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Retail market of cosmetics in Poland

Cosmetic market, according to Nielsen’s definition, includes such products as shampoos, hair conditioners, hair styling and color products, deodorants, shaving and after shave products, baby products, face and body care products, sun care, soaps, bath foams and shower gels. According to Retail Sales Panel research conducted by Nielsen, the total sales of some categories of cosmetics in 2013 reached PLN 6.3 billion. In comparison to the previous year it decreased by 2%.

The biggest share in total sales of cosmetics was achieved by face care products (19%), deodorants, body care products (13%) and shampoos (12%).

Details have been presented in Chart 1:

As it comes to the analyzed categories, during the previous year only shower gels sales was developed (+6.2%). The other categories either stayed on the same level or decreased. The biggest loss belongs to hair styling and shaving products (-5,7% and -6,3% respectively).

The dynamics of changes in the cosmetic market has been presented in Chart 2:

Let us have a closer look at the chosen cosmetic categories:


During the last year Polish people spent almost PLN 1.1 billion for face care products and it is a comparable value to the year 2012. Face care products can be divided into cosmetics for women and men.

In 2013 women products comprised 95% of total sales of face care products (in volume and in value), although men sector has been gaining more and more popularity. Whereas women care segment is stable – products for men noted a growth in sales value of 7,9% compared to 2012.
Within this category (for women) we distinguish face care and cleansing products. The first segment comprised 78% in 2013 in value sales and cleansing products accounted for 22%. Both segments seem to be stable.

Analyzing the forms of products we can notice an increasing importance of serum products (+42,2% of value sales growth in 2013 vs 2012), responsible for 2,2% of value sales and make-up removals (+17,2% of value sales growth in 2013 vs 2012), which are the second most important sector after creams.


Hair care products market is varied as it comes to the number of producers, brands and products categories. We can divide it into 3 categories: hair care products (shampoos and conditioners), hair styling (sprays, foams and gels) and colorants.

In 2013 people in Poland spent on these products PLN 1,89 billion, which means a decrease of 3,9% in comparison to 2012.

The biggest segment are shampoos and in the same period this market was worth PLN 783 billion (decline of 4,1% vs 2012). People tended to buy more eagerly shampoos packed in 301-500 ml, which comprised 60% of value sales in the category. On the second place there is a range of 201-300 ml with share of 23%.

Another segment, as for the sales volume, are hair colorants. In the mentioned period of time their sales reached PLN 482 billion. These products can be divided into 3 segments: permanents colors (92% of value sales), half permanent colorants (4,0%) and temporarily coloring products (4%).

The next segment are hair styling products. It is a broad category, because it includes different forms of products such as sprays, foams and gels. In 2013 Polish customers spent on these products PLN 366 mln (decline of 5,7% in comparison to the analogical period in 2012). The most popular products from this category were sprays (62,3% of value sales). The second position took hair gels with sales on the level of 15,3%. Among further categories there were foams (12,4%) and products in the category “others” (clays, gums or pastes).

The last and the least segment are hair conditioners. In 2013 their sales comprised PLN 260 mln and this market is the only one which seems to be stable. The most popular are conditioners in form of balms (68,9%) although during the last year they lost in the meaning in comparison to such products as creams, masks or serums.


In 2013 85,7 mln pieces of deodorants accounted for PLN 87,3 mln were sold. In comparison to the same period in 2012 both volume and value sales declined (-1,8% and -5,5% respectively).

Deodorants can be divided into several groups according to accepted criteria. We can distinguish products for women and men. Of these two categories, deodorants for women generate more sales and their share of the entire deodorant market equals to 54% in value. Products for men accounted for 46% of total sales.

Analyzing the deodorant market in terms of product types we can distinguish: spays, roll-ons, atomizers, sticks and others. Sprays and roll-ons are best-sellers and their total market share accounted for 55,1% and 24,6% in value. The only segment which gained in importance in 2013 were atomizers, which increased by 7,3%. This category can be divided into standard deodorants and antiperspirants. The meaning of the first group declines by 5,5% and now they comprise 36,7% of value sales, while antiperspirants’ share accounts for 63,3%.


Shower gels are the most dynamically growing cosmetic category. Last year it generated increase in sales of 6,2% in value. Among different types of shower gels, new forms of products are gaining in importance: milks, lotions, foams, emulsions and gel-creams, but these are the gels that are the most important segment with 75% of shares. The importance of creams, liquids and olives is decreasing.

Consumers more and more often buy multifunctional goods. Products 3 in1: for face, body and hair reported the highest increase of sales (four times) and now the comprise 6,9% of value sales. The highest rate belongs to regular products (69,4%) and the second place was taken by 2 in1 products with the share of 23,8%.