China Losing Share in Asian Natural Cosmetics Market

image199China is losing its share of the fast growing Asian natural & organic cosmetics market because of ethical and technical issues. The market growth rate is declining mainly because of animal-testing methods for cosmetic & personal care products.

In the last 18 months, many Western brands of natural & organic cosmetics have withdrawn from the Chinese market. Weleda, Lavera, Pangea Organic, Logona and Juice Beauty are some of the brands removing their products in protest against animal-testing methods. Other green brands like Dr. Hauschka and The Body Shop are shunning the Chinese market for the same reason.

The Asian natural cosmetics market is expanding by about 15% per year. Growing consumer awareness of health & wellness issues is boosting demand for organic and natural products. Few Chinese companies however are producing natural and organic cosmetics because of formulation and ingredient issues. There is low availability of certified organic ingredients and natural extracts, which are mainly imported into China. Formulators and product developers also lack technical expertise in removing synthetic ingredients from cosmetic formulations.

China is losing out to other country markets, such as India, Thailand, and Singapore. Hong Kong however is benefiting most from the ‘boycotting of the Chinese market’.

All leading international natural & organic cosmetic brands have a presence in the Hong Kong market, whilst over 20 new brands are launched each year. Hong Kong also possibly has the highest concentration of green cosmetic retailers in the world. Apivita, Jasmin Skincare, Aveda, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Jurlique, Melvita, and Comvita are some of the international brands with concept stores in Hong Kong.

The range of natural and organic cosmetics in Hong Kong – and wider Asian region – is increasing. Western brands are raising exports since few Asian brands have been successful in developing such products. Only when Asian companies manage to formulate natural & organic cosmetics with the same efficacy as Western brands, will they be able to tap the potential of their local markets.

Sustainable Cosmetics Summit
The marketing and technical issues associated with natural and organic cosmetics in Asia are regularly featured at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit. The summit is now hosted in North & Latin America, Europe, as well as the Asia-Pacific. More details are on the website

Posted: 10th October 2014

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