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Marketing a European Suntan Product

The key question is not whether there are consumers for another product, but whether or not it meets the needs of consumers and has enough of a marketing push and angle to attract the attention, over other products, of those consumers.

Figures on growth and total sales vary depending upon the source. Some of these include the following:

(1) In 1986, retail sales in the sun-care product industry were $400 million.

(2) In 1987, it was expected that sales of tanning lotions, gels, oils and mousses would exceed $350 million in addition to the millions more spent on extras such as cocoa butter, tan accelerators and sunburn salves (Gellene, 1987, D1).

(3) In 1988, the industry grew to $500 million growing at a rate of approximately 10 percent (Sloan, 1989, p. 67).

(4) The sun-care products industry has enjoyed 20 percent annual sales growth since the mid-1980s (Hamilton, 1990, p. 22).

(5) In 1987, sales of department store brand sun-care products increased by 20 percent a year, while drug store brands were growing at a slower 5 percent rate (Gellene, 1987, p. D5).

(6) According to a 1989 FDA Consumer article, sales of sunscreen products hit $390 million and were expected to reach $560 million by 1992, according to Packaged Facts, Inc. a New York market research firm (Sweet, 1989, p. 11).

(7) In 1990, the sun-care product market was considered to be close to $500 million.

Whatever the exact figure is, there is certainly evidence that the market is a big one and growing. And since it does not appear that the popularity of tanning will ever fade, sales of sunscreen and related products will continue to increase. While medical research linking overexposure to the sun with skin cancer has persuaded some to scrap their reflectors and use sunscreen, it has not kept people away from the nation's beaches or tanning parlors ("For Sun Lovers...," 1988, p. A31).

While everyone in the sun, whether working or pl...

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