Opinion

The cosmetics market is booming in China

Fabio Bonavita

By Fabio Bonavita16 février 2021

Some numbers don’t lie. Over the past 5 years, the cosmetics market has grown by two digits on a yearly basis in China. Proof of this one-of-a-kind enthusiasm is the Federation of Beauty enterprises’ claim in its latest report that the Middle Kingdom is the first export market for French cosmetics. In 2020, as the pandemic spread worldwide, exports to China rose by 20.7 % while dropping by 11.8% worldwide. An exception that highlights Chinese consumers’ appetite for beauty.

Most consumed products are those who ensure skin whitening, followed by lipstick, anti-aging solutions and skincare. This can seem surprising, but the main group of clients on the market are in their 20s and 30s. Their way of consuming has also evolved, considering they don’t hesitate to acquire offers by premium brands, the latter always proof of quality to their eyes.

Other products that have seen sales double in China over just a few years are perfumes, important growth levers as well to the luxury industry. The Italian house Bulgari has well understood this. It just launched Allegra, its world first high perfumery online boutique in Shanghai. A line based on musk, rose, vanilla, patchouli or bergamot, which first targets the Z generation, focusing on personalization and sustainability. Using among others glass recycled up to 90% and eco-responsible wrapping paper. A guaranteed success? Not necessarily, as Asian brands may be serious competitors. An important advantage: their perfect knowledge of local cultures.

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