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Consumer demand for cosmetics in China means ingredients suppliers are turning to imports

By Simon Pitman+

18-Aug-2014
Last updated on 18-Aug-2014 at 17:16 GMT

As China’s cosmetics market has continued to witness increased demand due to improving lifestyles and rising disposable income ingredients supplier Fenchem says it is riding that wave by turning to the import market to meet demand.

Data from Euromonitor reveals that total retail sales of skin care products and make-up products in China reached Rmb131.4 billion and Rmb18.2 billion respectively in 2013, achieving year-on-year growth of 9.1% and 7.3% respectively.

But ingredients suppliers are struggling to keep up with this demand, finding it a constant battle to source ingredients and raw materials on a domestic basis as production volumes continue a boom that has now been sustained for almost ten years.

Ingredients suppliers look further to meet demand

Nanjing-based Fenchem is a leading supplier of innovative ingredients for cosmetics and personal care industries, with more than 18 years market experience.

It has built up its business by expanding its footprint both domestically and internationally, but in recent years meeting demand from its customers in China has become increasingly challenging, which is leading to significant growth in its import division. 

"Our Import Department is searching for natural cosmetic ingredients to be distributed in China. In particular, Shea butter and rosa damascena water are the two imported products we have had the most success in China with," a Fenchem spokesperson said.

Shea butter from Africa 

Shea butter is derived from natural shea nuts of Karité trees that are grown and harvested throughout Africa. It has been known for its moisturisation and exceptional healing properties since ancient times, but now consumers in China are becoming increasingly familiar with this ingredient.

Fenchem says that the excellent sensory properties and a wide variety of applications including creams, lotions, butters, sun care products, anti-frizz hair creams and conditioners make it ideal for the China market.

Likewise, China cosmetic consumers are also getting more familiar with rosa damascena water, which is a good source of skin nourishment. It has similar properties to essential oils but much less concentrated, which will be more easily to be absorbed by skin creams and lotions.

Fenchem extends its international footprint

Fenchem wants to increase its import capabilities by extending its international footprint, and in doing so it is in midst of expanding its international distribution and representation network.

It officially opened a new office in Koln, German last year, making that the company's fifth overseas office, which also includes Fenchem in the USA, Fenchem EU in Czech Republic, Fenchem Malaysia and Fenchem SA in South Africa.

The primary aim of these five representative offices is to facilitate import sales back to the China market.

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