L’Oreal investing big in R&D in Nigeria

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

L’Oreal investing big in R&D in Nigeria
Speaking at the recent Nigerian Retail Transformation Conference, the managing director of L’Oreal Central West Africa announced the company has invested “over 800 million euros” in research and development in the region.

We strive to design products that meet specific needs and are culturally relevant, while demonstrating respect for the environment, community and biodiversity throughout the product life-cycle​,’’ said Idorenyen Enang in Lagos this week.

Sales of fast moving consumer goods such as cosmetics are now on the rise in Nigeria, as the middle class among the country’s 170 million population begins to grow, according to Euromonitor International.

On the rise

Euromonitor’s most recent data on the country’s beauty market observes conditions are ripe for strong growth.

Coupled with good population growth, particularly of the young population, the Nigerian market has plenty of scope to grow, particularly in terms of new exciting products​,” the firm’s analysts note, confirming the importance of R&D investment.  

As part of a fast-growing middle class in the country, young people, who are more westernised through media exposure, are expected to drive demand in the beauty and personal care market over the forecast period​,” they state.  

Domestic and international​  

Confirming that international brands are mobilizing to take advantage of the upcoming growth, both MAC Cosmetics and Clinique are also set to expand in the region in the year ahead.

House of Tara, a leading domestic brand, has asserted itself alongside this influx of international interest, with its launch of 20 new studios nationwide, and the announcement that it is now also gearing up to establish 100 new stores across sub-Saharan Africa.

"The potential of Africa, we believe, is extremely positive, and we wouldn't be entering unless we believe that there was long term sustainable growth," ​the brand's regional managing director, Sue Fox, has said.

Recent turnaround

The turn in Nigeria’s beauty fortunes began two years ago, when unusually strong year of growth in 2012 as compared to years preceding it awakened brands to the opportunities developing there.

Analysts at MarketResearch.com note that the growth seen that year resulted from “increased urbanisation, which has an impact on awareness, and growing incomes of women particularly as there is an increase in formal employment for women​”, with these trends now continuing. 

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