Premium manufacturers benefit from increase in Indian air travellers

By Louise Prance

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Prestige brands, Business

Prestige cosmetic manufacturers are predicted to begin adjusting
their travel retail product ranges in an attempt to capitalise on
increasing Indian consumers holidaying abroad.

According to new Euromonitor data the number of tourists travelling from India will more than double by 2011 - creating an opportunity for premium travel retail brands to increase sales in the lucrative industry sector. The skin-whitening trend is something Dodson expects to see more of in light of the increased number of Indian consumers travelling through airports. Diana Dodson, market analyst for Euromonitor, told CosmeticsDesignEurope​, "Skin whitening will be a major emphasis in the travel retail channel for brands hoping to attract Indian consumers,"​Manufacturers are already incorporating whitening ingredients into skin care ranges sold at airports, focusing on the 40 million Chinese consumers that passed through airports in 2006 - who, alongside Japanese consumers, helped shape strong sales of duty free skin care, which amounted to $1.1bn in 2006 and is set to grow 5 per cent a year to 2010. ​However, with prestige brands being careful to target product ranges towards key consumer groups, trends prevalent within the Indian market at present could hold a stronger presence among products aimed at the travel retail market. "Colour cosmetics and fragrances will be important for innovation. We could see prestige brands becoming more interested in developing colour cosmetics lines specifically for Indian skin tones,"​ Dodson said. "Both of these sectors are already growing strongly in India already as women increasingly enter the workforce and have the means to treat themselves with these luxury items". ​ The fragrance market is advantageously positioned because it is a popular gift item. With businessmen set to constitute much of the volume of Indian travellers, fragrance is predicted to sell as well with male consumers as with females - with the male grooming trend therefore expected to benefit from the increased consumer traffic. As an upshot of the number of travellers rising, Dodson has predicted that Indian consumer's awareness of personal products will grow, with the travel retail sector exposing them to the prestige market that is at present lacking in India. "At the moment the premium cosmetics segment in India is quite small and underdeveloped (only about 7% of the total cosmetics and toiletries market, compared to 13% in China). Most consumers can't afford them and the retail environment does not cater well to prestige brands,"​ Dodson stated. Indeed, in the small number of department stores there is no differentiation between mass market and premium brands, with many prestige labels claimed to be reluctant to damage their reputation by launching into the new environment. "Travel in general will do this too, raising Indian consumer's awareness of what brands are available and exposing them to international beauty trends". "We can expect to see an increased demand domestically for prestige cosmetics in India going forward as a result of this trend".

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