Natural Skincare Products in High Demand in China

A New Frontier Awaits

A few weeks back I reported the news of the EU’s ban on animal testing which still unfortunately excludes China where animal testing is mandatory for some cosmetic ingredients and products. 

Naturally I was surprised to find the contradiction in the following article that natural skincare products are in such high demand in China.

If I can throw into the mix the recent political news that Australia is to become just the third country after the US and Japan to have direct currency trading with the Chinese yuan, then we may be sitting on a fantastic business opportunity for our industry by way of exporting our natural skin care products to China. 

Westpac and the ANZ have been granted licences to start trading in Chinese currency which will make life easier for big and small Australian companies doing business in China because they won’t have to convert into US dollars first, as is typical.

So couple this with the news that natural skincare is on the rise in China, with 90 per cent of urban female consumers buying products that incorporate natural ingredients, we could be onto a real winner.

Information and analysis company Mintel* carried out a study, which found that the figure of consumers buying natural products rises to 92 per cent for 30-39 year olds and 94 per cent of those on the highest income.

Consumer attitudes in China also reflect a market demand for natural products. More than 80 per cent of urban female consumers in China say that they ‘always check the ingredients of skincare products before buying them’ with 90 per cent claiming that they are ‘getting more concerned about the safety of skincare products’.

Skincare products with botanical or herbal ingredients have dominated the Chinese market in terms of new product development since 2008, according to Mintel’s Global New Products Database – up from 52 per cent in 2008 to 73 per cent in 2011.

The research also reveals sun care as a strong category for capitalising on the demand from Chinese consumers for natural products in beauty, with over a third (36 per cent) disagreeing that natural and organic sunscreens are not as effective as chemical ones.

The strongest demand from consumers in sun care is moisturisation with 27 per cent of consumers looking for this aspect, followed by anti-ageing (41 per cent).

Mintel estimates the facial skincare segment to be worth RMB65 bn (””6.9bn, ,” 8bn, USD10bn) in 2012, up from RMB36bn (””3.8bn, ,” 4.4bn, UD$5.8bn) in 2007.

Furthermore, the company forecasts the market to grow even further over the next five years to 2017 to reach RMB104 bn (””11bn, ,” 13bn, US$16.7).

Jane Henderson, global president – beauty and personal care division, at Mintel said: ‘There is great interest in the cosmetic industry in developing products containing plant-derived materials that may be applied topically to the skin to provide anti-acne, anti-oil, and anti-cellulite benefits.

‘Plant-based cosmetic products that enhance the appearance of the skin are increasingly in demand and organic and natural herbal-based skincare products are becoming increasingly popular nowadays amongst Chinese consumers thanks to the international skincare trend and ongoing ingredient scare cases in China.’ 

*Mintel is an independent award-winning provider of world-leading market intelligence, delivering robust information, analysis and critical recommendations.

Article Compiled by Madonna Melrose


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