US brands target forecasted US$100 billion China elderly market

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

US brands target forecasted US$100 billion China elderly market

Related tags Nu skin Direct selling Multi-level marketing China

According to the China National Committee on Ageing, major US personal care players are investing in China’s ageing population, a segment that has seen explosive growth in terms of cosmetic expenditure of late.

According to the Committee, last year, the country's elderly population reached 194 million, accounting for 22 per cent of the global total and is expected to top 487 million by 2050, or more than 25 per cent of the world's elderly.

The Agency is attributing the likes of the introduction of the central government's five-year programme, which is predicted to grow 15 per cent annually to reach HK$974 billion in 2015.

Utah based direct sales player Nu Skin is one US brand taking advantage of this opportunities. "China already surpassed the US in 2011 in anti-ageing product spending, accounting for 25 per cent of our direct selling sales worldwide​," regional vice-president Vincent Cheng told regional publication, The China Daily, and that the facility could support 10 times the current growth of the brand in China.

Nu Skin taking advantage of this opportunity

The US brand is making efforts to further expand in the Greater China region through the recruitment of more sales staff, which it says is part of ambitions to reach a sales goal of $1 billion per year by 2014 in the region.

Nu Skin is also set to launch a regional headquarters in Shanghai with an investment of 450 million yuan (HK$570 million) by the end of the year which will house a research and development and customer experience centre as well as manufacturing facilities.

"With momentum building in the region and the positive response we are receiving from customers in this growing market, we now believe the goal is achievable well within the original time frame,” ​says Truman Hunt, Nu Skin chief executive officer.

Gov. gives approval to expand

The global player recently received official notification from China's Ministry of Commerce of its approval to commence direct selling activities in five additional provinces and 30 districts. 

The provinces include Anhui, Gansu, Chongqing, Shaanxi and Yunnan, and the licensing process included a review of the company's operations.

It is the sixth time that the Ministry of Commerce has granted the company new direct selling licenses.

"We believe the government's approval of our application is a reflection of our significant investment in China over the past several years, our commitment to enhancing the lives of China's consumers and our desire to be a constructive part of China's social framework,” ​says Hunt.

As well as Nu Skin, cosmetics sellers such as Amway and Mary Kay have seen success with this model in China, and aim to do so in the future as the market shows good potential.

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