Exclusive interview

China remains lip care hub part 1

Lip care in China

As lip colour remains the fastest growing colour cosmetics subcategory in China, we spoke to Laurie Du, Senior Beauty Analyst, Asia Pacific at Mintel, to find out why it’s generating rising sales and how other trends are helping its success.  

The lip care segment has grown considerably in popularity and contributes to a substantial share of the total retail value of the colour cosmetics category.

The Korean Wave has taken the world. Now, an increasing number of popular South Korean celebrities are making their mark on lip colour products.

Local growth

Over half of lip colour launches that took place between 2015 and 2016 in China were produced locally.

Despite the growing momentum of South Korean-inspired company or product launches in China, the majority of innovative brands are China-based and are centred on skin care that has expanded into colour cosmetics.

Budget friendly

Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) found that 68% of lip colour products locally manufactured and launched in China between January 2015 and October 2016, retailed for less than RMB 100 (€13-14).

Short-term R&D initiatives should, therefore, centre on innovative creations such as packaging, colour, texture and miniaturisation that directly appeal to the mid-to-low-end market and focus on current trends.

In addition, players should look towards the premium market to harness brand awareness, strengthen brand identities and concentrate their energy on online distribution channels to maintain a competitive edge.

Customer potential

China is a key growth market for the colour cosmetics sector, especially as the country’s growing new generation is a key target audience for the colour cosmetics market.

“Currently, the penetration rate is still considered relatively low, but the consumer base in the country is huge,” said Laurie Du, Senior Beauty Analyst, Asia Pacific, Mintel.  

“While other categories are starting to enter slowing growth rate periods, colour cosmetics is growing at a faster speed.”

Opportunity not to miss

Mintel found an 11% year on year increase in the colour cosmetics market between 2014 and 2015.

As a result, “beauty brands are better positioned to tap into and leverage the colour cosmetics market, as well as set it as a key business strategy”.

Brands are focusing on the lip colour segment over other make up items, and is largely due to its popularity - the segment contributed some 20% of the colour cosmetics category’s total retail value in 2015.

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