Beauty, hygiene growth top consumer segment

Posted on August 28, 2015

BEAUTY AND HYGIENE products were the fastest growing consumer segment in the year to June 2015, significantly outpacing gains in other categories, including food, beverages and household products, according to a study of 3,000 Filipino households.

The study, conducted by Kantar Worldpanel Philippines, found that purchases of personal care products grew by 11% from June 2014 to June 2015.

This compares with 7% growth in the purchases of household care products, 6% for food products, and 5% for beverages.

“This growth is a clear manifestation of the Filipino shoppers’ high regard for hygiene and beauty products,” Lourdes Deocareza, New Business Development Head, of Kantar Worldpanel Philippines said in a statement.

“Within the personal care mega sector, we’ve found that Filipinos are prioritizing skin care products (hand and body lotion, facial care, liquid soap and bar bath soap), hair care products (shampoo, conditioners and treatment) and oral care (toothpaste and toothbrush),” she added.

Filipinos are also spending more on wipes, colognes, diapers and deodorants, she said.

The research also found that neighborhood stores contributed the most to the rise of personal care spending, accounting for 35% of the market. This was followed by modern trade channels, including supermarkets and hypermarkets, at 34%.

Grocery stores accounted for 7.7% while direct sales channels and drug stores had 6.5% and 5.8% shares, respectively.

The top 10 personal care products in the Philippines, the study found, are wipes, colognes, liquid soap, diapers, hand and body lotions, deodorants, facial care products, talcum powder, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

“The increasing interest of Filipino shoppers in personal care does not come as a surprise. This growth is a reflection of the aggressive push of FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) players to market their products in various platforms, including digital media,” Ms. Deocareza added

According to Rodel A. Taton of the Consumers Union of the Philippines, the trend is due to the high commercialization of these products as well the evolving attitude of Filipinos towards the value of beauty and wellness.

“The growth is probably not a sign of petty obsession but simply commercialization (which has) heightened in such a way that many consumers tend to buy something that they believe will boost their confidence,” Mr. Taton said in an interview with BusinessWorld on Thursday.

Perfecto Jaime L. Tagalog, Secretary-General of the Coalition of Filipino Consumers, said the group’s own information shows that food remains a major priority for most consumers.

“Based on our tracking, there are still more people who prioritize the food needs of their families. We have over 600,000 members nationwide and we have regular consultations, and they say that their priority is still for their family to have something to eat,” Mr. Tagalog told BusinessWorld in a phone interview.

Still, Mr. Tagalog concurred that beauty and wellness products are benefiting from widespread promotions, changing the structure of the market. -- Alden M. Monzon