NPD data shows rapid growth of alphabet creams

Alphabet cream market worth £10.6m in 2013 as market prepares for launch of EE

According to data from global information company NPD, the market for alphabet creams - BB (blemish balm) and CC (complexion corrector) in particular - is growing at a rapid pace.

The alphabet cream market grew 350% in 2013 to reach a value of £10.6m, up from £3m in 2012, and new product launches into the category continue to drive expansion. The data highlights Clinique's Moisture Surge CC Cream as the top selling launch in 2013, followed by Clarins Skin Perfection BB Cream and Dior's Diorskin Nude BB Cream.

According to NPD, women are using alphabet creams in two ways: some are adding them to their daily routine while others are looking for multi-tasking formulas that replace the need for several products, such as moisturiser and foundation in one. The popularity of alphabet creams has seen the market value of tinted creams decline, dropping 12% in 2012 and 15% in 2013. As a result, the NPD Group believes that alphabet creams will soon overtake the market value of tinted creams. Foundation, however, has been unaffected and has continued to grow its market value every year since 2011.

June Jensen, Director for The NPD Group Beauty UK, said: “Women want to look after their skin and to achieve a natural, flawless look. The huge variety of products in the prestige beauty sector offers the chance to experiment, but there is some confusion about the functions of the various alphabet creams and how to fit them into an existing beauty routine. There's an opportunity here for the brands to show how their products can be used alongside existing product ranges to complement existing beauty regimes.”

Next in the line of alphabet products is EE Cream (extra exfoliation), due to arrive this Spring, according to NPD, with the first launch predicted to be from Previse Skincare, with an EE product containing marine granules. Jensen continues: “Alphabet Creams are here to stay. They are already having a significant impact on the beauty market and on beauty regimes in the UK, helping to recruit new consumers into the category.”

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