Even in Beauty numbers count

Frequently, with colleagues and operators in the world of beauty, I often discuss the market forecasts of the sector and new trends. However, I am amazed at how often statistical research – which offers invaluable insights for those who work in this sector – is totally ignored in favor of arguments without objective feedback. Contrary to what one thinks, behind seemingly boring numbers and graphs one finds solutions and useful suggestions for directing one’s business.

The world production of cosmetics is estimated at over 400 billion dollars. From the economic point of view, the national industry is one of the top ten in the world and occupies the position of fourth European producer – and ninth in the world – with a turnover of over 12 billion euros, preceded in Europe by Germany, France and the United Kingdom, with an export of almost 5 billion euros recorded before the pandemic (Cosmetica Italia data).

The cosmetics industry made in Italy has always been a driving force for the country’s economy. Unfortunately, this pandemic has caused a sudden change in the economic structure of world production. With forecasts of a drop in revenues between 30 and 40%, this scenario of unpredictability has forced us into a state of emergency, with extraordinary measures and actions to deal with any scenario that might reoccur. In general, however, the historical resilience to recessionary phases, the strong “brand awareness” enjoyed by our products and the good equity solidity of the companies that could compensate for the fall in turnover play in favor of Beauty.

New consumer habits are emerging all over the world: 60% of consumers spend more time taking care of themselves, 57% have started training at home, 50% buy more carefully and 45% make more sustainable choices (Accenture data).

I have always had the passion to investigate economic data to better understand the performance of the Beauty market, an evergreen sector that offers many job opportunities even for young people if only the knowledge of objective data were offered to them. I am also referring to schools where, in fact, I found with great embarrassment a certain superficiality with respect to the study and research of this scientific topic.

The world population has exceeded 7.8 billion. Since birth and throughout life, every single individual has natural impulses towards the most different rituals of Beauty. This is why I insist on the longevity of the beauty professions. These impulses are atavistic and even saving in the most difficult historical moments. There are many examples throughout history that evoke the resilient power of cosmetics. Think for example of the statistical indicator “Lipstick Index” coined by Leonard Lauder, chairman of Estèe Lauder, when as a result of an economic crisis caused by the bursting of the famous “internet bubble” increased sales of lipsticks by 11%.

The proposals of the market that derive from the impulse to search for Wellness and Beauty mainly concern three main categories: the female universe; the male world; the universe of the elderly and children.

Here the decisional impact counts. If an individual belongs to an age group between 16 and 75 years old, we can say that he or she has a certain economic availability ranging from pocket money to a real income. He possesses economic and cognitive capacity, therefore independence. Instead, if he belongs to an age group under 16 or over 75 years old, he “consumes” Beauty in any case, but often does not decide directly, so he is subject to induced compulsion or addiction.

The decisional impact is different, but everyone consumes cosmetics from birth and throughout life: independently, because one has the cognitive and economic capacity to do so; induced or dependent in the universe of the child and often of the elderly.

In this scenario of “consumption” of Beauty, about 76% is absorbed by the female universe, the remaining 24% by the male universe. Of the total “consumption” of Beauty, 80% of services, products and tools are purchased independently by women, 19% by couples and 1% by single men.

Here we observe how the consumption of Beauty involves in different percentages the male and female universe.

In our country in 2019 cosmetics has grown and for 2020, despite the decreasing GDP, before the pandemic it was estimated a similar increase. The performance has always been driven by exports, which in terms of trade balance in our country is in third place after clothing and wine. Today in my group the investment in Research & Innovation has risen to 10% of annual turnover.

Humanistic Cosmetics contains the noblest concept of Beauty, which in fact speaks of innovation, sustainability and ethics in a new anthropological-relational vision. The “numbers” of Beauty serve to make people understand that it is a prosperous and voluminous economy with enormous potential to exploit and cultivate. Follow Beauty and it will become your vocation, read the numbers and you will know how to enhance your profession and your business.

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