Making predictions is a fraught business at any time and the beginning of the year is usually marked by a torrent of guesstimates from experts and pundits.

This year is different, though, and we haven’t seen the flood of New Year forecasts that normally hit the headlines as soon as the Festive Season is over.

McKinsey & Co is bucking this cautious trend with its recently released study, The State of Beauty 2021.

The global consultancy firm is optimistic that the beauty industry will rebound this year.

China has bounced back from a 40 per cent decline in beauty sales at the start of 2020 and is predicted to log growth of 8 to 10 per cent in 2021.

McKinsey forecasts that the US market will return to growth by mid-year and will enjoy an uptick of 3 to 4 per cent through to December.

By contrast, Europe and Japan will be slower to make up for losses during the Covid-19 pandemic and will not achieve 2019 beauty revenues until 2022.

Some categories suffered more during the coronavirus crisis, notably colour cosmetics. McKinsey estimates that global makeup sales will slip 2 per cent through to the end of the year to US$71 billion.

Prestige fragrance sales will continue to experience challenges with sales slipping 12 per cent to US$42 billion.

Haircare and personal care sales are on track to enjoy modest growth of 2 per cent this year to US$73 billion and US$146 billion, respectively.

Skincare will continue to shine with revenues expected to grow by 5 per cent this year to US$159 billion.

Overall, McKinsey expects global beauty and personal care sales in 2021 to increase to US$491 billion – a 1 per cent jump by contrast to 2019 revenues of US$485 billion.

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