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Home arrow Market Research Findings arrow Fashion And Clothing arrow British make-up market hits the 1 billion mark
British make-up market hits the 1 billion mark PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mintel   
08 Nov 2006

Beauty becomes a thorny issue as the English rose loses her natural charm

When it comes to a woman's beauty, it seems that the classic English rose is now not quite as natural as she once was. With ever more women turning to their trusty make-up bag, latest research from MINTEL finds the value of the British cosmetics market blossoming and set to reach the £1 billion (1.5 billion Euros) mark this year. Over the past five years the make-up market has seen vibrant growth of almost 40% and by the end of this year will be worth more than those in Spain (0.6 billion Euros), Germany (1.2 billion Euros) and even France (1.2 billion Euros), home to many of the world's leading cosmetic houses.

When it comes to individual spending on make-up, British women well outpace their female companions in the other three countries. Indeed, this year, each woman (aged 15 and above) in Britain will spend on average around £36 (52 Euros) on make-up alone, some £4 (6 Euros) more than women in France, which has the second highest spend per female.

"The British make-up market suffered in the 1990s as a result of the marked trend towards a 'natural' style and away from the 'made up' look, especially by younger women. But since the Millennium, glitz and glamour have made a comeback and colour once more reigns supreme, a development that has undoubtedly helped boost the industry," explains Michelle Strutton, senior market analyst at MINTEL

"One of the major trends in the market has been the increasing alignment of face make-up with skincare. Manufacturers in all cosmetics and toiletries sectors view skincare’s success enviously and see skincare-related products as a prime way of adding value and encouraging women to use products more often. In face make-up, this trend continues to produce anti-ageing formulations which blur the distinction between cosmetics and a treatment product and acknowledges the ageing population in Britain today," she adds.

The Spanish come up smelling of roses

In MINTEL's latest Fragrances and Cosmetics report, looking at Germany, Italy, the UK, France and Spain, it is France that has the largest fragrances market, set to be worth some 1.7 billion Euros this year.

But when it comes to individual expenditure, it is the Spanish who splash out the most on smelling good. This year the Spanish will spend as much as 40 Euros each on fragrances - around 8 Euros more than the French will individually spend. What is more, following 30% growth since 2001, Spain now has the second largest fragrances market of the five countries, valued at a very impressive 1.6 billion Euros.

Today, almost all (96%) Spanish women use fragrances, with fragrances more popular here than in France, Germany and the UK. And they are not shy of using it regularly, with one in three (34%) spraying perfume more than once a day - again higher than women in the other three countries. But it seems that the Spanish men are following their ladies' lead, with almost 85% of them splashing on aftershave.

But Spanish men are not alone at the top, with men from Germany (85%) - the home of cologne - equally as keen on smelling good, leaving the English (72%) and French gents (66%) with some work to do to catch up.

"Spanish women are now enjoying the benefits of having greater disposable income as they increasingly head out to work. This, coupled with strong economic conditions in Spain as a whole, have helped boost spending on products that are seen more as life's little luxuries, such as a bottle of perfume or aftershave. The fact that so many Spanish men and women not only use fragrances, but often use them more than once a day is obviously going to push up sales in this market," explains Michelle Strutton.

France leads the way in the world of npd

Mintel's research shows that France has the largest combined fragrances and cosmetics market. Worth just under 3 billion Euros this year, the French market has grown some 6% since 2001, thanks mainly to manufacturers' increased investment in product innovation. The UK follows closely behind with a market worth 2.8 billion Euros and Germany comes in third place at 2.4 billion Euros.

What is more, according to the Mintel Global New Product Database (GNPD) between August 2005 and August 2006 France saw the greatest number of new product launches in this market. With no less than 2057 new product launches, this is almost twice the 1069 new product launches seen in Germany over the same period. The UK (1889) and Spain (1153) also lag some way behind.


Mintel is a worldwide leader of competitive media, product and consumer intelligence. For more than 35 years, Mintel has provided key insight into leading global trends. With offices in Chicago, London, Belfast and Sydney, Mintel's innovative product line provides unique data that has a direct impact on client success. For more information on Mintel, please visit their Web site at

Last Updated ( 01 Jan 2009 )
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