Mintel: well off US shoppers thriftier on cosmetic purchases

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Shoppers in higher income brackets can sometimes be thriftier than those with lower incomes. If they think a private label colour cosmetic’s quality and performance is on par with a national brand, they will buy it.

According to a recent report from Mintel, 64% of women in the $100,000-$149,000 income bracket plan to continue buying some store brand/private label colour cosmetics and some brand name colour cosmetics, meanwhile, only 50% of those in the $50,000-$74,000 and 48% in the $75,000-$99,000 bracket say the same thing.

“This does not mean higher income women do not purchase higher end, national brands,” said Kat Fay, senior beauty analyst at Mintel. “But they can be selective, often spending more on one category or occasion than another.”

One-third of Mintel respondents (33%) say they are buying store brand/private label cosmetics more now than they did this time last year. Not surprisingly, more than half (51%) purchased private label because it offered the best value for the money. Depending on the product, some can be as much as 30-40% cheaper than name brand cosmetics.

Meanwhile, 33% were motivated to try a private label cosmetic because of a coupon or special offer and 26% of shoppers went on a recommendation from a friend or family member.

“In addition to recommendations and advertising, shoppers are influenced by in-store cosmetic demos,” said Fay. “Demos show a product in action, teach shoppers how to properly use an item and allow them to ask pertinent questions. Retailers say demos always spur sales.”

For those who don’t purchase private label colour cosmetics, nearly half (49%) say they are happy with their brand name product and have no desire to try anything new, 32% say they never thought to try something else and 18% fear store brands use cheap or inferior ingredients. This offers an opportunity for marketers to educate consumers on the quality of their products and ingredients, said Mintel.