French consumers’ appetite for Korean beauty is huge, with the country importing EUR 17.41 million (2.1 billion won) in cosmetics last year, according to the figures, equating to over a third (35%) of total sales in Europe.
Britain came in at number two on the list, with 16%, followed by Germany with 9%. French consumers are said to be particularly keen on the multifunctional trend which continues to dominate in Korean beauty.
“South Korea is the source of innovation for the beauty industry,” Danielle Bailey, research director at L2, recently told Luxury Daily. “The hottest products in recent years - including BB cream and cushion compacts that Western brands have copied - originated in South Korea.”
According to the KOTRA report, Korean brands could enjoy further growth in Europe with a focus on sustainability when it comes to packaging.
"Korean companies will have to step up efforts to use eco-friendly packaging and containers, as French consumers buy cosmetic products that are considerate of well-being and environmental effect," the report suggests.
The body also suggests that developing a global supply chain with worldwide distributors will be key up ahead.
"Companies with advanced manufacturing technology can partner up with global companies to tap into the local market," confirms the report.
While French consumers evidently have a strong appetite for K-beauty, the feeling seems to be mutual.
The continued success of AmorePacific’s popular brands Laneige (French for ‘the snow’) and Etude (‘study’), indicates Korean consumers have an enduring passion for all things French, and Eisenberg Paris, Decleor, L’Occitane and L’Oreal have all successfully set up shop in the country.