According to The NPD Group, sales of refillable prestige beauty products in the UK increased 47% from January to the end of July 2022. Sales of these products (which are valued at £34 million in this seven-month period) performed far better than the total prestige beauty market, which increased 22% between January and the end of July 2022, compared to last year.

Within the total refillable beauty market, the sub-category “Product Refill Only”, where the consumer buys the product refill for use with the refillable exterior packaging, grew the fastest, with sales increasing 79% in the period from January to the end of July 2022.

Fragrance leads the way

While refillable fragrances only account for a small proportion of the market, 5% of fragrance sales weight can be attributed to refillable packaging, said The NPD Group.

To date brands have only offered a limited choice of refillable products, focusing on larger sizes. However, in the period from January to the end of July 2022 sales of 45-74ml fragrance juices (in all formats including EDT, EDP, Perfume and Cologne) have experienced strong increases, compared to the same period last year, marking a shift in retail as refillable becomes more mainstream.

Refillable beauty is a key theme of launches this year. Some of the new launches with refillable options that The NPD Group has observed include Good Fortune by Viktor & Rolf, D by Diesel and Prada Paradoxe.

Skyrocketing sales in the make-up category

The strongest category growth was reported in makeup where sales of refillable products increased 364% in the period from January to the end of July 2022, compared to the same period last year. This contrasts with sales growth in the total makeup market which reported a 30% increase year-on-year.

Just over half of makeup refill sales can be attributed to lip colour. Other sub-segments that dominate the refill space include bronzer and blush.

As consumers become more conscious of the importance of sustainability and their role in promoting it, we have seen a corresponding rise in sales of refillable prestige beauty products. These latest figures demonstrate that as far as beauty consumers are concerned, buying refillable products is becoming more mainstream. But there is a long way to go. What we are seeing here really marks the beginning of the refillable beauty story as only a small percentage of sales weight of makeup products are currently refillable. This is similar for skincare and hair products,” said Emma Fishwick, Account Manager, NPD UK Beauty.