Will the beauty industry in France be affected by a 2023 recession?


Will the beauty industry in France be affected by a 2023 recession?

During the 2001 recession, Leonard Lauder of Estee Lauder coined the term “lipstick index” to describe the phenomenon of higher lipstick sales during times of hardship. Although the object of thelipstick index changed over time —  in the 2010’s it was nail polish and more recently with the introduction of mandatory face masks, mascara — the principle remained the samepeople still reached for “affordable luxury” in times of economic uncertainty. With 64% of the French population saying they think the economy is in a recession*, will consumers still turn to cosmetics for that feel good factor in 2023? 

The bigger picture

Although France isn’t in an official recession and the OECD is predicting a GDP growth of 0.6% in 2023, consumers feel the impact of inflation acutely —  inflation in France is expected to be 5.7% in 2023 and people are certainly feeling the pinch. NIQ’s recent Consumer Outlook* study found that 36% of the French population feel financially worse off than they did this time last year.  

In our recent survey, 45% of French consumers told us that they plan to spend less on beauty products in 2023. The tactics they will use to achieve this? Reducing purchase frequency and using up existing products. Manufacturers and retailers will need to remain top of mind with their shoppers and look to improve loyalty. 

How French consumers plan to shop beauty in 2023

Unsurprisingly, 41% of respondents in our survey also told us that they would be shopping for less expensive products to reduce their spending on beauty. And who can blame them — 84% say they feel beauty prices have increased in the last 6 months and 24% think that increases are even greater than other grocery and household categories. This demonstrates an opportunity for manufacturers and retailers to rethink how they communicate offers and discounts so shoppers can clearly see the value.

Although shoppers tell us they will cut back on spending within the beauty category, as a nation the French are still very invested in self-care items to varying degrees.  

55% and 45% of survey respondents said they would never stop buying cosmetic and nail care products respectively. Within these categories face cosmetics (80%) and nail color (82%) are the products shoppers are most reliant on. 

Want more France beauty insights?

To read more from our France Beauty Spending Outlook 2023 – Save or Splurge, download the report.

The future of beauty 

There is no doubt that consumers are feeling the effects of high inflation and plan to reduce their spend on beauty in 2023 overall — 45% say they will reduce spending on beauty products in 2023.  

However, shoppers are very reliant on certain segments and products within the beauty category which will keep their places on consumer shopping lists. Manufacturers and retailers will need to keep close tabs on consumer attitudes in 2023 as inflation continues to linger. Driving purchase frequency and remaining top of mind will be key in driving loyalty and impulse purchasing with these shoppers.

Sources :
*NIQ Consumer Outlook 2023
**France Beauty Spending Outlook – Save or Spend Report

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