US personal care companies hone in on Asia market

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Marketing

Fighting off a stagnant domestic retail market, more and more US personal companies are turning to the Asian markets to further boost their business operations.

Two such business are Cosmederm Technologies – a California-based business focusing on skin care products – and Utah-based Usana – which makes a range of skin and hair care products.

Cosmederm says it is targeting the Indian market with its skin care range having sealed a distribution agreement with Dr Reddy’s which will see the product lines appearing on store shelves throughout the sub-continent.

Cosmederm peel kits

The agreement focuses on two of Cosmederm’s skin care lines in particular – Refinity peel kits and Cosmederm peel kits – both of which fall into the dermatology and aesthetic medicine category, which primarily encompasses cosmeceuticals.

The products encompass the chemical peel and anti-aging area, tapping into a category that is enjoying particularly strong growth in a market where general personal care is growing significantly faster than in the US.

The company says it is hoping to tap into what is still a very young category in India and one in which it aims to quickly become the market leader

Indian market set for growth

Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) predicts that the cosmetics market will grow from $950m to $1.4bn in the next 2-3 years, which would bring India's per capita expenditure up to that of China's.

Likewise, India has been cited as one of the most important emerging markets in the Asian region, with a 12.6 per cent increase in personal care sales revenue in 2006, according to a report from market research company the Kline Group.

Meanwhile, Usana says it is entering the Philippines market with the launch of a range of science-based skin and hair care products that aim to replenish and rejuvenate.

Philippines also spells opportunity

The Philippines is the company’s 14th global market, which means it is now present in, amongst others, the UK, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Australia.

In targeting the Philippines the company says it is hoping to tap into $500m in direct selling revenues a year, making it one of top 25 largest direct sales markets in the world, and representing ‘significant opportunities’ for the company.

This also ties in with Usana’s growth strategy to enter new markets where anticipated demand and sufficient market entry conditions already exist.

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