LITTLE FALLS, NJ, FEBRUARY
26, 2007 –
Fueled by a still-booming economy and an accompanying
wave of consumerism, the Chinese market for professional
skin care products posted a robust 15% gain in 2006.
This rate outpaced the U.S. and European markets and
is expected to continue to do so over the next five
years, according to a recently published study by Kline
& Company. These prospects have skin care marketers
around the globe taking notice.
“The sheer size of this market alone makes it attractive,”
says Carrie Mellage, industry manager for the Consumer
Products practice of Kline’s research division. “Factor
in the growth potential and it’s easy to see why China
is becoming such a critical element in sales and marketing
strategies for the global consumer products industry,
especially for high-margin sectors like professional
According to the National Statistics Bureau of the
People’s Republic of China, disposable per capita
income has surged by an average of 11.3% over the
last five years. This has helped to drive personal
care expenditures up by 13.4% each year, Kline estimates.
This trend is a major force in the market for professional
skin care products––sold primarily through beauty
institutes, spas, and salons or dermatologist and
plastic surgery clinics––with Chinese consumers focusing
more of their attention––and their income––on enhancing
Kline’s study, PROFESSIONAL
SKIN CARE 2006, VOLUME III: CHINA, pegs the overall
market at $720 million at the manufacturer level and
rising, quickly gaining ground on the $870 million
U.S. market. In fact, the facial treatments sector
in China is currently the third-largest in the world,
larger than any single country in Europe, according
to preliminary data from Kline’s GLOBAL
COSMETICS & TOILETRIES 2006 service.
While it is already a highly fragmented market space,
with more than a thousand local brands competing with
approximately 100 imports, the promise of a steadily
expanding growth market is alluring. Kline’s study
forecasts annual growth of nearly 15% in China through
2011, compared to just over 9% for the U.S. market.
This will push sales in the Chinese market past the
$1.4 billion mark––and the U.S. market––within this
However, with this promise come significant hurdles.
The competition between foreign imports and local
Chinese brands has created a polarized pricing structure
that challenges marketers to find their niche for
both pricing and distribution.
“There are essentially two brand tiers: the foreign
brands and the local brands,” Mellage says. “Imports
are higher-end and tend to be more expensive, appealing
to upscale spas and beauty institutes. The local brands,
which account for a large majority of products on
the market, are low- to mid-priced and are generally
positioned for beauty institutes where there is less
emphasis on luxury and pampering.”
The lion’s share of skin care product sales through
professional channels in China belongs to the beauty
institutes, with about a 70% share. However, Kline’s
study suggests that the spa market is poised for a
surge, which would give the foreign brands a chance
at raising their market share.
“We’re expecting sales through spas in China to
grow by more than 17% a year over the next five years,”
says Mellage. “The emerging middle class is beginning
to discover the day spa, which offers some of the
same amenities of the full spa experience but at a
much more affordable price.”
While the Chinese professional skin care market
is younger than those of the U.S. and Europe, some
of the same trends are present.
“Even more so than in the Western markets, Chinese
consumers want the efficacy of a powerful clinical-type
product combined with the perceived benefits of natural
ingredients based in traditional Chinese medicines,”
says Susan Babinsky, senior vice president and head
of Kline’s Consumer Products consulting practice.
“This is a very viable value proposition in China,
and in fact may yield some novel new products and
ingredient platforms that could offer potential in
SKIN CARE 2006 is the fourth edition of Kline’s
comprehensive series on professional brands sold through
spas, salons, beauty institutes, physicians, and retail
stores. The 2006 edition comprises separate volumes
on the U.S., European, and Chinese markets, as well
as an executive overview of all three markets. Each
volume examines sales volume by product category and
distribution channel, market share by leading brands,
regional trends, and growth forecasts based on Kline’s
exclusive FutureView Scenario Forecasting Model.
For more information on this study series, go to
or contact Carrie
Mellage at +1-973-435-3412. In China, contact
Wang at +86-21-5382-6677. In Europe, contact Erin
Durham at +39-0331-976969.
To learn more about Kline’s customized consulting
capabilities for the consumer products industry, contact
Babinsky at +1-973-435-3365.
Established in 1959, Kline & Company (www.klinegroup.com)
is an international management consulting and market
research firm serving the consumer products, life
sciences, specialty chemicals, and energy industries.