‘The market is ripe’: K-beauty brand Missha’s potential in Europe driven by youthful consumer interest

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Able C&C sees vast growth potential for Missha in Europe's youthful market with low K-beauty presence. [Missha]
Able C&C sees vast growth potential for Missha in Europe's youthful market with low K-beauty presence. [Missha]

Related tags K-Beauty Europe Korea Skin care Makeup

Europe’s eager young consumer base and relatively low K-beauty penetration represents significant growth potential for Able C&C’s flagship beauty brand, Missha, says the firm.

Able C&C expanded into Europe in 2015 with its strategic entry into Germany. Today, it has a presence in 22 European markets, including Germany, Poland, and Georgia. It operates almost over 7,500 offline stores and focuses primarily on Missha and A’Pieu.

The company announced that Missha’s sales in Europe during the third quarter of last year increased by 143% compared to the prior year.

It attributed its several factors to its success, including its strong distributor network as well as the rising interest from millennials and Generation Z, known as MZ generation.

"European consumers tend to be conservative and loyal to brands, but the younger MZ generation is notable for experimenting with new products and makeup techniques,”​ said Park Jinwoo, head of overseas business, Able C&C.

It noted that its base makeup products have performed particularly well. Missha's flagship M Perfect Cover BB Cream surpassed cumulative sales of 1.24 million units in the European market from January to November in 2023.

The firm also highlighted that its other brand, A’Pieu grew by 118% in the third quarter. Overall, its cumulative sales increased by over 131% in the same period.

K-beauty’s potential in Europe

According to Korea’s Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), K-beauty exports make up 4% of the market in Europe, compared to 14% in the US.

Missha believes that this, coupled with the interest from millennials and Gen Zs, signalled substantial room for its growth in Europe.

In a sales report published at the end of 2023, the company said: “Given the meaningful results already achieved in Europe, the company is determined to actively drive expansion into Europe when the market is ripe.”

It added: “The plan is to further enhance country-specific business strategies to boost sales and expand into large distribution channels, continuously widening consumer touchpoints.”

Son Il-Hwa, Missha’s marketing team lead elaborated that the brand will build on its global campaign ‘Beauty is Reality’, staring American actor Elizabeth Olsen.

Olsen, best known for her role as Wanda Maximoff in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was appointed a brand ambassador in April 2023.

In the third quarter, Able C&C reported that its operating profits doubled year on year to KRW1.3b despite increasing advertising expenses by 2.6 times from the year before.

“The company attributes the success to aggressive investments leading to increased brand value and revenue growth,” the report said.

CosmeticsDesign-Asia previously reported​ that Able C&C’s second quarter results reported a 58.6% increase in operating profits, which was attributed to the success of its global marketing efforts with Olsen.

More success in the West

Furthermore, Missha has performed well in the US, where it has had major success online.

In the US, Missha set unprecedented sales records during Amazon Prime Day in July 2023, with a remarkable overall sales surge of 106% compared to the previous year and a 227% growth in skin care.

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