Many brands struggle with entry into the complex cosmetics market in Asia due to distribution issues, but natural personal care brands are now turning to concept stores in a more direct approach.
New research by Organic Monitor shows the number of concept stores for natural & organic personal care products has grown massively in the last year, with over 25 new concept stores opening in Asia.
Concept stores are a form of retail trading where the shop is tailored towards a particular lifestyle, and it is the large natural & organic brands in Asia that are taking advantage, although some small firms are also taking this 'preferred entry route' into the market.
Biggest stumbling block
Distribution remains the biggest stumbling block for many Western brands targeting the Asian market, as in Europe and home markets, mainstream retailers comprise most cosmetic & toiletry sales and they have little experience in marketing natural & organic products.
According to the market analyst, poor knowledge of green formulations, low availability of natural / organic ingredients and high certification costs also prevent many Asian companies developing such products.
However, Organic Monitor figures show that the Asian market for natural & organic personal care products is growing by over 15 per cent a year.
“Consumers are turning to natural and organic products partly because of the spate of health scares, such as SARS, Avian flu, and scandals involving tainted food products,” it claims.
Growing consumer demand
As consumer demand for natural & organic products continues to rise in Asia, Organic Monitor expects this development to continue.
“The direct route gives many benefits; in the natural personal care industry, a major advantage is that it enables brand owners to educate consumers on natural and organic beauty products,” it says.
“Consumer education is vital in a market where greenwashing is common as many brands make natural and organic claims.”
Distribution will be a focal theme of the 2nd Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, taking place in Hong Kong on 12-13th November. For more information click here .
Market entry in Asia-Pacific will also be a hot topic covered by Cosmetics Design’s new website, focusing on the region.
CosmeticsDesign-Asia.com will be launched on September 4, 2012, and will cover key areas in the region such as market entry, skin whitening, beauty from within, and regulation.