Shower Gel Marketing

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  • Topic: Bathing, Shower, Bathtub
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Soap, Bath and Shower Products
 

Issues in the Market

The soap, bath and shower category straddles two
worlds – at once it falls into the arena of must-have
consumer goods, which consumers see as integral to
their everyday wellbeing, while at the same time it
has an opportunity to tap into a consumer desire
for escapism and fantasy. Close to half of women
who use bath additives, for instance, cite a long
bath as their ultimate pampering treat. How many
fast-moving consumer goods segments can claim to
satisfy such lofty needs with such a low ticket price?
The beauty industry often cites the resilience of the
colour cosmetics category in times of crisis –
otherwise known as the lipstick index. It is time for
the beleaguered bath additives segment to do the
same and position their products as a luxury
indulgence at prices accessible to most.

Q: How is the economic environment
impacting sales of soap, bath and shower
products?
A: Value sales of SBS products grew in single
digits between 2006 and 2011 (with the exception
of 2010 when year-on-year growth was more or
less flat). The category is buffered somewhat from
the inclement economic climate because of the
must-have nature of daily cleansing products. At
the same time, consumers are clearly under
pressure to keep a close eye on household
budgets. A third of adults who use shower
products are paying more attention to how much
they spend on such items because of the
economic situation and the same is true for four
in ten bath product users and three in ten soap
users. Looking ahead, Mintel forecasts the SBS
category will grow by 11% between 2011 and
2016, while in real terms (excluding inflation)
sales will slip very slightly.

Q: Which segments have most potential for
growth?
A: There is a clear divide between two promising
segments – liquid soaps and shower gels – and
two less buoyant ones – bar soaps and bath
additives. Mintel expects liquid soap and shower
gel sales to grow by 28% and 17%, respectively,
between 2011 and 2016, whereas we expect bath
additives to slump by 4% and bar soaps by 15% in
the same timeframe.
The differing performances come down to
consumer preference. Adults are much more
inclined to use shower gels and creams over bath
additives, for instance, likely because showering is
much more convenient and is a quicker option
for today’s time-poor consumer. In addition, half
of soap, bath and shower product users have
switched to taking showers rather than baths in
an effort to save water. Meanwhile, liquid soaps
have an edge over the more traditional bar
format with 89% of women using liquid soaps
compared to 77% who use bar soap. While they
potentially offer a cost saving over liquid varieties,

 
Brid Costello
Senior UK Beauty Analyst
bcostello@mintel.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7606 4533 

A self-confessed beauty junkie, Bríd tracks the UK’s fast-moving beauty market. Before joining Mintel in 2010, she spent a decade as a beauty editor for fashion and beauty trade newspaper Women’s Wear Daily. Based in the Condé Nastowned title’s Paris office for five years before transferring to its London bureau, Bríd acquired expertise across the beauty spectrum. Bríd studied Journalism at Dublin City University (DCU).

© 2012 Mintel Group Ltd. All rights reserved. Confidential to Mintel.

Soap, Bath and Shower Products
 

Issues in the Market

bar soaps suffer from a somewhat old-fashioned
image.
With no sign of consumers’ habits changing in the
short term, there is unlikely to be any reversal of
these sectors’ performance.
A third of bath and
shower product users buy
whatever product is on
special offer, while half
stock up when their
favourite brands are on
special offer.

Q: What are consumers’ primary concerns
when it comes to buying soap, bath and
shower products?
A: While the basic premise of SBS products is to
cleanse, such items now go above and beyond
that call of...
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