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On March 31, 2011, the third day of In-Cosmetics in Milan, Sybille Buchwald-Werner from Vital Solutions gave a marketing presentation on the cosmetic market and ingredient trends in South Africa. Rather than focusing solely on the country of South Africa, Buchwald-Werner spoke of the South African region, including the countries Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa and Namibia.
Buchwald-Werner began by noting that South Africa has a diverse population with combinations of different ethnic groups and cultures. She added that there are also social distinctions with regard to income, connection to infrastructure, and access to education and health care; however, the region reportedly has an increasing demand from the emerging middle class for cosmetic products.
The personal care market was estimated at €2.47 billion in 2007, according to the Research Wikis referenced by Buchwald-Werner, and Euromonitor recorded double-digit growth for the region in 2009. A few large cosmetics manufacturers such as Unilever and Johnson & Johnson offer locally produced personal care products in South Africa. In addition, companies such as Beiersdorf, Henkel, L’Oréal and Shiseido provide products in that region.
Buchwald-Werner conducted a survey of consumers in the South African region to find out more about their relationship with cosmetics, including questions related to their budget, preference for natural ingredients and knowledge of ingredients, among others. The women surveyed were of varying races and cultural backgrounds.
Results indicated that South African women spend an average of 2% of their income on cosmetics and they purchase them primarily to reward themselves as a gift and for their own personal use. Buchwald-Werner noted that lower income individuals were found to spend a higher percentage on cosmetic products than higher incomes but added, "They are really spending the same amount of money, but because they make less, the percentage of their income is higher. Key drivers behind their decision to purchase a product included natural ingredients, active ingredients/performance and price. In terms of criteria used by the women for choosing a cosmetic product, they find natural ingredients, herbal ingredients and natural oils of the highest importance.