Cosmetic products from the country are doing particularly well internationally, and topped $288 million during the first quarter of this year, which is a rise of almost 25% percent from the same period a year earlier.
The country is also becoming a key exporter to China, a dominant global force for beauty, as brands within the Korea are proving much better able to respond to the fast changing fashions within cosmetics in the nearby country than international brands from the West.
The main driver behind the growth in exports appears to be twofold: the number of countries importing South Korean beauty goods is increasing, while the price of the individual products is also on the rise.
Korean-made cosmetic products were exported to 129 countries last year, compared with 87 countries in 2004, and over the decade, the cost per kilogram also nearly doubled to $22.88.
South Korea is increasingly a new focal market for industry professionals, as it is arguably the one of the most innovative personal care markets in the APAC region, with sales of cosmetics and toiletries growing by 9.1 per cent in 2012.
“Korea is Asia’s third largest cosmetics market and has been growing steadily since 2009. As home to more than 1,500 cosmetic manufacturers and the world’s highest spenders per capita in the field of skincare and male grooming products, it offers a huge opportunity,” Lucy Gillam, director at Reed Exhibitions and industry expert, has noted.
In the eye of the industry
The country took centre stage at last year’s in-cosmetics Asia event, with founder Florence Bernardin presenting two sessions dedicated to the market: 'What's happening in Korea?', which focussed on informing visitors on how the country has become a dominant force in regional beauty markets, and 'What's next in Korea?’.
Now the event organisers are gearing up to host an event specifically in Korea in 2015, coming as the first exhibition of the beauty industry seen in the country, and confirming the country’s strengthening position as key emerging market.