Travel Size Beauty Products


Reflecting the performance of the travel size beauty products

By Kaajal Bhatti  

This summer travel-sized products had a value of £41m (19th June – 9th September ’17), making up 8% of total travel products but down by -0.2% vs. the year before. Here’s a quick look into these miniature sized essentials to see how the sub-categories performed.

Hair care

Hair care has outperformed the total travel products market by 2.1% in this summer period which is great because we know that hair care overall has been suffering a long-term decline. Some of the positive signs of recovery were led by shampoo and conditioners which could be due to: increased purchase of shampoo & conditioner and also increased average selling price as we see more premium lines available in miniature sizes.


The best performing liquid soap was a hand gel, most convenient when in a travel-sized, handbag friendly format and perfect for festivals, when travelling in public places and overall an all year round staple.

Personal care

The wider decline of -3.4% seen in ‘personal care’ trickled through to the travel sized group with -1.4% value decline, amounting to a loss of -£9m for the category. The overall decline in personal care products is being led by the decline of compressed deodorants and shower products.


We have actually recently seen a growth of larger units being sold in this aerosols segment. The initial popularity of the compressed deodorants suggests that this is a product that consumers do indeed want, but with consumers switching back to larger cans, there could be a problem with either the product or the way it is being marketed. Perhaps consumers don’t like how the compressed deodorants perform or maybe there is a psychological issue with price per size, consumers may feel they are getting more for their money when purchasing a larger size, even though the cans claim to perform the same. This could therefore be why miniature deodorants do not perform as well too.


Shower Products
Shower products are also in decline; this could be due to customers picking up shower products when visiting discounters and bargain stores such as Poundland. In miniature shower products although also in decline, they do follow the similar trends being seen elsewhere, 2 out of the top 3 miniature shower products sold this summer included natural ingredients, this is a trend we have seen wider as discussed in our #TRENDS blog.

Personal care

Overall this summer, the traditional miniature items that would normally be taken on holiday such as deodorants, shower gel and suncare were not as popular. Could this be due to:

  • Post-Brexit impact on consumer confidence?
  • Sales moving to discount retailers/bargain stores?
  • Recognition of value per product? With the rise of round pound deals, maybe consumers would rather spend £1 on a full size product and dismiss the convenience of the smaller size of the miniature.

Domestic holidays are also growing in popularity, with overnight breaks in England up 7% between January and June to a record 20.4 million (The Evening Post, 2017). A report by Mintel (Aug 2017) also suggested that festival attendance was equal to 2016 and could be a great reason for the increased popularity of hand gels, haircare and styling aids as well as the Unicorn trend we saw this summer. See more about the unicorn trend in my #TRENDs blog here.


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