Cosmetics and Toiletries Industry

An Expert's View about Cosmetics in Sweden

Last updated: 31 Aug 2011


Sweden, along with the other Scandinavian countries is considered to be a highly mature market in terms of cosmetics and toiletries. Swedes regard cosmetics as a necessity, which is a possible reason why the consumption didn’t decline during the financial crisis. The market is currently growing at an impressive rate.

Market Demand

The Swedish consumers values and strives for a healthy and natural appearance and value looking young over having tanned skin. Since the country is highly Americanized, trends in the U.S. have an effect on what people demand here, especially among the young population living in urban areas. The Swedish consumer is highly educated in product ingredients and alert to media exposure and spends approximately !130-140 every year on cosmetics, which is roughly the same amount that Americans and Germans spend on cosmetics.

Best Prospects

Several areas of cosmetic products present substantial opportunities for U.S. market entry. Swedish consumers are concerned with maintaining a youthful appearance and value young looking skin over tanned skin. In both Denmark and Sweden the local governments have launched successful campaigns warning against the negative effects of sun exposure, which fueled the sun care product market. As a result sun care products, include high SPF sunscreen and moisturizers with sunscreen, present good opportunities for market entry. And logically selftanning products have become increasingly popular. Products to reduce the appearance of ageing are also gaining market shares. The use of grooming products for men, which has become more popular in recent years, is expected to continue to increase. Swedish men, naturally in the younger generation, have become more interested in spending discretionary income on cosmetic products. This includes shaving products as well as skin care and anti-ageing products.

The Swedish market is strict in regulating imports of risk ingredients in cosmetic products. In general, Swedish consumers are well aware of products additives and synthetic ingredients. Therefore, natural and organic products are particularly appealing to the Swedish market.

Key Suppliers

The three companies that lead the Swedish cosmetics market are L’Oreal, Estee Lauders and Invima. Other major players on the market include Beiersdorf AG, Procter & Gamble, Revlon Inc, Oriflame, Mary Kay and NuSkin Corp. In skin care and personal hygiene companies such as Unilever, Laboratories Garnier, Biotherm, Lancome and Clinique are important players. They enjoy broad distribution channels, strong marketing support, and maintain a corporate presence within Sweden.

Professional beauty salons prefer brands such as Decleor and Biotherm, France. Kanebo and Shiseido, Japan. Dermalogica, USA. All have their own skin therapists at the sales locations.

Since the privatization of the before state-owned pharmacies in 2009, the number of pharmacies have increased from 920 (in 2009) to 1122 at the end of 2010. 11 companies run 99 percent out of the total 1122 pharmacies and the four biggest are: Apoteket AB, Apoteket Hjärtat, Kronans Droghandel Retail AB, and Apoteksgruppen. This significant increase in pharmacies has made cosmetics and toiletries more accessible in all parts of the country.

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Posted: 30 August 2011, last updated 31 August 2011