Recently released research indicates that China’s demand for nail care services has topped RMB 73.5 billion (US$10.7 billion) and is growing by more than 20% in each year. Given the fact that more than 60% of women in Western markets use nail care services, China has tremendous market potential. Leading nail care brand, Fiabila saw this opportunity early and has been aggressively capturing a growing slice of this booming segment.
During the past 40 years, Fiabila Cosmetics (Kunshan) Co., Ltd (Fiabila) has emerged as the world’s leading nail polish supplier, dominating the market in both volume and sales. The company is headquartered in France and has affiliated factories across seven countries. Fiabila’s brand is built upon its superior formula, fashionable colors, and innovative packaging. It offers over 180,000 colors and has a daily production capacity of more than 120 tons. Fiabila supplies almost all leading cosmetics brands, according to Bai Fan, the General Manager of Fiabila in China.
New Materials and Products Across 4 Major Nail Polish Categories
Fiabila has built its reputation on the production nail polish, nail care products, and nail polish remover. It’s core products are divided into four categories, of which traditional nail polish is its oldest and best selling product line.
Water-based nail polish is emerging as a strong replacement for traditional nail polish which has an acrid scent. Water-based polish falls into sub-categories: Washable Nail Polish (sometimes marketed as “Childrens Nail Polish”) and Peelable Nail Polish. Washable Nail Polish is especially designed for young consumers, since it uses non-toxic raw material that can be washed with ordinary nail polish remover. Although it is an early market in China, it is well-accepted in Muslim countries because it can be easily removed with soap and water. Another advantage of water-based nail polis is that it includes high-density active ingredients that can promote nail health.
The elegant, long-lasting nail polish treatments provided by nail salons and nail bars have rapidly grown in popularity. These use gel polish which requires a special ultraviolet light for drying. “Although the gel polish is a rapidly developing segment in China, Fiabila does not produce these products because it contains high-moisture, carcinogenic materials. These polishes can be harmful to the nails and the body.” Bai Fan explained.
In place of gel polish, Fiabila (France) provides its glimmering material products. Similar to the gel polishes, the polymerization of macromolecules causes evaporation and generates a film under natural ultraviolet light. The difference between the gel polishes is that the glimmering materials can be washed off with normal nail polish remover. This material also doesn’t damage the nail and contains no dangerous chemicals like plasticizers, benzene, methylbenzene, or heavy metals. These materials can last for a week at a time. These glimmering material products are gaining growing market share in the US and Europe, but have not yet entered China. In the US, these materials increased from 11% to 20% of their category between 2014 to 2015.
Longer life is the largest demand in the area of nail polish R&D. Recent market research indicates that the most popular nail care products are nail polish (including colored polish, care polish, and biological nail polish), quick-dry nail polish, Halal certified nail polish, anti-aging, and anti-pollution-related cosmetic products. These are also the focus of Fiabila’s innovation and new product development.
Fiabila uses professional laboratories to validate its product performance. It also evaluates customer feedback and tests nail abrasion. Together, these come together in the company’s marketing strategy as: “Analyze, Test, and Compare”.
“In China, Fiabila is promoting oil-based nail polish and water-based nail polish,” according to Bai Fan. Fiabila’s unique nail polish technology and formulation enables it to create a “nail regeneration” product line focused on dry, fragile, and easily-cracked nails. It also offers an anti-aging series to counter nail wrinkles. Fiabila also has developed a series of tools and nail care products which it has tested with clients. It also works together with French suppliers to develop active ingredients and new product formulae in order to increase nail surface thickness, promote the generation ceratin, harden the nail, and eliminate visible wrinkles and reduce moisture loss.
Fiabila is developing an extensive pipeline of new products and materials that it will offer to agents and brand customers. The company will be introducing its core products and latest innovations at the 22nd China Beauty Expo from May 23-25, 2017
Using French Technology, Fiabila Provides Top Quality Products
Fiabila entered China in the 1990s, selling its imported raw materials through local agents. In 2013, Fiabila opened its factory in Kunshan, using raw materials imported from its French headquarters. “From a Chinese regulatory perspective, nail polish production is a hazardous process. Our Kunshan factory only focuses on some traditional products, so it’s still a very young business,” said Bai Fan. In 2016, the factory began producing bulk and packaged products. In 2017, Fiabila is focused on expanding its market share and building awareness among clients and consumers.
Nail polish has high color requirements, and some are difficult to formulate. Product stability can be challenging, particularly when using complicated shapes or sequin materials are added. The shelf life of nail polish is normally 24 months. If poor quality materials are used it will create sediment or segregation. “Without top technology, we cannot overcome these problems.” Bai Fan stressed. So, by using the same color management and test technology as France, the company’s Kunshan factory is able to maintain the highest levels of product quality and stability.
International product regulations also have become increasingly complex, varying from country to country. Some nail polish brands are prohibited from using specific raw materials. For example, European regulations prohibit 1379 materials in cosmetics. This puts more technology and testing demands on the manufacturing industry. These are areas where Fiabila has a significant competitive advantage. Fiabila’s nail polish has obtained CE certification, US FDA certification, and similar approvals from South Korea, Japan, and other markets. This has helped it build a strong market presence in these areas.
Nail Polish Trends and Preferences in the Youth Market
The youth market drives current cosmetics consumption, and demands have shifted strongly in favor of safe, eco-friendly, and odorless nail polish. Young consumers like easy-to-use products and are less concerned with maintenance and durability. “Different from older consumers, the younger segment changes polish frequently and likes to try various colors,” said Bai Fan. So, nail polish suppliers are turning to products that are convenient to apply, easy to remove, and nice looking.
When asked about color trends, Bai Fan noted, “Nail polish is essentially color, and the color reflects the consumers’ personality and lifestyle. So, color trends in nail polish correspond to broader color trends such as those in home décor, apparel, and cosmetics.” Because of this Fiabila releases a new popular color twice per year, making it easy to promote with apparel and lipstick.
With a strong start, Fiabila is using its technology, material, formulations, and strong consumer acceptance to capture a larger share of this fast-growing market. Meet Fiabila and learn about its latest innovations at China Beauty Expo.