ECM market report: Colour Cosmetics

Obviously I can’t post the entire market report. However, here are a couple of the main trends and market drivers that have characterised the German colour cosmetics segments in 2012/2013:

1) limited editions! This is a unique aspect of the German colour cosmetics market. We have four drug store brands here – Palmer’s P2, Coty’s Manhattan and Cosnova’s Catrice and Essence – that have the same target group (the teen and twen market) and a similar entry-level pricing. These three companies are fierce competitors and they battle it out with a product launch pace that has to be seen to be believed.

Essence, for example, brings out new limited editions every few weeks, sometimes even twice a month. The themes usually reflect lifestyle or fashion trends, they refer to blockbuster movies (vide the “Twilight” or “Oz The Great and Powerful” limited editions), specific seasons or major events like the annual Oktoberfest.

The collections always include products for eyes, lips, face and nails and there are usually cute accessories like little makeup pouches, blotting papers, hair ornaments or fragrances. The Essence editions especially are often presented in the prettiest cardboard display stands. When a new limited edition comes out, drug stores often get one display box only with, say, four items of each product. And when those are gone, that’s it. Since the customers know this limited editions often sell out within a few days.

Manhattan is a more fashion-conscious brand and frequently teams up with fashion labels or designers to launch colour collections. The company also works with beauty and lifestyle bloggers, sponsoring blogger events and so on – in a few months I’ll post my July Mintel article which analyses Manhattan’s specific brand approach.

Of course the middle and upper mass market brands like L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline, Max Factor, Astor and so on also come out with limited editions every once in a while but, frankly, these tend to be boring. In terms of mass market NPD P2, Essence and Catrice are much more innovative. They are always the first to launch interesting new products or textures. Look at P2’s great range of primers and bases, for example, or Essence, which has just brought out the first mascara in a squeezy tube. Yes, really.

2) certified organic colour cosmetics brands! Again, Germany has some very strong brand contenders here. DM’s Alverde label, Rossmann’s Alterra brand and Müller’s Terra Naturi all have a colour cosmetics line-up amongst their subranges. Because DM and Rossmann have the biggest distribution network in Germany, Alverde and Alterra are the strongest mass market organic C&T makeup brands. And since they are proprietary brands the pricing is very affordable which is an additional bonus as far as brand popularity is concerned.

Benecos is another good entry-level organic makeup brand which, however, is not generally available in drug stores; you’ll have to go to an organic supermarket or organic beauty store to buy Benecos. In the organic retail channel you’ll also find makeup brands like Santé and Logona Colours and in the pricier middle to premium segment we have Lavera, Annemarie Börlind and Dr. Hauschka. Personally, I prefer Alverde and Alterra – good products at very decent prices.

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