European Cosmetics and Personal Care Market Grew by 1.3% in 2017

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The U.S. Direct Selling Association reported in its annual “Growth and Outlook Report” released last month that retail sales of beauty and personal care products in the U.S. slightly declined in 2017, coming in fourth in percentage sales by product category behind wellness, services and home & family care.

In Europe, however, 2017 sales of cosmetics and personal care products showed slight growth from 2016.

According to Cosmetics Europe, the European trade association for the cosmetics and personal care industry, the European market grew by 1.3 percent in 2018 to reach 77.6 billion euros. The market performance statistics were announced during Cosmetics Europe’s annual conference, which was held last month in Brussels.

Poland (12.1%), Croatia (7.1%), Romania (5.7%), Estonia (5.7%) and Finland (5.7%) saw the greatest increases year over year. Low-performing markets were Norway (-0.4%), France (-0.5%), Belgium/Luxembourg (-0.5%), The Netherlands (-1.9%), Switzerland (-4.8%) and the UK (-6.8%).

All products categories were up from 2016 except for perfumes (-0.4%) and makeup (-0.1%). Skin care and toiletries remain the most important product categories in Europe, followed by hair care and fragrances. By market share, the product categories were:

  • Skin Care: 25.8%
  • Toiletries: 25.3%
  • Hair Care: 19.1%
  • Fragrances: 15.4%
  • Decorative Cosmetics: 14.4%

Exports appear to be a driver for the market’s growth. International trade remains a key driver for the European industry. More than 20.2 billion euros of cosmetic products were exported by European countries in 2017, compared to 18.2 billion in 2016. Total imports amounted to only 5.935 million euros, mainly from the United States, China and Japan, compared to 5.633 million euros in 2016.

According to Cosmetics Europe, the 77.6 billion euros in 2017 makes Europe the largest market for cosmetic and personal care products in the world. The association also noted that the industry supports over 2 million jobs across Europe.