As we’re halfway into the calendar year, I wanted to take a few minutes to look at the most important beauty holidays during this period and how they are influencing the total prestige beauty market evolution in Germany. While Christmas is still six months away, holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Easter are key periods for Germans to buy beauty products – either for themselves, their significant others or a family member.

In February, Valentine’s Day played a key role in the market growth with many beauty retailers leveraging the holiday through significant price promotions.In line with 2018, skincare products continue to drive the market, despite being the smallest category. After the rise of K- and J- Beauty trends, G-Beauty – beauty products made in Germany – is becoming more popular. Consumers are growing increasingly conscious of components and quality of ingredients (cruelty-free or vegan products). Germans are caring more about their skin, a trend that is especially notable among men. The biggest drugstore chain in Germany even launched a specific shelf instore for the male consumers while barber shops continue to increase in numbers. On the other hand, Fragrance gift sets did not strongly contribute to the overall growth during Valentine’s Day, with male giftsets even in decline compared to previous years. Yes, it seems that after years of retailers offering holiday gift sets, the category is starting to lose its appeal with consumers.

Easter, a promotional period for Germans to buy beauty products, shows flat results overall in value sales. However, there’s a very different picture that’s visible when looking at the categories. Usually around Easter, the new spring launches reach the shelves and bring newness to the market. This year skincare continued its own success story. Fragrances, too, saw positive growth, while makeup was negative.

Mother’s Day, another promotional holiday for the industry, saw positive growth as well. The gift of great skin may be an offer too tempting for consumers to resist since it keeps driving growth in the market. Skincare is the second biggest category during the weeks leading to Mother’s Day, and the second biggest contributor to the total prestige beauty growth of this period right after Makeup. Skincare is on the rise and continues to grow further. Traditionally, makeup is the second biggest category in Germany, but 2019 could be the year that Skincare captures more sales.

It will be an exciting year in the prestige beauty industry in Germany as skincare and makeup go head-to-head in the market, while fragrances continue to strive to “wow” the consumer through new formats (and not “just another gift set”). Despite the overall stability in the country in terms of macroeconomic performance, and a 30-year low unemployment rate level, prestige beauty will be challenged to engage with consumers in creative ways to maintain growth.