mercredi 22 avril 2020

Cosmetics market in China for foreign brands by Olivier VEROT


Cosmetics Market in China 

The cosmetics market in China: the golden age of international brands

China has recently overtaken Japan by becoming the world's largest cosmetics market. In 2018, the cosmetics market in China represented more than $ 26 billion. The cosmetics industry in China is growing rapidly, with growth of 21% since 2014.

This growth is based notably on an increase in the standard of living of Chinese consumers and also a more or less belated awareness of the importance of beauty products, especially faces. Among the ten biggest cosmetics players in China, seven are international brands.

International cosmetic brands in China therefore hold 61.5% of the market. Despite higher prices than domestic cosmetics, Chinese consumers are attracted to international brands for their image and the perceived effectiveness of the product. We will nevertheless note that it is today much more difficult for international brands to sell in China, in particular due to government restrictions which are constantly increasing and becoming more complex. To find out more, an article from Daxue Consulting in English is available on this subject: Government regulation of the cosmetics industry in China

Distribution strategy 

Regarding the distribution strategy in China, supermarkets and e-commerce occupy the first two places in 2017. Reaching a total of 56%, offline distribution channels, namely boutiques, department stores and supermarkets dominate. E-commerce platforms in China such as Tmall, Taobao, Xiaohongshu represent 23% of the sales channels. With the advent of New Retail and social commerce, this figure is expected to grow considerably in the coming years.

Skin care VS makeup

Skin care and makeup: the two promising segments of cosmetics in China

According to a study by Daxue Consulting, here are the categories of the most dynamic cosmetics market in China below:

Skin care products: This is the most important segment of the beauty sector in China, with an annual growth rate of 8%. This category should represent 50.8% of sales in 2050. The five brands that dominate this market in China are L’Oréal, Olay, Auprés, Lancôme and Estée Lauder.

Shampoos and hair products: although shampoos and hair products represent around 15% of cosmetic sales in China, this market is saturated and growing slowly. Some products in this category, however, experienced slight growth.

Make-up products (color cosmetics): this market is not yet saturated and shows significant growth potential, especially in rural areas and second and third tier cities. Sales of eye makeup products have increased significantly in recent years, as have makeup accessories. The makeup market will continue to grow in the next three years. Maybelline, L’Oreal, Auprs, Dior and Chanel dominate this market in China.

Beauty sets / kits / boxes: the category of beauty kits, sets and boxes is very dynamic in China, with an annual growth rate of around 10%.

Child and baby care: this market is extremely dynamic, and sales of children's cosmetics will continue to grow rapidly.

Globally, the categories of the cosmetics market in China are still increasing, but at a slower speed, except for perfumes and certain hair products. This phenomenon can be explained by the growing competition that exists in this market, with the appearance of many brands, especially from Japan and Korea.

The trend of pharmaceutical cosmetics in China

The brands positioned in this ultra-competitive market in China must find new ways to develop. New categories of products are emerging:

Cosmeceuticals or pharmaceutical cosmetics are on the rise! Chinese consumers are more and more in demand for multi-use products which combine cosmetic (example: lightening of the complexion) and pharmaceutical (example: anti-acne treatment) characteristics. In 2015, the volume of the cosmeceutical market in China was estimated at 35 billion yuan, an increase of 36% compared to 2015, and should reach 87 billion yuan in 2020. In recent years, companies positioned on the market for Cosmeceuticals achieve a higher profit margin (around 25-35%) than conventional cosmetics companies (15-18%).

Currently, there are over a hundred companies in the pharmaceutical cosmetics market, and most of them are traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) pharmaceutical companies.

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