Vive la France: Korean consumers show enthusiasm for French cosmetics

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Vive la France: Korean consumers show enthusiasm for French cosmetics

Related tags Korea South korea

It’s not baguettes but beauty wands: the recent launch of Eisenberg Paris in South Korea confirms that beauty is being fuelled by consumer enthusiasm for France within the Asian country.

The continued success of Korean Amore Pacific’s popular brands Laneige (French for ‘the snow’) and Etude (‘study’), has shown Korean consumers have passion for all things French when it comes beauty, with the company says it has seen skincare sales surging by 75% so far this year.

Eisenberg Paris is distributed through about 6,000 distribution channels throughout Europe, and the luxury skin care brand’s recent move to launch in the country is a further confirmation that France holds strong beauty cache in Korea,

Setting up shop

The expansion will be carried out by a newly formed subsidiary for the company, Eisenberg Korea, which will develop the brand in the country, with the first store having just opened in Suwon, a large provincial city south of Seoul.

An Eisenberg Korea official said the move has taken a full year to orchestrate, and noted; “We are confident that it will become a beauty brand that is loved by Korean consumers.​”

The Eisenberg Paris range is made up of 150 female and male skin care products and perfumes. It will join other French brands, such as Decleor, L’Occitane and L’Oreal, which have also made the move to tap into the consumer enthusiasm.

Return enthusiasm?

This enthusiasm within the country for products and brands from abroad is mirrored by the exploding consumer demand for exported South Korean cosmetics.

The latest data from the Korea Customs Service show growth in the last decade has seen the country’s cosmetics exports rise to reach $288 million during the first quarter of this year, which is an increase of almost 25% from the same period a year earlier.

Yet interestingly, France seems to be one country resisting the allure of Korean beauty exports, with the European country’s uptake of the BB alphabet cream trend, which originated in Korea, unusually slow.

21% of women in the UK and in Spain now use a moisturizer with added SPF on a daily basis according to the latest research from Kantar Worldpanel - but at just 5% uptake in neighbouring France, it seems that Korea’s French enthusiasm is yet to be fully returned. 

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