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China leads the BRIC countries in the bath and shower product market, according to the report, Bath and Shower Products in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) Countries Market Overview and Forecasts to 2014, by Research and Markets. However, the group also notes that Russia is not far behind, and that its bath and shower market is led by shower products; further, Brazil's market is also expected to grow steadily between 2009 and 2014.
In relation, in a report from Euromonitor International in 2010, the group identified that China’s growth in premium beauty products is a more recent development and that its economy has been able to withstand the effects of the recession, meaning consumers’ demand for prestige cosmetics was only slightly dampened from 2008–2009 (13% value growth), compared with the previous year period (16%).
Further, China is reportedly experiencing a mass exodus from its countryside to major cities as the country industrializes and by 2013, its urban population is forecast to swell by 200 million people from the level it was at in 2003. This will result in high absolute growth in beauty of more than $10 billion from 2009–2014, according to Euromonitor research.
However, although China’s disposable income levels are set to roughly double between 2009–2014, the per capita spend on beauty and personal care will still be just $22 per person per annum in 2014, far lower than the predicted $175 per person in Brazil. This is due to China’s culture of children financially supporting parents in old age, and means that even with a forecast value of $31 billion by 2014, there is much room for China to become the largest beauty market in the world.
Regarding the Russian market, the same Euromonitor report noted that Russia was hit worse by the global recession, registering just 5% value growth 2008–2009, and that consumers trading down to less expensive brands and cutbacks on nonessentials were among the main reasons for reduced growth. This was reportedly due to the fact that, in comparison to Brazil and India, where cosmetic sales are typified by mass products, premium cosmetics sales make up a far greater portion of beauty sales in Russia (accounting for 38% of fragrance sales in 2009, for example, compared to just 6% in Brazil, according to Euromonitor).