FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wolff System Technology Research Study
Profiles Indoor Tanners
Atlanta, GA, March 17, 2004 - A growing number of people who regularly or occasionally use commercial indoor tanning beds do so because they are aware of the expanding body of medical research that has identified many important health benefits from tanning, according to tanning technology researcher Michael Stepp. Stepp, a widely-published UV light researcher who is also CEO of Wolff System Technology - the world's leading manufacturer of sunlamps for indoor tanning beds - commissioned this study to help the tanning industry better identify and serve its core market of tanners.
"Instead of tanning just for cosmetic reasons, an increasing number of regular tanning bed users have learned that regular, responsible and moderate exposure to UV light - from natural or artificial sources " is important to well-being, natural vitamin D production and disease prevention," Stepp said. "In addition, regular indoor tanners are becoming increasingly aware that the links between tanning and skin cancer have been brought into question by medical researchers in studies published in the U.S., the UK and Europe."
To develop this information, Wolff System has completed an extensive market research study conducted among a randomly-drawn sample of 300 men and women who use commercial indoor tanning beds. In this study, 61 percent of individuals surveyed said they use indoor tanning beds frequently, and another 30 percent use these beds fairly often. Wolff also polled other industry experts on indoor tanning, including senior executives at industry manufacturers and tanning salon chains to validate and interpret the findings of their study.
The objectives of this research study were to determine:
Over the past eight years, the survey noted that there has been a dramatic change in the demographics of indoor tanners. Since its last survey in 1996, which revealed that indoor tanners were primarily young women, today men now make up almost 30 percent of all indoor tanners nationally - and in New York City and other major metropolitan areas, "demographic parity is approaching" Stepp pointed out.
A review of patrons at 160 Canadian tanning salons indicates that 25 percent of Canadian indoor tanners are men, a significant increase over the past decade.
Another tanning salon reported that, while men comprise 27 percent of their clientele, they account for 40 percent of revenues, suggesting that on average, men who use tanning salons do so more frequently than women.
In addition to the transition from an almost all-female profile to an increasingly balanced male/female tanner profile, the age of the average indoor tanner has increased significantly. Once indoor tanners were predominantly college-aged women; but today, 70% of all indoor tanners are over 25, and their average age is 32 - in some markets, as high as 36.
In New York City, often seen as a bellwether of cultural trends, the greatest recent growth demographic segment has been for men over age 40, who have embraced indoor tanning in unprecedented numbers. They also appear to use tanning facilities more often, on average, than do women patrons.
There also appears to be trends developing among senior citizens and among some Hispanic and African American population groups, who are tanning for health-related benefits as well as for cosmetic reasons. While still statistically small, the numbers appear to be on the rise.
"My analysis has found that, since tanning salons have become more professional in structure - and most have been removed from hair salons - men are more comfortable coming in to tan," said Greg Henson, president of Heartland Tanning, one of America's leading indoor tanning equipment and accessory distributors. "As the documented, medically-sound health benefits of tanning have become more well known, we have seen additional interest in indoor tanning among health-conscious men and women," he said.
These are some of the highlights of the Wolff study:
Tanners Understand the Health Basics of Indoor Tanning:
Some critics of indoor tanning suggest that typical clients don't understand the risk/reward profile of indoor tanning. However, Stepp noted that the research points to a clear awareness among regular indoor tanners at professional salons of both the health benefits and the potential risks involved with indoor tanning.
Tanners Believe in Their Ability to Decide For Themselves:
"Some healthcare professionals have tried to limit individuals' rights to tan responsibly, moderately and appropriately," Stepp explained. "These are the same kinds of people and organizations who also want to impose radical dietary or lifestyle restrictions on the public. However, our survey demonstrated that indoor tanners are individualists who understand that some medical associations and physicians have their own conflict of interests with the tanning industry," Stepp said.
Among these findings are two key indicators:
Reasons for Tanning Indoors:
Among those who choose to tan at indoor tanning salons, Wolff System Technology's research has identified a number of significant, motivating reasons for individuals to regularly, or occasionally, use commercial tanning beds. These include:
About Wolff System Technology
Wolff System Technology is one of the industry's leaders in the promotion of responsible tanning practices and has always promoted responsible tanning in moderation to protect the skin from sunburn and skin damage.
Moderate indoor tanning - for individuals who can develop a tan - is the smartest way to increase the potential benefits of sun exposure while minimizing the potential risks associated with either too much or too little sunlight.
Wolff System Technology was founded by Friedrich Wolff, "the father" of the indoor tanning industry. Since 1978, Wolff has been a leading advocate of the use of UV light for health-related benefits and a leading educator to the media and consumers of responsible tanning techniques. The company manufactures lighting systems for tanning beds and with patents in 16 countries, is the exclusive licensor of Wolff System certified tanning beds in the United States and Canada. As the leading manufacturer of lamps for indoor tanning beds, Wolff has more than 500,000 systems in use worldwide. For more information, visit www.wolffsystem.com, or contact 1-800-959-6533 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.