According to Ramaa Chipalkatti of Datamonitor, sun protection products were estimated to be worth around US$6bn globally in 2014, which is roughly 10% of the total skin care sector. Sun protection will also be the fastest growing segment within skin care over the next five years, with a 9% CAGR in a sector that will have typical CAGR's of 5%-7%.
Sun protection ingredients and the industry behind them are clearly in a growth phase. When you consider that sun protection is also factored into nearly every multifunctional skin and colour cosmetics product, its importance starts to multiply. However, consumers still regard sun protection as a commodity product, with the price being an important factor: On sun care specific products, over three quarters of purchasers choose the low- to mid-price points, buying either the same brands or at their usual retail outlet, which suggests they do not value the product as much as other personal care purchases.
The global picture is complex, with different ethnic areas focusing on different aspects. Asia may not be quite as concerned with health issues, due to generally lower skin cancer rates in comparison to say, Australia, but Asian consumers are equally concerned with anti-ageing, and these two areas command much consumer attention. In general, the 18- to 34-year-old age group worldwide appreciates, more than any other, that staying out of the sun is one of the most effective ways to reduce sun damage.
Brands are using health data to both raise awareness and attempt product differentiation: Neutrogena's Cloudscreen creams and L'Oréal's social media #ItsTHATWorthit campaign use branding and marketing to address these issues. Other brands such as Garnier, La Mer and Ziaja Sopot focus on repairing the damage done by exposure to the sun. Personalisation, or segmentation, is an effective marketing tool. Products specifically designed for skin type, age group, allergies, local climates, ethnicity or activity can all differentiate the product for some consumers.