“Consumption upgrading has become the main theme of Chinese society and China's economic development,” said Miao Zhigang, head of industrial and consumer specialities in China.
He explained this was because of China’s rapid economic development and consumer demands for a better quality of life.
“Personal care products are undoubtedly the focus for Chinese consumers, it is a major symbol of the pursuit of quality of life, so we are fully confident in the development of the industry,” said Miao.
Localising and customising
To respond quickly to the demands of consumption upgrades, Clariant China has a local team to develop customised solutions that is headed by Judith Huo, Clariant’s technical head of the regional business line in China and APAC.
“We have established a very professional technical team to provide customised solutions for local customers under the leadership of Judith Huo. Based on the changing trends of the Chinese market, we will transform it into a technical language, and the technical team will develop a set of targeted solutions,” he said.
Miao stressed that producing locally was a key factor as well. “Considering the rapid increase in consumption in the Chinese market… In order to respond well to the fast-growing market, localising production of our products guarantees flexibility and traceability in supply.”
Even though getting products to market quickly is important, Miao said the company continued to screen its products strictly to meet the consumer demand for high-quality products.
“On top of this, we are very concerned about the consumers’ test evaluations to ensure that when the product is placed on the market, it can be welcomed by consumers.”
One challenge consumption upgrading brings up is the demand for personalisation, said Miao.
“For new trends like personalised needs, it is the embodiment of consumption upgrades. Consumption upgrades also mean that consumer demand is diversified and personalised.”
To meet these requirements, Clariant has to stay ahead of the curve, ready to provide consumers with solutions to their needs and demands.
For instance, last year the company launched B-Circadin, an ingredient that was tailored to the demand for anti-pollution, anti-blue light products.
“We customised the entire solution according to the needs of our customers, and won the praise of the market,” said Gamble Wu, head of sales for consumer care in Greater China.
A demand the company will be focusing on in China is hair care, which Clariant believes “may be more important than skin care,” said Miao.
He explained that it was the focus of the rising male grooming market in China. “Judging from the current market trends, cosmetics may be mainly aimed at women… Scalp care has become the focus of the majority of male consumers.”
According to Clariant, about 40% of men will have hair loss before the age of 35, while 80% of women encounter the same issue before they turn 60.
Anticipating demand in this area, the company highlighted its latest hair care actives: Eosidin, Calm Yang and EMortal Pep, at PCHi (Personal Care and Homecare Ingredients) 2019 in Guangzhou.
China remains a priority
Miao said that China remained a priority for Clariant, despite worries of an economic slowdown.
“From the development of the cosmetics market, consumption is still showing growth, so the outlook is optimistic. At present, the total number of cosmetics market in China is about 360 billion yuan, which is expected to surpass the United States and become the world's largest cosmetics market,” he said.
In the future, Miao hopes Clariant will be able to launch more “China-first” products.
“We are working closely with the local R&D team to make more localised new product development using existing local resources. In short, we want to rely on China in the future, and China's priority will be the future direction of development.”
The company’s Greater China headquarters is currently under development and will be unveiled in 2020.
Huo said the headquarters would consist of every department, including research and development.
She added that there were already plans to work with local universities to jointly develop new products that can serve the Chinese market.