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Super Premium Beauty on Cusp of a New Era of Growth

By: Fflur Roberts, Euromonitor International
Posted: August 31, 2011, from the September 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.
  • Anti-aging skin care is set to post the highest compound annual growth rate in global skin care by far between 2010 and 2015.
  • For luxury goods consumption, the scales of global demand tilt inexorably toward emerging markets.
  • In luxury fragrances, the scent is important but becomes secondary to the presentation of a bottle and the luxury credentials of the brand.
  • The new generation of wealthy BRIC consumers will engage with super premium fragrances in terms of how emblematic they are of luxury and sophistication.

That the BRICs, and China in particular, are driving the global luxury goods agenda is now indisputable, according Euromonitor International. Harvey Nichols, the leading luxury rival to Harrods in the U.K., will open its second Hong Kong outlet in late 2011 in a move that is directly linked to China’s growing appetite for luxury goods. Hong Kong is to wealthy Chinese shoppers what Miami is to wealthy Latin American shoppers—specifically a beacon, if not a shopping mall, for luxury shopping opportunities. And one has to think it is only a matter of time before Harrods itself embarks on its own Chinese venture.

Overall, beauty in China is predicted to achieve growth of more than $10 billion by 2015, by far the highest increase of any country globally. Key factors behind this performance will be China’s strong GDP growth and rising consumer disposable incomes. Also, as male attitudes toward grooming are changing, men’s grooming products have performed well, with the category set to register an average annual growth rate of 13% to 2015. Men’s hair care, skin care and deodorants are likely to remain the key drivers due to constant new product launches and promotions.

Anti-aging skin care is set to post the highest compound annual growth rate in global skin care by far between 2010 and 2015, 5% in constant value terms with the highest revenue in anti-agers coming from China. China is set to add $1.6 billion to its anti-ager value by 2015. This boom is a result of rising disposable incomes in the country, which have enabled the population to afford premium-priced anti-agers with whitening ingredients in order to achieve the cultural ideal of a pale complexion.

However, of all the BRIC countries, India attracts the big beauty players. Super premium beauty in India enjoyed healthy growth of 63% in 2010, unchanged from the previous year. Rising affluence and greater consciousness of personal image are driving growth in both rural and urban areas.