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Japanese cosmetic innovation leading the way

By Michelle Yeomans+

07-May-2014
Last updated the 06-May-2014 at 17:11 GMT

Regional experts predict Japan’s knack for innovating product textures, concepts and formulas, particularly in the hair and skin care segments, will be tempting consumers from its fellow markets.

The likes of the hair care segment in Japan reached 523 billion yen in 2012 and rose by 6% last year. Although this represents only a slight rise, AP expert Florence Bernardin says the category is not to be underestimated, considering many segments have remained stagnant.

Bernardin breaks down consumer demand within the segment as; 58% for damage care, 17% scalp care, 12.1% on natural related products, and 7.1 % on 'ageing care'.   

Damage care is especially popular amongst the younger generation, particularly in their 20’s to 30’s whilst scalp and anti-ageing care are the fastest growing segments with middle aged consumers.

"Kao Corporation, P&G, Unilever and Shiseido are still the leaders of the market, dividing sales between toiletries (70%) and cosmetics products from masstige (30%)."

With skin care in Japan, claims have invariably focused on anti-ageing during the course of the last five years, whilst up and coming innovations will be focusing on shorter steps for higher benefits but also new textures promoted by carbonic acid based formulas.

Thailand is also starting to establish itself

Emerging countries like China, India, Indonesia, and now Thailand are starting to hold their own in the cosmetics industry, particularly in the male grooming segment.

According to Euromonitor research, the category has posted a healthy performance in Thailand over the past few years and is anticipated to register a positive performance with a CAGR of 5% in constant value terms to reach Bt12.2 billion in 2017.

As well as established brands marking their territory in Thai men’s skin care, during the last 2-3 years, there has been an increase in the numbers of premium brands in the market, such as SK-II Men.

However, there is still an issue in that a lot of men in Thailand remain uneducated about male skin care products and are still using either women’s or unisex products, the researcher highlights.

“Thai men have grown more concerned about their looks, but they are still using female or unisex skin care products. So this is a consumer challenge – trying to convert and support them to use more men’s skin care products in the future."

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