Sales in the UK fragrances market increased by 5% in current value terms in 2011, this being strong growth for a non-essential item in a difficult economic environment. Premium fragrances were considered, like the rest of the luxury goods market, recession-proof.
However, this theory is now being questioned as while premium fragrances grew by 9% in 2010 and then 4% in 2011, the category achieved very modest growth of 1% in 2012.
Fragrances have reported strong growth in recent years although sales are expected to be affected by the weak economic outlook, with consumers reducing their expenditure on non-essential items.
Fragrances are used for a variety of occasions, from work to meeting with friends and special events, supporting sales. The number-one reason to wear fragrance is simply to smell good, but it has become a routine for more than half of fragrance users and is a finishing touch when getting dressed up for almost half.
Active new product development plays an important role in the market and is key to maintaining and creating consumer interest, for example, through seasonal and limited-edition products. Women's fragrances are the central arena for new introductions, accounting for nearly two thirds of all launches.
Recent product trends have varied from fashion and music to food and exoticism, with suppliers also paying greater attention to the development of more environmentally-friendly products, generally through packaging, and botanical/herbal alternatives.
Coty continued to lead the UK fragrances market in 2012 thanks to a very strong portfolio of brands in both the premium and mass segments, which now also includes Lady Gaga's Fame perfume, closely followed by Procter & Gamble, which includes Gucci among its most prominent brands.
However, although a buoyant category in terms of NPD, Chanel No 5 remained the second leading brand with sales of £17 million, followed by Jean Paul Gaultier Le Mâle.
For more information on the UK fragrances market, see the latest research: UK Fragrances Market
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