Kline's interactive online service, Global Cosmetics & Toiletries 2006, shows that only Japan and the United States are larger markets, making China's gain particularly noteworthy. Russia has also moved up in the ranks, posting growth of more than 15% and passing South Korea for the ninth spot in the global rankings.
"The urban consumers in China are adopting more westernized habits, and are now using a lot of the same products that we use here in the U.S.," says Carrie Mellage, director of Kline's Consumer Products division. "And some people in rural areas are using many products for the first time, so we're also seeing growth in some of the more commodity categories like soaps, toothpaste, toothbrushes and shampoos."
France is now ranked fourth worldwide in terms of sales. While many beauty industry companies are still based there, France, according to Kline & Company, is a mature market that can't maintain growth rates at the same level as China, which has the potential to be the largest market. Germany is currently ranked fifth, according to Kline's data.