Asian Companies Turning to Natural & Organic Cosmetic Standards

A growing number of Asian natural cosmetic companies are adopting natural & organic cosmetic standards to differentiate their products from competing ones.

New research by Organic Monitor finds a growing number of Asian companies are taking the certification route, with most opting for European standards. The Ecocert standard is the most widely adopted, with companies in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Australia adopting this standard.

Natural & organic standards are increasingly becoming a point-of-difference for these brands. In Malaysia, the Buds Cherished Organics brand is reporting a sales surge since the Ecocert-certified range was launched earlier this year. Produced by the Malaysian company I-Green, it is the first Asian brand of certified organic baby care products. The company believes organic certification is responsible for its large take-up rate. Ecocert certification gives a guarantee to mothers that the baby care products do not contain any potentially harmful synthetic chemicals. The success of the Buds Cherished Organics brand is leading the Malaysian company to start exporting to neighbouring Asian countries and Europe. It is also looking to start certification of its other brands.

Asian consumers are turning to natural & organic cosmetics as they become more aware of the possible dangers of synthetic chemicals in cosmetics & toiletries. Health scares, especially those involving Chinese products, have raised consumer interest in product quality and safety issues. Certification gives a guarantee that products meet high production standards and do not contain potentially harmful chemicals.

In China, the Australian brand Jasmin Skincare is capitalising on consumer demand for ‘chemically-clean’ cosmetics. The company is also reporting a large sales rise since it started marketing its products on its organic ingredients and certification. To highlight these attributes, it markets its brand as ‘the best organic skincare in the world’. Although many organic brands would argue otherwise, this marketing ploy is very successful in China where many consumers have lost confidence in chemical-tainted cosmetics. To gain confidence with such Chinese consumers, Jasmin Skincare executives have even stated their products are safe enough to eat.

Certification is key to Jasmin Skincare’s success. It is one of a growing number of Australian cosmetic companies adopting the Organic Food Chain (OFC) cosmetic standard. Its products are made from certified organic ingredients, many of which are USDA certified.

Other Australian companies are adopting European cosmetic standards, with Ecocert again the most popular. Nature’s Care has recently launched a range of certified organic personal care products. It has adopted Ecocert standards because the standard is more internationally recognised than OFC. To many companies, certification not only provides a guarantee that high production standards are met, it also opens up export markets.

In this respect, American brands risk losing out in the fast growing Asian natural cosmetics market. American brands such as Nature’s Gate and Aveda are very successful in Asia, however these brands have not adopted natural & organic cosmetic standards. With very few American companies adopting standards, European and Australian brands look to capitalise on growing Asian demand for certified natural & organic cosmetics.

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