Trillion won opportunity: Korean retailer Olive Young says feminine care an emerging megatrend
At the end of last year, the South Korean health and beauty retailer carved out four new sub-categories focusing on the following areas of feminine care – menstrual products, Y-zone cleansing, sexual wellness, and garments – under a larger W Care banner.
It has also launched dedicated W Care Zones in its brick-and-mortar stores.
Interest in feminine care is rising rapidly as the focus on women's health is now evolving beyond female reproductive health.
"As more women are interested in a healthy and beautiful lifestyle and consume independently, the related market is expected to expand steadily."
The retailer has already observed K-beauty brands such as derma beauty brand Dr. G and aromatherapy-centric brand Aromatica launching feminine care products.
The category has also grown with the development of homegrown brands such as Rael.
The feminine care brand, which has since expanded into skin care and even oral care, raised USD35million in its Series B funding round in May 2022. This brought its total funding to USD59 million since the company was founded in 2017.
Moving forward, Olive Young said it was eager onboard more feminine care products.
“In line with this trend, Olive Young plans to discover promising new brands and products for women's health and lead the popularisation of the domestic W care market.”
Tapping into femtech
Olive Young also highlighted the growing interest in femtech – a term for women-centric health technology first coined in 2016 by entrepreneur Ida Tin – as a major growth driver of the feminine care market.
As femtech start-ups proliferated, interest in women’s health have increased with it. In 2022 McKinsey & Compmany estimated that the FemTech’s current market size range from USD500m to USD1bn, noting that forecasts were suggesting opportunities for double-digit revenue growth.
Olive Young believes the global femtech market will reach about KRW80tn by 2027 (USD61.2bn).
On March 10, Olive Young announced that it had ventured into the femtech space with a new mobile application, W Care, which helps women to track and manage menstrual cycles.
In addition to tracking and managing menstruation, ovulation, fertility and premenstrual syndrome, the app also offers personalised product recommendations based on the symptoms and cycle.
The launch was part of the retailer’s larger campaign to “intensively nurture” the feminine care trend and consisted of nation-wide promotional activities as well as a web series.