Study: Affordability is key factor when buying body care products

CHICAGO — Judging by the results of new research from Mintel, loyalty is lost when it comes to body care products as nearly a quarter of those consumers who use body care products at least once a week usually just buy what’s on sale.

The research found that 23% of those who use body care products at least once a week usually just buy what’s on sale, which has contributed to a 10% decline in sales of body care products from 2007 to 2012.

“The poor performance of the body care market is likely due to the prolonged period of economic uncertainty that has consumers adjusting their use of nonessentials,” stated Molly Maier, senior analyst at Mintel.

“Product affordability is the most important attribute right now, therefore keeping products within a medium or low price point will be key in maintaining consumer participation.”

Hand and body lotion are the most common concoctions in the saturated body care market. Some 81% of consumers use body lotion and 89% say they use hand lotion, up from 76% and 84% since 2011. Women are definitely slathering it on more than men as 97% of women use hand lotion and 96% use body lotion versus 80% and 66% among men, respectively.

In an effort to be thrifty, many people are using lotion designed for a specific body part on other areas. While 94% of Mintel respondents said they use hand lotion on their hands, another 28% say they use it on their feet, 43% on their arms and 23% on their legs.

Despite this, there are some areas where people are very specific when it comes to their body care needs. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of people use more lotion in the winter/colder months and 67% say they buy different products depending on their need at the time, such as dry skin in the winter or gradual tanner in the summer. Some 67% of lotion users prefer bottles with pump dispensers to jars and tubes and 59% would consider buying hand or body lotion in refillable packaging. However, with all the options out there, only 27% of body care consumers say they have yet to find a lotion that works well for them.

The greatest percentage of body care product users are interested in products that offer extra moisture (61%); however, there is a growing interest in products that claim to have anti-aging qualities. Some 30% of weekly users seek anti-aging products compared with 23% in 2011. Products that claim to be all natural are also growing in popularity with nearly one-third of product users (31%) seeking this, according to Mintel.