Performances varied across categories within mass beauty and personal care in 2020, with non-essential categories such as mass colour cosmetics and mass fragrances being the hardest hit and witnessing double-digit value decline. Some other categories, such as mass baby and child-specific products and mass skin care, showed more resilience, as they were seen as essential, but at the same time also saw consumers trading down from more premium brands to more competitively-priced products.
During lockdown and at the peak of COVID-19, consumers avoided shopping centres and chose stores that were closer to home, as they were more convenient, and also to avoid long queues. At the start of lockdown, there was also confusion as to what constituted essential products under the new regulations, and a lot of product categories within beauty and personal care suffered as their sales were restricted.
The tragic loss of lives and job losses affected families across all income spectrums and hit close to home for many South Africans, and this led to a change in consumers’ shopping patterns. More people favoured local brands in an attempt to support the local community and ensure that small businesses remained in business and continued employing locals, who very often were people at the lower-income end of the spectrum.
Consumers are expected to remain highly price-sensitive over the forecast period, and mass brands offering effective and competitively priced products will perform better. Whilst consumers will continue to seek out trusted brands, dwindling customer loyalty means that consumers will not hesitate to try out new products if they are offered at better prices.
With the threat of a third wave of COVID-19 on the horizon and more restrictions expected to be put in place, the return to normality is likely to be slow. At the same time, the requirement to wear face masks whenever in public is likely to lead to some longer-lasting changes for some categories, such as mass lipstick, as consumers are choosing not to purchase such products until the situation returns to normal.
E-commerce has contributed to enhanced brand visibility for brands, including direct sellers. Pure online retailers such as Takealot have been expanding their brand availability to include more brands across all price points, giving online consumers more options from which to choose.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Mass Beauty and Personal Care industry in South Africa with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Mass Beauty and Personal Care research and analysis database.
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