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French cosmetics diversifies its points of reference

The increasing importance of seduction, increased life expectancy, the increase in purchasing power, the emergence of new markets such as the male cosmetics market (influenced by the image of the dynamic athlete)  or the baby and senior markets are all factors which support the growth of this sector.

A flourishing market

Despite occasional fits and starts, the cosmetics market is in constant progression. The market in most developed countries should continue to flourish thanks to the arrival of new consumers such as men, young people, who are coming to the market earlier and earlier and seniors who are continuing to use cosmetics for longer and longer. 

As for developing countries where brands are extremely well recieved, their weighting the market could near 30% within the next 5 years. If  the USA, Japan, Germany or France continue to take the top spots, these markets are coming to maturity (annual growth rate of 2% per year). Growth now seems to be taking shape in exports, particularly towards developing countries (Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico and China) which are recording growth rates of between 5 and 9%.

A leading position in exports.

France stands out because of its technological advancement, its marketing know-how and its cultural reputation and image. It's because of these values that French industry occupies a dominant position with a 25% global market share. The second largest exporter after aeronautic construction products, the cosmetics industry comprises 800 companies, 70,000 employees and a turnover of 25 billion euros.

The growing power of alternative brands.

The French perfume and cosmetics market is seeing the rise of so-called "alternative brands". These brands are outperforming the market leaders wih exponential growth in the case of start ups and double digit increases for the older houses (the thirty somethings). In this very favourable context, they are continuing their development by activating key optimisation drivers:

  • Investment in creation and innovation
    Primary sources of alternative market differentiation. This differentiation mainly relates to product added value (scientific backing) and to imagination marketing (integration of services)
  • Development of the product offer Sufficiently broad and profound to be listed by distributors. Creation of brand attributes and a brand image which is recognised by the general public.
  • Modification of the distribution mix Based on the triptych of advice, reputation and volume of sales.
  • Advice and Services This component has been neglected in recent years in favour of self-service. It's an important differentiation factor for alternative brands which is demonstrated by the opening of institutes, spas and by in-store sales events (makeup and skincare demonstrations).
  • Export of concepts Internationalisation is not the reserve of market leaders. Alternative brands in niche markets - hyperselective, niche products often see international development. It is even for many, a significant additonal source of revenue.
  1. Specialists in a niche market where advice and services are a key part of the offer.
  2. Extension of brand territory using  a volume strategy by enlarging the target clientele and the distribution network.

If the status of expert in a high end market position can be part of a measured and selective development, entering into competition with the market leaders in the context of extending the brand territory requires a large publicity and referencing budget. This consumes cash flow and can force certain companies to seek financial support.

Long accused of conveying unrealistic standards, the Beauty market is diversifying its codes by drawing new benchmarks from so-called "alternative" brands. If the concept of a beauty ideal remains, today is has broadly been reinvented.