NPD Highlights: Beauty Holiday 2015 Outlook

The U.S. prestige beauty industry has entered a phase of renewed growth, which has put the industry in a healthy position heading into the 2015 holiday season. Overall dollar sales are up 8 percent (January through September) compared to this time in 2014*, and more consumers plan on purchasing beauty products this holiday season compared to last year**.

“What’s driving the industry today has changed; fragrance sales are dynamic in core components like juices, while gift sets are becoming less prominent. On the other hand, the lines continue to blur between makeup and skincare as consumers look for immediate results through makeup and rediscover smaller primary care categories in skincare. We’re seeing positive performance, but in a way that’s different than what we’re used to,” said Karen Grant, global beauty industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Given the robust growth the industry has had throughout the year, all indications are that we can be optimistic in expecting a bright holiday season for beauty.”

Straight Up Juice – Fragrance/perfume is the driver behind the uptick in planned beauty purchases, and continues to be the top beauty category for holiday, rounding out the “top five” list across all industries. While gift sets have been drivers of performance in the past, it is juices that are invigorating sales heading into the holidays.

Spotlight on Makeup – With sales up 13 percent, makeup continues to see the strongest growth within the beauty industry. The face, lip, and eye segments are all experiencing double-digit increases. With trends such as contouring and strobing becoming more mainstream, emphasis on definition, color and immediacy in results continues to ramp up makeup sales. The holidays will likely bode well for makeup sales as many beauty consumers continue to prioritize and place emphasis on this category.

Smaller is Bigger in Skincare – While the overall prestige skincare industry appears to be somewhat softened by makeup, it is skincare’s smaller categories that are outperforming its larger ones. Products including masks, oils, and lip treatments are experiencing double-digit growth. At the same time, consumer awareness of smaller, niche prestige brands has increased***. It is these smaller segments that will continue to stand out during the holiday season.  


*Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market
**Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey 2015
***Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Women’s Facial Skincare Consumer Report 2015

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