Exclusive interview

Anti-ageing in APAC part I: Potential to outpace Europe

Anti-ageing in APAC

As the anti-ageing cosmetics arena continues to grow at an accelerated pace throughout Asia-Pacific (APAC), we asked Sharon Kwek, Senior Innovation and Insights Analyst, Beauty and Personal Care at Mintel what this societal trend means for cosmetics companies.

APAC versus Europe

Global market intelligence organisation, Mintel, finds that, in 2016, 37% of the world’s beauty and personal care product launches occurred in Asia-Pacific (APAC).

This figure, gathered from Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), which has risen 9% from 28% in 2014, indicates that APAC is the second most dynamic and energetic region in anti-ageing innovation after Europe (40%).

APAC is hotly anticipated to outpace Europe due to its multiple demographics: “While beauty markets with anti-ageing sectors are developed in the West, we can expect Asia Pacific’s growth to accelerate and eventually outdo the West—a region where the anti-ageing beauty market continues to see slowing growth.”

Inner beauty

Health and wellbeing are key drivers pushing the anti-ageing sector forward, along with “self-confidence and improvement, and an overall improved appearance, [which] are some of the emotional drivers behind anti-ageing purchases”.

“The desire for healthy skin no longer just means being free from crow lines; it includes the desire to glow from within or simply, to have a healthy pinkish and even skin tone,” said Sharon Kwek, Senior Innovation and Insights Analyst, Beauty and Personal Care at Mintel.  

“Health and wellness, today, is defined differently by consumers, and the same applies to skin health.”

Amid the latest results revealing APAC’s anti-ageing success, Kwek emphasises that it is “this well-rounded understanding of skin health that has driven the demand for anti-ageing beauty and personal care products in Asia Pacific”.

North Asian power

South Korea and Japan are at the forefront of new and cutting-edge beauty and personal care launches, with both countries making up 23% of releases respectively between 2014 and 2016. China ranks third for anti-ageing beauty and personal care items, followed by Thailand at 7% and India at 6%.

North Asian markets in particular — China, Japan and South Korea — are most affected by the “rapidly greying population”.

The United Kingdom is the largest hub for anti-ageing product launches in Europe and the global market, accounting for 16% of product launches. Despite its lead, it has seen an unsteady market share since 2014, with innovation numbers sitting at 19% in 2014; 17% in 2015 and 12% in 2016.

“We can expect Asia Pacific markets like South Korea and Japan to do better than Europe—all thanks to the number of anti-ageing beauty and personal care innovation from these markets that have also impacted consumers’ mindsets and perceptions towards ageing,” emphasised Kwek.

Environmental factors

External aspects, including pollution, are thought to have a direct impact on consumers’ decision-making purchases and anti-ageing trends.

Mintel research shows that over half (55%) of urban females in Thailand believe that environmental elements such as pollution affect the skin. To evolve the anti-ageing and skin care sectors, brands are now incorporating new protection claims on facial skin care packaging to support this safety and efficacy drive.

Product launches with an anti-pollution claim rose from 20% in 2015 to 35% in 2016 in APAC.

“Anti-pollution only started to gain more eyes within the beauty sector very recently,” said Kwek. While “still considerably niche, [it] is increasingly gaining popularity”. Multifunctional product manufacturers are entering this area to promote anti-ageing and anti-pollution skin care cosmetics.

“The time is ripe for beauty and personal care brands to align with this by innovating and launching anti-ageing beauty and personal care products with protection claims,” Sharon stated.

Senior beauty is experiencing growth as brands are now embracing the ageism promotional messages via product choice launches and campaign messaging.

The second part of this article will be published on 2nd August 2017. 

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