Cosmetics and Toileteries in France

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Trends and opportunities
The market

The cosmetics and toiletries industry in France is estimated at A$20.1 billion in sales and can be divided into the following categories:

* Beauty products 37.1 per cent
* Hair products 23.3 per cent
* Perfumes 19.8 per cent
* Toiletries 19.3 per cent
* Other 0.5 per cent

The French cosmetics and toiletries market is characterised by a list of long-established companies and brands. The L'Oréal Groupe remains the undisputed leader in this market with three of its subsidiaries among the top five companies.

France is the biggest European market for cosmetic sales with the highest proportion of premium product value sales in Western Europe. The mass market is also well established. The constant upgrading of brands such as L’Oréal, Gemey and Nivea, has started to blur the distinction between mass and premium brands, affecting distribution through specialised perfume shops negatively. Hence, the mass market’s share in France has continued to increase.

Cosmetics and toiletry companies are constantly looking to anticipate the changing tastes of consumers with two recurring strategies publicity campaigns and technological innovation. A direct result of this activity is that innovative and high performance products are continually entering the market.

For 2007, depilatories and skin care were the major drivers of the market. Having said this, products emphasising wellbeing in general are becoming increasingly popular in France. Natural products and aromatherapy are well established in product ranges.

Key trends and statistics:

* Between 2006-07, the cosmetics and toiletries industry experienced a 2.3 per cent growth. * In 2011, it is forecasted that the fragrance market value will have increased by 10.6 per cent but the market volume will only increase by 1.5 per cent in the same timeframe. * In 2011, it is forecasted that the skincare market value will have increased by 17.8 per cent and the market volume increased equally by 16.7 per cent. * The skincare industry is expected to see compound growth of 3.3 per cent from 2006 to 2011. * Fine segmentation has become the key to survival in a highly marketed and maturing sector. The growing number of 'young seniors' (50-65 age group), keen to maintain a look of youthful vitality, remains a priority target due to the high disposable income of these consumers. * Eighty-five per cent of French women between the ages of 60 and 64 use facial care products on a daily basis according to survey conducted by TNS Media * The development of cosmetics and toiletries specifically designed for men is an emerging category in France. The popularity of men’s lifestyle magazines continues to boost consumers’ emphasis on their appearance. * There is an increasing trend for 'cosmebio' (organic cosmetic labels), which only use natural ingredients. * Although the market for shampoo, deodorants and fragrances is approaching maturity, it continues to thrive from value growth due to increasingly sophisticated ranges that are backed by strong research and development programs. There is still significant potential in other sectors (such as depilatories and men’s grooming products).


The cosmetics and toiletries industry in France is increasingly seeing a trend towards products targeting a specific demographic (eg. older generation and adolescents). Further to this, there has been an increase in specialised ranges such as hair care products. The majority of companies are now looking to service niche markets.

Environmental concerns are of prime importance to cosmetics and toiletries companies in France. The industry is continually looking for new ways to make their products and processes environmentally friendly. Focus areas include recycling, biodegradable products and packaging, and replacing harmful ingredients. Furthermore, customers are becoming more...
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