Product Trends

In addition to the described growth drivers, the global eyewear market is experiencing a number of product-driven trends: higher value products are available to consumers as a result of technical innovations, the demand for contact lenses is growing, and the rising awareness of the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation has a positive impact on the demand for sunglasses. A number of these product-driven trends are explained in more detail below:

Shift to higher value eyewear products

Increasing awareness and penetration of technical innovations in the eyewear market contributes to an increased demand for higher-value eyewear products. Innovations include both the quality of lens material as well as those relating to functionality and design features (e.g., progressive, light, thin, antireflective, shockproof, photochromatic, scratch resistant, polarized and ultraviolet protective lenses).

Additionally, the need for vision correction increases in complexity as a person ages. This leads to a demand for more complex solutions such as multifocal lenses, which generally have higher retail prices.

Growth of the contact lens segment

The global market value of contact lenses is growing and the market value share of disposable contact lenses is increasing, partly due to their inherent short repurchase cycle. The contact lens share of the total sales value for eyewear, however, varies strongly across different eyewear markets.

In general, the average annual consumer spend for contact lens customers is higher than for prescription eyeglasses customers. This primarily results from the shorter repurchase cycle of disposable contact lenses. Contact lens customers also tend to purchase prescription glasses and sunglasses in addition to contact lenses. Furthermore, consumer engagement is generally higher for contact lenses, which also increases the consumer loyalty potential.

Demand for quality sunglasses

The current proportion of eyesight protection from ultraviolet radiation is relatively low in both mature and emerging markets. The growth of the sunglasses market is driven by an increased awareness of the harm caused by ultraviolet radiation, an increased demand for prescription sunglasses, and the increased popularity of sunglasses as a fashion item.

As the awareness of the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation increases, it is expected that demand for high quality sunglasses, including ultraviolet protective prescription sunglasses, will further increase. Consumers also use sunglasses to make a fashion statement. The shift to quality sunglasses and the constant innovation of both design and lenses, including lighter weights, contribute to a shorter average repurchase cycle of sunglasses.