Study: Grocers missing chance to grow sales of personal care products

Dive Brief:

  • A study from TABS Analytics shows mainstream grocers like Kroger and Publix account for 16.6% of the personal care market, according to Progressive Grocer. That places them behind Wal-Mart, with 19.9% of sales, but ahead of Target, which has a 12.1% share.
  • Amazon, Wal-Mart and Target make up 82% of online sales of personal care products. E-commerce, however, accounts for just 3.1% of total sales in the category.
  • Generation X users (ages 35 to 44) account for 37% of sales in the $40 billion category, while millennials rank second at 24%. Hispanics, meanwhile, are a significant consumer segment, with 33% reporting as heavy users of personal care products.

Dive Insight:

Grocers don’t usually give deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste and other personal care products prime real estate inside their stores. But judging by the results of this study, perhaps they should.

The key finding here is shoppers overwhelmingly prefer to buy personal care products in stores as opposed to online. Just 3.1% of sales in the $40 billion category originate in e-commerce channels, and according to the TABS study, half of all personal care buyers say they never buy these products online.

Supermarkets might be able to sell more personal care products by making them easier to find in-store, and by promoting them through ad circulars, in-store displays and price discounts. The focus should be on innovative and fast-growing categories, like men’s grooming and lip balm.

However, personal care as a whole isn’t growing fast, so retailers should primarily think about ways to leverage those in-store buying habits to benefit other categories. Whole Foods and other natural and organic retailers like to merchandise Burt’s Bees products near the produce aisle, for instance. Who’s to say shaving lotion couldn’t appear on a cereal aisle endcap? Or a selection of adult skincare products merchandised with baby products?

Retailers also should be thinking about value as it relates to personal care. According to TABS, 44% of shoppers at dollar stores, which are growing rapidly in the U.S., said they regularly buy value brand personal care items. As retailers expand their private label with an eye toward quality and selection, grocers may be able to draw price-conscious shoppers to their stores with their own private label personal care products.

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Filed Under: Grocery Corporate Marketing
Top image credit: Wikimedia Commons