The country of haute couture is a fan of human expression of love for beauty thanks to its reputation as a beauty hub over the centuries. The multicultural and sophisticated consumer base, with growing expenditure on beauty and wellness products is a major cosmetics market driver, creating a constant demand for new and innovative items from around the world.
Among the largest economies in Europe and the most industrialized countries in the world, with no surprise the French cosmetics market is quickly recovering from the global Covid health crisis and is foreseen to be significantly growing in the following years, presenting many opportunities for cosmetics exporters.
Market trends and opportunities
The French cosmetics market demonstrated its ability to quickly adjust to new trends and behaviors such as rising ecological awareness, the shift towards quality, and minimalistic beauty routines due to busier lifestyles or the growing influence of social media.
The impact of Covid on hygiene and home seclusion has booster sales in the hand care segment and facial skincare products. Both men and women are looking for beauty items with hydrating properties. Beauty exporters have many opportunities in the French cosmetics market as consumers have many affinities, be it skincare that combats redness, dark spots, wrinkles, increases radiance, firmness, or evens the skin. In the same vein, concerns about sun damage and premature aging led French consumers to use higher SPF protection and cosmetics that contain SPF in their formulas, throughout the entire year, not just during summer.
The increased cleanliness practices created by the COVID pandemic have seen double-digit value increases in 2020 and sales growth is forecasted to continue in general, leading to overall higher demand for bath and shower supplies, including, bar soap, liquid soap, hand sanitizers, shower gels, body scrubs, and other hygienic body care items.
The search for an attractive smile is the driver that makes French consumers interested in the health and aesthetic benefits of oral care items. The oral hygiene segment includes all products of mouth daily care routines such as toothpaste, mouthwash, toothbrushes, and floss. Like the rest of the personal care categories, oral hygiene in France is following the trend of sustainability and naturalness, in both premium and mass-market segments.
Minimalism & greenification
In recent times, French beauty consumers have begun following simpler, time-saving makeup routines, as well as shifting toward brands that promote sustainable development, are environmentally friendly as well as aware of animal welfare issues within the beauty context.
Similarly, medical research about the damage of synthetic ingredients in cosmetics has led to increased sales growth in safer, greener cosmetics, and triggered market players to innovate and adapt their products and strategies to changing customer needs.
When it comes to hair care, French consumers are moving towards a natural look and a focus on the health of both the hair and the scalp. This trend can also be connected to a minimalist approach with a shift toward multifunctional hair care items, especially for conditioners and treatments for detangling, anti-frizz, or leave-in hair masks. Organic mass-market hair care items show growing popularity, while premium products are seen as expensive.
Niche & premium
In terms of premium prospects, fragrances have a history in France. Despite the recent financial distress, the French are avid for quality, premium status, and limited edition fragrances over mass-market items that lack attractiveness and innovation. In 2020, revenue in the fragrances sector amounts to US$2,333.8m while the market is expected to grow annually by 1.1% (CAGR 2020-2025).
Although the beauty sector is traditionally associated with women, men’s increasing interest in their appearance has gradually created competition among market players. Besides the generic toiletries, successful companies are now focusing on developing niche products dedicated to the male population, including face creams, eye creams, hair gels, tanning sprays, or hair dyes.
Important to take into consideration is also the French heaven of spas and wellness centers, a gold mine opportunity for exporters to supply their products to over 9,000 such locations. Pollution, busy lifestyles, or peer influence have made weekend spa breaks very popular for both citizens and millions of annual international visitors.
Market entry tips
The French cosmetics market is highly competitive. Both online and offline distribution channel sales are mixed and play significant roles. Supermarkets, department stores, salons and pharmacies hold a large market share while e-commerce sales are boosted by convenience and wider availability of products and prices. Moreover, digitalization is one of the few tools of economic growth in the French cosmetics market. The rising popularity and influence of social media platforms like Instagram and Youtube create certain product demands and facilitate communication between beauty brands and customers.
For best practices, cosmetics exporters need to invest in creating the right USP, marketing campaign, innovative features as well as unique packaging. As a highly competitive and mature market, exporters need to invest in finding a partner that will help them further understand the market based on their products.
The fastest and most accurate successful market entry is guaranteed by partnering up with French cosmetics importers and distributors you can access through our platform, by choosing the right packet for your business.