K-beauty demand takes Laneige to the top

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

K-beauty demand takes Laneige to the top

Related tags: South korea

According to market research firm Brand Stock, Laneige is Korea's most valuable cosmetics company for women, thanks to the popularity of South Korean culture overseas.

The news coincides with an announcement from Laneige this month that it had sold 800,000 of its new Two Tone Lip Bar overseas since February.

The BSTI Index estimates the value of Korean companies using mock stock-trading tests and consumer surveys.

The AmorePacific brand scored 848 out of a maximum 1,000, beating brands like SK-II and LG's Lacvert to the top spot, which were valued in the upper 700's.

And the good news kept on coming for Amorepacific, as other brands in its' portfolio; Hera, Han Yul and IOPE ranked in 4th, 5th and 8th in the Brand Stock index.

Korean exports on the rise

According to South Korea’s customs office, cosmetic exports rose by 50% to US$1.92 bn, exceeding imports of USD 0.99 bn after experiencing a bad spell where consumers preferred established imported brands from the US, France and Japan.

Toners, moisturizers and essences took the largest proportion of cosmetic exports, which accounted for more than 49% of total exports. 

Key destinations included China, Hong Kong, Japan, the U.S. and Southeast Asian countries. Other Asian countries, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and elsewhere (excluding the U.S.) made up the rest of the top ten export destinations list.

The power of K-beauty 

Cosmetic companies in South Korea have been enlisting male K-pop icons of late, in an effort to expand beyond its borders and take on the global giants like L'Oreal and Unilever across the continent.

Visiting Chinese shoppers in particular, are seeking out high street beauty brands advertised by K-pop stars, as well as department stores for higher-end brands.

South Korean men for example, spend $900 million a year on beauty products, more than a fifth of the global total and it is cosmetic companies like Amorepacific and LG Household & Healthcare that want to establish themselves as premium products, with a distinctly Asian sensibility.

"Cosmetics sales are said to mirror the popularity of Korean cultural exports, so K-pop stars are the best way to market our products​," said Kim Hee-jeong, marketing manager of LG Household's The Face Shop, which has over 1,000 overseas stores.

For the region's young consumers who have been raised on K-pop, the metro-sexual appeal of South Korean boy bands like 2PM, Big Bang and Super Junior, are said to be a quality Western or Japanese competitors cannot deliver.

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