Our exclusive interview with Mr Kinshen Chan, SEA Senior Beauty & Personal Care Analyst, Mintel aims to provide industry players with an understanding of consumer trends in Asia Pacific, from the evolving meaning of beauty to Southeast Asian consumers to what they find important when choosing products.
Mr Kinshen Chan, SEA Senior Beauty & Personal Care Analyst, Mintel
What is/are changing about the APAC beauty and personal care market in the South APAC region?
Post-pandemic, consumers are more conscious of their health than ever before. From a beauty perspective, this has resulted in a magnified focus on ingredients as they are associated with wellness and efficacy proof.
According to Mintel’s global consumer data, 63% of Indonesian Gen-Z consumers are willing to pay full price for a beauty product if it contains high-quality ingredients.
Consumers are seeking assurance behind products, and brands need to demonstrate that. According to Mintel’s global consumer data, 86% of Vietnamese female consumers say that beauty brands should provide more scientific evidence to validate the claims they make (eg reducing wrinkles), supporting the body of evidence towards an increased focus on efficacy.
How is beauty generally perceived in Southeast Asia?
Focusing on Thailand, Indo and Vietnam, beauty right now is mostly about functionality. When looking at growing NPD claims for skincare in the past year, we see that vitamin/ mineral-fortified claims are growing at close to 5pts year on year.
While during COVID, there has been a strong focus on wellness and mental well-being, post-pandemic and with the rising cost of living, consumers have been prioritising efficacy and functionality, which results in searching for products with hero functional ingredients like Niacinamide, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A (Retinol). Behind this functional choice, there is a strong emotional component that is about the reassurance provided by known and proven ingredients.
How would you characterise typical consumers of personal care products? beauty/cosmetic products?
Beauty consumers in the South APAC region are mostly practical and focused on functionality. According to Mintel’s global consumer data, 64% of Australian female consumers say they take a preventative approach to beauty/skincare (e.g. by using SPF). For beauty brands to succeed in this region, showing the cause/ effect could be one approach to win over consumers.
Are consumers serious about sustainable ingredients and packaging? What do they look for in products?
In general, consumers want to do good for the world and are serious about sustainable ingredients and packaging. According to Mintel’s global consumer data, 57% of Indian consumers believe that if they act now, they still have time to save the world. While sustainability has been something of a saturated buzzword in the beauty industry over recent years, brands need to recognise that consumers will not fawn over a beauty product simply because of its sustainability claims. The sustainable product itself needs to be irresistibly superior to win over consumers; consumers buy beauty products to make them look and feel good and these are the metrics that brands need to focus upon.
What trends will influence product development in the next few years?
Given the increasing consumer focus on cosmetic ingredients and wellness, it’s set to be an exciting few years for product development in these areas. Mintel’s 2024 Beauty and Personal Care Trend: Sophisticated Simplicity discussed how consumers are increasingly seeking products that prioritise efficacy and functionality without the frills.
Additionally, the report discusses another big trend, Neuroglow. This focuses on the power of the mind-body connection, in which beauty and mental wellbeing intertwine, enhancing the wellness journey and pushing the beauty industry towards neurocosmetics.
Take Shiseido, for example, who recently announced partnerships with Tsumura – a local company focusing on kampo medicine products – and Kagome – a local manufacturer of fruit juices launching its inner beauty business in 2024– is perhaps an exciting example and indication of the possible ideations of beauty products targeting inner wellness.
Having explained the above, how should brands address these consumer needs?
Ingredients will always be an evergreen consumer need, from a beauty perspective. A key challenge for brands will be exploring how to make legacy ingredients such as niacinamide, new again in the way it’s being communicated to consumers. One such example is Olay, who recently launched Super Serum, comprising a new formulation of low-pH activate niacinamide. The idea behind this technology is to minimise the claimed irregularities of the skin ('skin chaosity') and reduce micro-inflammation through a low-pH buffer system.
The increasing focus on wellness and its connection to beauty is also worth noting. Brands need to recognise that holistic stressors like sleep, diet (ie: drinking) and mental stress, all affect well-being. Understanding the relationship between these stressors and skin will be paramount to minimising the impact of skin degradation under such conditions, ie: Amorepacific releasing a healthy functional food for sleep quality with the L-glutamic acid fermented GABA powder.
If you want to know more, Kinshen Chan will be speaking in the Marketing Trends & Regulations Theatre at in-cosmetics Asia on Thursday 9th November. His session, entitled Beauty & Personal Care Trends 2024: South APAC - Unlocking the future of beauty will take attendees on a captivating journey into the world of the beauty trends that are set to redefine the industry in 2024 and beyond. If you are interested in attending, register for your free badge at www.in-cosmetics.com/asia.