Kao launches Sofina IP in Taiwan and Hong Kong

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Skin care, 2016, Kao

Kao launches Sofina IP in Taiwan and Hong Kong
Japanese cosmetics leader, Kao, will launch its latest brand, Sofina IP, in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Out of Japan

Following the release of Sofina IP —  and its Bikatsu Power Mousse (base essence) product — in Japan in 2015, Kao will expand its presence to Taiwan and Hong Kong in March 2017.

In addition, the company’s Sofina beauté skin care range, which underwent a total revamp in 2016, will also be revealed to Taiwan and Hong Kong markets in the coming weeks.

The Sofina IP base essence and Sofina beauté lotions and emulsions represent part of Kao’s new skincare routines that embrace Asia Pacific trends and demands when it comes it daily beauty regimes.

New brand image

On March 10th 2017, Kao will display its Sofina line at a designated area within the Uni-President Department Store Taipei, Taiwan, to stir consumer interest and maximise brand awareness in these new markets.

The dedicated Sofina counter will utilise skin analysis technology to offer “fine-tuned counselling”​  that leverages the popular personalisation trend by customising skin care solutions.

Business strategy

With Kao Group’s Mid-term Plan 2020 (K20) firmly in their sights, the company’s goals from 2017 to 2020 (fiscal year) revolve around ensuring cosmetics is “a pillar of growth”, whilst  “expanding the Consumer Products Business in Asia and increasing its margin”.

To remain competitive within the growing industry space and ever-popular skin care segment, Kao has released its Sofina IP brand and repositioned Sofina beauté, ready for the brand’s upcoming move into Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Kao announced that it has invested in research, product development and communication to ensure the Sofina renewal was effective at fitting the needs of the consumer.

Overseas success

In its analysis of Kao in October 2016, market insight organisation Euromonitor International stated that the Tokyo-based company’s strategy placed less emphasis on its domestic market, Japan, and more on overseas areas.

However, with falling sales in China, this has not been as successful as it had hoped. Euromonitor outlines the necessity for more aggressive overseas strategies that boost both its presence and brand strength.

There is opportunity, though, as the skin care industry in Taiwan is set to remain healthy, with an expected CAGR of 2%. Largely due to the the young demographic exploring skin care beauty routines earlier and the broader age group seeking skin care products, this market opens up new opportunities for overseas players looking to make waves in the skin care segment.

However, with mainland Chinese shoppers spending less on cosmetics, this has had a detrimental effect on growth in Hong Kong over the forecast period. As skin care sales grew by 5% in 2015, compared to 6% in 2014, the forecasted CAGR is anticipated to amount to less than 1% growth.

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