With the new 2013 edition of Professional Skin Care: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities due out next month, Kline industry expert, Pierrick Dutton, shares some of the most striking findings uncovered by our researchers.
Q: How did the professional skin care market perform in the United States in 2013?
A: In 2013, sales of professional skin care products continue to enjoy stable growth. In fact, overall sales surpassed pre-recession levels of $850 million at the manufacturers’ level.
Q: What were some of the major changes in the competitive landscape in 2013?
A: There has been an unprecedented wave of acquisitions in the space this year. In December 2012, Allergan acquired SkinMedica, a key player in the market. A second major acquisition happened in March 2013 when Valeant Pharmaceuticals acquired Obagi Medical Products, the largest brand in the United States. Last but not least, in July 2013, Merz Pharma acquired Swiss-based Neocutis, a noted player in the medical channel.
Through the acquisitions, these larger firms are now able to provide a complete package of products to their physician accounts, which combines everything from medical aesthetics to skin care products. Loyalty programs have been put in place, encouraging physicians to source all products from one supplier and use attractive package discounts as incentives. Word from the marketplace has it that these loyalty plans have been very successful, putting pressure on other manufacturers to work even harder at strengthening relationships and preserving their accounts.
Q: There is a lot of buzz in the mass market about online sales. Does this apply as well to professional skin care products?
A: We are seeing 15% to 20% growth in online sales of professional skin care products in the United States. This rate is considerably higher than the growth rates in the medical care providers and spa channels, albeit from a much smaller base. The channel’s potential is reflected in some recent acquisitions, such as Target’s acquisition of Dermstore.com, a major online retailer of professional products.
Q: In terms of product categories, which ones grew the most in 2013?
A: Sun protection products witnessed double-digit growth in 2013. This category helped to bolster sales of two up-and-coming brands: EltaMD and Revision Skincare. It would not be surprising if these brands were acquired by larger firms in the next few years. There are also a few new launches of hydroquinone-free whitening products, including Lytera from SkinMedica (Allergan) and Advanced Pigment Corrector from SkinCeuticals (L’Oréal) that are increasing in popularity.