The European market for functional skincare, haircare, and vitamins, minerals and supplements (VMS) is now valued at £692 million (€986m) and still booming, according to the Datamonitor report.
The 'Functional Beauty Regimes' report reveals that sales of functional personal care products in the UK are set to grow by almost a third, to £0.9 billion in 2008, driven by consumers increasingly looking for treatments that offer 'self-insurance'.
And cosmeceuticals, or supplements targeting cosmetic appearance, are an increasingly important part of these functional beauty regime sales, gaining a strong boost last year with the launch of the Inneov range produced by a Nestle/L'Oreal joint venture.
"Consumers focus on prevention rather than cure. While these developments are having a profound impact on the market for self-medication goods, they have proven a major driving force for beauty regimes adoption, especially of VMS regimes," commented Lawrence Gould, Datamonitor Consumer Markets analyst and report author.
Sales of functional skincare products in the UK reached £156 million in 2003, accounting for 23 per cent of total FBRs sales. They are set to outperform the level of growth seen in the overall skincare market, growing at compound annual growth rate of almost 6 per cent between 2003 and 2008, compared to only 2.7 per cent for the overall market, predict the Datamonitor analysts.
Spending on FBRs is generally greatest in north European countries. The UK is Europe's third largest but fastest growing market, with sales of functional personal care products and VMS forecast to grow by almost 6 per cent year-on-year to 2008.
German and French consumers take their beauty regimes seriously but both markets are forecast to grow at slower rates - 1.8 per cent and 4.5 per cent annually respectively over the period.
Fear of ageing is also a strong driver of regime uptake. Consumers wish to "look good for their age". And while traditionally such a view would have been considered only applicable to females, males over the age of 50 are increasingly seeking to maintain appearance too.
"Players in these markets will need to reassess their strategies for targeting regimes in light of the fact that the proportion of sales accounted for by this type of purchase is increasing. By 2008, 42 per cent of skincare sales in Europe will be for use as part of functional beauty regimes," concluded Gould.
Barriers to regime adoption remain though, as 42 per cent of consumers in Europe still think beauty regimes are too much of an effort, 38 per cent are skeptical about the benefits of the regimes, 31 per cent claim not to have the time and 27 per cent find the expense involved excessive.