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Korean makeup is leading the fashion followed by Western bra



Korean makeup is leading the fashion followed by Western bra

Kantar Worldpanel, the consumer panel expert that continuously monitors Taiwan consumer behavior, reports a stagnant market in the latest “Taiwan FMCG market summary”, mainly due to economic pessimism. Although most FMCG categories are facing decline, Kantar Worldpanel has observed a category with outstanding performance.

Women pursue beauty despite economic downturn

According to the recent Kantar WorldpanelBeauty cosmetics market report, Taiwan makeup market size reaches NT$ 12 billion in the latest 52 weeks to 15Q2 (June 14), with a minor drop ( down 1% compared with last year), still maintains at peak range in history. The report indicates that among every 100 Taiwan aged 15~65 ladies, 57 of them have purchased makeup products in the recent one year; on average, they shop makeup every three months with trip spending up to NT $628. Even though direct sales and E-commerce starts to decline since 1st half of the year 2015, mass, counter and boutique brands are showing double-digit growth which leads to a promising future. 

Innovation stimulates women’s purchase interest

Constant product innovation in makeup market is worthy to talk about and to share with other categories. Taiwan ladies are willing to pay for those novel products which are responding to consumer needs. In 2009, BB Cream, a makeup product with skincare benefits, was introduced to Taiwan, and has quickly and successfully caught attention in both skincare and makeup market. It is observed that women replaced their UV Block and foundation by BB Cream and then led to booming performance for BB Cream across channels for a few years. Carrying with a lighter texture, CC Cream entered makeup market with “color correcting” benefits. Since its launch in 2012, the penetration grows continuously and reaches 12% this year plus annual value is very closed to BB Cream. Developed by Amore-Pacific Group, “cushion cake” takes Taiwan ladies’ breath away by the promotion of popular Korean TV drama in 2014. Thanks to the success of cushion cake, Taiwan makeup market has commenced to be full of vitality and excitement and climbed up to the highest peak in history in end of 2014. Those cases are not only demonstrating the importance of innovation, also reminding all manufactures how crucial it is to listen to their customers, catch up the fashion and create suitable products. These rules make it possible to grow business in weak economy.

Korean wave is taking Taiwan while competitor brands react seriously

Korean TV drama has played a critical role in persuading Taiwan ladies to use more eye and lip makeup products on top of face makeup. Kantar WorldpanelBeauty makeup report shows that Korean brands has taken 8% of value share in Taiwan in the latest 52 weeks to 15Q2, growing by 14%. It is also not a surprise to find aged 15~34 young ladies as their main buyers. Even though Korean brand segment is still niche, their strengths and potential influence on Taiwan makeup market cannot be underestimated given the fact that they have successfully led Taiwan makeup fashion by developing innovative solutions in the past years.

On the other hand, the competitor brands particularly from Western and Taiwan local have striven to against this respectable rival by introducing new products, such as BB Cream, CC Cream and Cushion cake, as well as by reinforcing on promoting lip and eye products. Those marketing activities have motived Taiwan makeup market to expand further and faster; and female consumers have become the true winner under healthy competition of the market. Therefore, women can find the best product which suits her and enjoy a more beautiful face by applying new products. 

Women prefer physical channels more for free trial of the colors

Moreover, Kantar WorldpanelBeauty points out that more Taiwan female consumers prefer to purchase makeup products such as lipstick, eyeshadow, foundation and cushion cake at physical channels after trying out the colors because the color presentation is a crucial reference point that they look for and lead to purchase decision. This finding is pretty similar to Korean experience. Therefore, it is understandable to observe that department stores and personal care stores are more competitive than other channels in makeup market due to the provision of free trial service with various colorful demonstrations on shelf. Those two channels could consider to utilize this unique characteristic and position makeup as an “entry product” to marketing it with skincare or other categories jointly, aiming to increase trip spending. The data shows that though E-commerce channel has accounted for 9% value share in makeup market, higher than 4% in total FMCG market; it still lags behind department stores (39%) and personal care stores (26%). In order to make a breakthrough and grow future business, E-commerce channel could try to engage their consumers with web-based application by showing their makeup looks on the screen or to deeply investigate the Internet shopper’s shopping behavior and expectation, and followed by targeted promotion campaign to attract makeup buyers. 


Note 1: Makeup category covers lip, face, eye, eyebrow and nail makeup products.

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Cathy Cheng

Commercial Director of Taiwan


+886 2 2570-0556 #314

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