Niche categories are expected to be important growth drivers in China’s beauty market. In one clear example, Chinese consumers have already demonstrated a strong willingness to spend on infant-related beauty and personal care products. According to recent research from Mintel, China’s infant care market grew at a compound annual growth rate of 19% between 2013 and 2018 to reach more than RMB 9.6 billion. This market segment is expected to continue to growth by an average annual rate of 14.5%, reaching RMB 18.9 billion in 2023.
Baby skincare and bath products and nursing care products are two important sub-categories. Mintel’s research finds that young parents are increasingly willing to spend on skin protection products. Infant mosquito repellent stands out as one of the fastest growing and most frequently purchased products. Nearly 47% of Chinese consumers between 20 and 39 years old with children under three said that they have increased their use of infant mosquito repellent in the past year.
Pre- and post-natal products are another growing niche category. Facial care, stretch mark cream, nipple cream and similar products have become musts for pregnant mothers.
In their report, Consumer Insights and Category Development Trends in the Maternity Industry, CBNData and Tmall Maternity find that online purchases of maternity cosmetic products captured 60% of the overall pre-natal cosmetics market during the past two years. For young mothers, cleansing products and maternity cosmetics sets are particularly strong sellers.
90s generation consumers also are spending more on body care. Among this age group, Tmall International saw body lotion sales rise by more than 16% during the past year. WGSN expects body care to remain a growing niche in 2019. Within this category, intimate cleansing and care products are an emerging product area.
Solid form beauty products have expanded beyond traditional lipsticks and antiperspirants. WGSN sees solid products with simple packaging or no packaging appealing to environmentally-conscious consumers. Examples of these include shampoo bars, facial bars, and even foundation and blush with little or no packaging. A report by Kantar found a similar focus on environmentally-friendly beauty products. Soap, for instance, is expected to replace shower gel in many bathrooms as consumers become more careful with plastic consumption.