After years of steady growth, sales in the nail color category have slowly started to lose their luster. The cyclical nature of beauty industry trends and growing impact of the salon market have chipped away at the category, resulting in a 5% decline in 2014. But that doesn’t mean the nail care category has gone the way of the Mani Cam. Opportunities still exist in this nearly $2 billon arena for brands and retailers to offer women ways to simplify nail care and address concerns about nail health and ingredient safety.
Beauty Industry News Shows Potential in the Marketplace
Nail polish is the largest and strongest performing segment in the nail color and care category, accounting for more than half of retail sales. “We believe that, despite the recent slowdown, the category is still primed for growth,” says Andrea Van Dam, CEO of strategy agency Women’s Marketing, Inc., “in fact, Mintel projects the category will grow by 48% through 2018.” Van Dam sees four notable beauty industry trends fueling this growth: the global wellness movement, the desire for personalized products, the “sample size” ethos, which allows consumers to experiment without commitment, and product remover innovation.
Trend 1: A Healthier Polish
Beauty industry news shows there’s a growing movement among women to seek out natural and organic beauty products. In fact, in a recent GMILightspeed/Mintel poll, 67% of women said they were interested in natural/low-chemical nail polishes. Brands offering gentle, low-chemical formulas will likely capture the wellness consumer.
Trend 2: Personalized Color
We see that “Millennial women in particular are motivated by the ability to personalize products to their specifications,” says Van Dam, “and nail color is no exception.” Innovations in technology are making individualized nail color a reality. Inspired by machines that produce custom paint for cars, a Brazilian company developed the Esmalte Machine–an automated booth that uses a base of pre-made colors to allow consumers to create their own made-to-order nail shades. Technological innovations that allow for product personalization could give brands greater visibility and allow marketers to really stand out from the crowd.
Trend 3: Mani Minis
Petite, trial size bottles of nail lacquer are winning big with consumers. The tiny bottles allow women to experiment with new shades, with little financial commitment. And color trial drives sales: nearly half of women polled by Mintel said they look for trendy colors when purchasing nail color products. The smaller size packaging provides an opportunity for brands to showcase seasonal shades and allow women to experiment with a variety of colors.
Trend 4: Taking It Off
Harder-to-remove polishes including gels, glitters, and darker shades have heavily penetrated the market, with 72% of women reporting use. That’s driving innovation in the polish remover category, which is often viewed as functional and price-driven. With this beauty industry trend marketers have an opportunity to create products that address the challenges associated with difficult to remove polishes.
“Women are motivated by price and better product choices,” explains Women’s Marketing CEO, Andrea Van Dam . “They’re interested in products that align with their healthy lifestyle and offer multiple benefits. Brands that earn the trust of the female consumer will also win her loyalty,” Van Dam advises.