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Higher-Income Consumers More ‘Cosmetically’ Frugal


CHICAGO— According to a recent report from Mintel, shoppers in higher income brackets can sometimes be thriftier than those with lower incomes. The market research firm reported 64 percent of women in the $100K to $149K income bracket plan to continue buying some store-brand/private-label color cosmetics and some brand-name color cosmetics; meanwhile, only 50 percent of those in the $50K to $74K, and 48 percent in the $75K to $99K bracket said the same thing.

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

One-third of Mintel respondents (33 percent) said they are buying store-brand/private-label cosmetics more now than they did this time last year. Not surprisingly, more than half (51 percent) purchased private label because it offered the best value for the money. Depending on the product, some can be as much as 30 percent to 40 percent cheaper than name-brand cosmetics. Meanwhile, 33 percent were motivated to try a private-label cosmetics because of a coupon or special offer, and 26 percent 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," Fay added. “Demos show a product in action, teach shoppers how to properly use an item and allow them to ask pertinent questions."

For those who don’t purchase private-label color cosmetics, nearly half (49 percent) said they are happy with their brand-name product and have no desire to try anything new, 32 percent said they never thought to try something else and 18 percent 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.

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