Catalina Reports Sales of Cosmetics Rise Despite Price Increases

Data insights from shopper intelligence leader Catalina show that Face and Eye makeup prices continue to rise faster than the overall rate of inflation, likely a sign that brands are passing along some of the increased costs of ingredients and supply chain issues to shoppers.

Cosmetics Infographic 2023

The ‘lipstick effect’ – the idea that during inflationary times shoppers may cut back on luxury purchases yet still indulge in affordable splurges – is still holding strong in 2023, even as the overall U.S. Consumer Price Index cooled slightly to 6.4% in January 2023, continuing a seven-month decline. Grocery prices, however, ticked back up 0.5% on a monthly basis to 11.3% compared to January 2022.

Cosmetics Sales Trends 2023

Sales of Face, Eye, Lip, cosmetic categories were up dramatically in January 2023, more than double Q4 of 2022. Gift Sets rose even higher at +138%. Sales of Face cosmetics (+40%) nearly caught up to Lipstick sales (+43%) while Eye makeup sales grew 18%. The number of units sold mostly tells a similar story, with January Lipstick purchases growing 35% over the same time last year, outpacing Face (+26%) and Eye (+5%). Only Gift Sets--makeup, fragrance, and skincare bundles--remained flat.

Inflation continued to impact the overall category: Lipstick prices rose 4% in Q4 and 7% in January 2023, staying on pace with the rate of inflation, while the prices of Face and Eye makeup rose 11% and 12% in January 2023 respectively. But in January 2023, sales of Face cosmetics also showed an uptick of 40% versus the prior year, and units purchased grew 26% over January 2022. Data shows that January discounts for Gift Sets did not cut as deep as they did for the same period in 2022. On average, retailers cut prices by 17% in 2023 down from 28% in January 2022.

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