Many higher-income shoppers opt to buy private-label cosmetics, Mintel finds

CHICAGO — Women in the higher-income bracket won't object to buying private-label cosmetics if they think that their quality and performance are on par with national brands, according to recent Mintel research.

Mintel research found that 64% of women in the $100,000 to $149,000 income bracket planned to continue buying some store-brand/private-label color cosmetics and some brand-name color cosmetics; meanwhile, only 50% of those in the $50,000 to $74,000, and 48% in the $75,000 to $99,000, bracket said the same thing.

"This does not mean higher-income women do not purchase higher-end, national brands," Mintel senior beauty analyst Kat Fay said. "But they can be selective, often spending more on one category or occasion than another."

One-third of Mintel respondents (33%) said they are buying store-brand/private-label cosmetics more now than they did this time last year. More than half (51%) indicated that they purchased private label because it offered the best value for the money. Depending on the product, some private-label cosmetics can be as much as 30% to 40% cheaper than brand-name cosmetics. Meanwhile, 33% of respondents said they were motivated to try a private-label cosmetic because of a coupon or special offer, and 26% of shoppers went on a recommendation from a friend or family member.

"In addition to recommendations and advertising, shoppers are influenced by in-store cosmetic demos," Fay added. "Demos show a product in action, teach shoppers how to properly use an item and allow them to ask pertinent questions. Retailers say demos always spur sales."

For those who don't purchase private-label color cosmetics, nearly half (49%) said they are happy with their brand-name product and have no desire to try anything new, 32% said they never thought to try something else and 18% feared that store brands use cheap or inferior ingredients. This offers an opportunity for marketers to educate consumers on the quality of their products and ingredients.