £833 million in 2010, total sales of oral hygiene products have grown by 14% over the past five years from £729 million in 2005. Toothpaste accounts for the largest segment of the market (£353 million), followed by toothbrushes (£237 million), mouthwash (£158 million), denture products (£42 million) and dental accessories (£43 million). Electric toothbrushes now account for 38% of toothbrush value sales. Valued at £90million in 2010, electric brushes have zoomed into the nation’s bathroom with sales increasing 25% since 2005.

So smile – put it all together, and Personal Care still adds up to a handsome profit opportunity.

The Grocery Trader

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