2023 Top 100: Nivea, Coppertone Parent Beiersdorf Doubles Down on Emerging Markets

The performance of Beiersdorf’s core brand Nivea and dermocosmetics under Eucerin and Aquaphor made for another bumper year for the German skin care specialist. This countered declines from its prestige brands, La Prairie and Chantecaille.

Both Eucerin and Nivea have been doing particularly well in emerging markets. Nivea is now the number-one face care brand in Brazil and Mexico, according to the company.

Overall, Nivea (including numbers for lip care brand Labello) delivered its best performance so far this century, according to Beiersdorf, with sales bypassing the €5 billion mark — €5.2 billion, to be precise — representing an organic sales gain of 16.2%. All regions and categories contributed to the growth, in addition to market share gains in e-commerce. The brand notably saw strong growth in France and Germany, among its most established markets, powered by digital campaigns, strong e-commerce growth and leaning into face care. Overall, Nivea’s facial care portfolio outperformed the market thanks in part to the Luminous line targeting skin spots, which entered new categories including antiaging care for men. Repair&Care was relaunched with improved formulas and packaging, allowing the line to increase sales tenfold in its home market, Germany. Nivea Soft, which had a soft relaunch in 2022 with a significantly reduced environmental footprint, 95% naturally derived ingredients and a vegan formula, also boosted the brand.

Derma brands Eucerin and Aquaphor saw organic growth of 24%, with net sales coming in at €1.3 billion, driven by sun care, e-commerce gains and products featuring hero ingredient Thiamidol. The brands did particularly well in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

Eucerin grew its global market share in sun care for the fourth year in a row and relaunched its antiaging offer by extending the Thiamidol range.

Aquaphor was a strong performer in the U.S., and leaned into TikTok, boosting sales growth and market share.

Luxury brands La Prairie and Chantecaille fared less well, notably due to their reliance on travel retail and mainland China, with the crackdown on daigou trade penalizing them. La Prairie’s sales dropped 15.4% on an organic basis, while Chantecaille’s were down 18.4%. The company made the decision to use 2023 as a transition year for both brands. It has worked to reduce inventory with retailers, especially in travel retail, with the aim of starting 2024 from a healthy base, ramping up the innovation pipeline, leaning into TikTok and expanding brick-and-mortar distribution in China and via global flagships.

2023 was also a year of significant investment in supply chain and digital infrastructure. A new production site in Leipzig has capacity for 450 million products a year and cost €300 million, the company’s biggest investment ever. In the third quarter, the Beiersdorf Campus, its new headquarters in Hamburg, opened. It is also expanding and modernizing its plants in Mexico to help meet growing demand in Latin America, where it will up its output by 60%, and in Poland.

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