New research from Mintel has revealed that South Korea is among the top 10 global beauty markets, estimated at just over US$13bn in 2017.
Mintel said that facial skincare accounted for more than half (51%) of the South Korean beauty market, with $6.5bn in retail sales and a projected 5.8% CAGR to reach $7.2bn by 2020. The report said much of the success of the category is partly due to strong new product development – 68% of total skincare product launches in South Korea during 2015-2016.
Colour cosmetics made up the second largest beauty category in the market, valued at $2.3bn in 2017, helped by an active and engaged consumer base with per capita spend of $45 in 2017 (compared to $43 in the UK, $37 in the US, and the global average of $21). With a projected CAGR of 8.1%, the category is estimated to reach sales of $2.8bn by 2020.
Jane Jang, Senior Beauty Analyst at Mintel, commented: “The Korean beauty market remains buoyant thanks to fast-paced innovations and highly engaged consumers who don’t hesitate to adopt novel products delivering new beauty experiences. The success of the market has been heavily driven by the boom of facial skincare, but is also highlighted by the impressive per capita spend on colour cosmetics which is more than double the global average.”
Jang also discussed some trends from the South Korean beauty and personal care market that are set to impact global beauty markets moving forward. She noted: “The popularity of South Korean beauty products is due to their high performance combined with fun packaging and sensorial cues, as well as affordable prices. By gaining the attention of bloggers, vloggers and the media, the K-beauty wave is spreading to retailers outside of Asia. While colour cosmetics will be the active innovation area to cater to an increasing number of sophisticated beauty consumers, facial skincare remains the real powerhouse for K-beauty.”
Jang said: “Looking at facial skincare, 2017 will be the year of extreme segmentation. Products will become increasingly targeted and multi-functional, responding to the needs of knowledgeable and demanding consumers … Expect to see hybrid concoctions, such as daily exfoliating moisturisers, anti-wrinkle whitening tone-up creams and lightweight nourishing oil serums, but also transformative textures, like powder-to-serum, oil-to-foam and water-to-cream. Overall, lines are blurring in every possible way to deliver new experiences and create continuous excitement around skincare.”
In terms of make-up, Jang noted: “In 2017, South Korea’s make-up rituals focus greatly on lips and complexion and utilise products that embrace a diversity of shades and variety of contouring techniques … The boom of hybrid formats has spawned a variety of new lip products, like lip syrups, lip crayons, lip-quids and gel sticks … South Korean brands are increasingly focusing on gels, jellies, mousses and watery oils to enhance consumers’ sensorial experiences. Moreover, transforming textures combine the benefits of two or more textures within one product.”