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China Beauty: Demand Drivers in Turbulent Times



China Beauty: Demand Drivers in Turbulent Times

 Kantar Worldpanel released 2022 China Beauty Brand Footprint report today. The report ranks the best performing beauty brands based on two metrics: the most-chosen brands by Chinese consumers and fast-growing brands in China market. The rankings were generated by using the CRP (Consumer Reach Point) which is an index that combines the number of buyers for a certain brand in one year and the number of times that the brand was chosen by these buyers. China Beauty Brand Footprint tells us Chinese consumers’ real purchase choice to help brands decode growth in the challenging market environment. 

The report also highlights that the beauty market has become more volatile since the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, and zooms into the key trends driving consumer demand.  It also gives an indication on what it takes for brands to become China’s beauty market leaders and/ or disruptors.

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1.  Most-Chosen Brands 

Pechoin maintained its leadership position in the skincare market for the sixth consecutive year, and it was the only beauty brand to be chosen more than 100 million times in the latest one year in China. Among the market leaders, L’Oreal Paris and Kans continued to perform strongly thanks to the renewal of their Hero SKUs (L’Oreal “Purple Iron Eye Cream” and Kans “24K Golden Eye Mask”), coupled with active engagement with potential consumer base through various touchpoints both on and offline.  Skincare market leadership in CRP was dominated by mass and masstige brands with an exception of Lancome, which joined the rank for the first time, thanks to its portfolio and TA expansion efforts. 

In the makeup market, Florasis newly joined the Top 10 brands on the back of strong presence in the rising demand segments (“Air-brush Powder”) coupled with its unique China brand equity building.  Carslan stood out as it was 1 of only 3 makeup brands that remained in Top 10 brand list since 2017 and recorded positive growth in CRP at the same time; its ‘Baby Cat Foundation’ has been renewed to better attract consumers with different skin types, and IP collaboration and on and offline touchpoint expansion was behind its success.  

Kantar Worldpanel summarized three key factors that enabled the current market leaders’ success as follows:

-     Cultivation of Hero SKU that can anchor the brand identity and differentiate vs other brands

-     Formula and Package innovation to prevent brand/ product fatigue

-     Use of intuitive benefit/ product positioning language to better appeal to wider consumer base, especially the younger consumers whose influence over more mature consumers remain strong. 

2022 China Beauty Brand Footprint: Top 10 Most-Chosen Brands in Skincare and Makeup


2.  Fastest Growing Brands 

There were different trends that led the market development in the latest one year.
In skincare, consumer sophistication continued to grow, and led to the efficacy regimen expansion, benefit demand evolution, and specialist care needs growth, which resulted in strong growth of Essence Water, Anti-age, and Derma segments.  And these trends were led by market leaders as was the case for SK-II in Essence Water and Winona in Derma, as well as fast-rising emerging players such as Bio-Meso in Essence Water and Proya in Anti-age.  Proya not only led the new product innovation in both formula and packaging but also leveraged the popular ‘C in the morning and A in the evening’ concept to raise consumer awareness and drive trial of their ‘Dual Anti-oxidant Serum.’ 

In makeup, we saw the rise of ‘New China Makeup’ style that features spotless and matte face makeup, full and saturated lip makeup, and clear eyebrow-focused eye makeup.  Pramy rose in rank within face makeup from #26 to #7 thanks to its “Backstage Hydrating Setting Spray” by specifically targeting growing consumers’ need for long-lasting makeup.  Colorkey was the superstar in lip makeup thanks to its affordable and trendy color offers that led to strong consumer word-of-mouth on its seasonal and fashionable application.  Flortte’s user-friendly eyebrow pencil captured consumers’ increasing interest in eyebrow-focused eye makeup look. 

In increasingly volatile beauty market, Kantar Worldpanel identified the following three key factors for brands to win the heart of more consumers:

-     Timely drive of the emerging segments to be the face of latest trends

-     Efficacy superiority for skincare and usage experience for makeup as the key communication point

-     New usage occasion development to encourage more consumers to trial 

2022 China Beauty Brand Footprint: Fastest Growing Brands in Key Segments


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