Emerging markets present major sales opportunities
for the hair and skincare industry. This is where the growth will come from.
Emerging Market Consumer Wants Innovative 'For Me' Formulations
Young populations in emerging markets guarantee
a consumer base for the beauty industry for many years to come.
Exponential growth rates are due to more service
industry jobs and female participation in the labour force.
Innovative formulations to suit their unique hair types and skin
tones are wanted by all beauty buyers in the emerging markets of
Africa and the Middle East.
The beauty industry, like so many other consumer sectors, is betting
heavily on emerging markets. The Africans and Asians
who are entering
the consuming middle classes represent one of the biggest opportunities
in global business. Increased demand for products and brands here will
drive growth and compensate for sluggish sales elsewhere.
For more than 15 years
we have been researching changes in product
demand and consumer behaviour in emerging markets. Nigeria and Saudi
Arabia, just two of the many countries we have been tracking, indicate
the possible directions and resulting opportunities of the hair and
skincare market in Africa and the
They are important new markets not only in their own right but also as
to the key regions of west Africa and the greater Middle East.
These economies have grown very strongly. Nigeria is now the continent's
largest economy. Saudi Arabia accounts for over a quarter of the Arab
World's GDP. (Estimates of market sizes vary widely but each beauty market
could be worth well in excess of US$1.5bn.)
They are home to many millions
of new consumers.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with one out of
every four Sub-Saharan Africans being Nigerian. Saudi Arabia alone
accounts for over 60% of the population of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
The populations of these countries and regions are very young and – if
the beauty houses win them now - guarantee a consumer base
years to come. It is calculated that 40% of Nigerians are under 15 years
while almost 60% of the Saudi Arabian population is under the age of 20.
Regimes and beauty cultures which dictate product demand vary
significantly by country. Because these are fast developing markets
we continuously interview
beauty experts to find out what brands
are being used and and keep abreast of changes in consumer behaviour.
To guarantee the quality of our data, we conduct all our interviews
in the experts' work-place in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
Every industry source we interview in cities like Lagos and Riyadh
agrees that appearance-consciousness
, which is at an all time high,
is increasing their sales. Service (offices, retailing ) industries
are expanding the number of jobs where image ('looking good') is all
important. It is the young and working women now becoming wage
earners and consumers who are behind these exponential growth rates.
This societal change is most pronounced in Saudi Arabia where women now
account for a small percentage (approx 6%)
of the labour work force but more than half of students at third level.
The beauty experts we consult in all emerging markets insist that
their customers demand specific formulations
to suit their
unique hair types and skin tones. They want
products formulated “for me” - that is, which not only take
their culturally specific concepts of beauty into account, but
also allow for other key factors such as climate,
pollution and, critically, purchasing power.
These beauty buyers also prize product innovation
. They are suspicious of
dumping. Consumers are resentful that outdated brands are now (or may be) offloaded
on to them. Retailers in cities as far apart as Abuja and Jeddah
(and all emerging markets) explain that foreign travel and the internet
have transformed levels of brand awareness and knowledge – especially
among the trendsetting urban young.
As regards specific market gaps for hair and skin products. Hair
presents a huge opportunity
Africa. Africans spend
proportionally more per capita on haircare than their American or
European counterparts. Their unique and complicated hair styling regimes
require a wider range of products. Damage is also a major issue with
African type hair and with Saudi Arabian
women because of products used
and the practice of covering their hair with veils. These consumers also
want products formulated for skin lightening
and pigmentation and pore
Emerging market opportunities and new consumer behaviour
are fully explained in our Global Haircare: Consumer Behaviour/Regimes and Market
. Contact for details