Chinese consumers are starting to look for body care products that go beyond skin moisturizing. According to recently released Mintel data, China’s body care market already exceeds $1.2 billion. Although it’s still dwarfed by large categories like facial care products and cosmetics, body care demand is opening new opportunities to local and global brands in this early stage market.
China’s body care market is currently dominated by beauty product lines. For example, Youya, a Uniasia Cosmetics Technology brand, built its brand values around the slogan “Elegant Essential Oil, More than the Skin’s Beauty. The brand exhibited at China Beauty Expo 2017, specifically targeting the professional beauty segment with its products.
Inspiration from Other Categories
China’s body care market is dominated by mass brands and low-priced products. During the January, 2016 to June 2017 period, new body care products accounted for only 4% of the new personal care products in the beauty segment. These new products were weakly differentiated. 60% of these body care products were either body cream or body lotion.
By comparison, Japan has a far broader range of body care products. These include body lotion, shower lotion, body scrub, hair removal crème, and body fragrances. In addition, body care brands can borrow ideas from other mature categories such as skin care products. They can also consider formats such as spray, powder, and wet tissues.
Targeting Specific Needs
Current body care products target basic functional needs such has hydrating with simple ingredients. Opportunities exist to target cellulite, ketatosis, pilaris, and similar skin problems.
As Mintel data indicates, most body care products sold during the January, 2016-May, 2017 period focused on hydrating, moisturizing, and other functional benefits. They featured well-known ingredients such as Vitamin E and olive oil. But these haven’t all consumer demands. Recent survey data also suggests that more than half of Chinese consumers are looking for body care products that provide brighter, smoother, whiter, and more taut and elastic skin.
Opportunities for Men’s Products
Historically, Chinese men have rarely purchased body care products. This remains a greenfield market for brands and a new concept for consumers. Masculine-style packaging and specific functional benefits can provide early entry points. Bundled products are another option for stimulating trial in the men’s segment.
Based on brands exhibiting at China Beauty Expo 2017, few Chinese brands focus on body care products, creating an open field for new entrants. Although the category is smaller than skin care or cosmetics, emerging demands point several areas that are ripe for new products.