China is losing market share in the Asian natural and organic cosmetics market due to animal testing and formulation challenges, according to a report by Organic Monitor.
The company notes that Western natural and organic brands such as Weleda, Pangea Organic and Juice Beauty have withdrawn from the Chinese market in the last 18 months in protest of animal testing. It adds that other green brands like Dr. Hauschka and The Body Shop are not selling in the market for the same reason.
The Asian natural cosmetics market is expanding by about 15% per year. Growing consumer awareness of health and wellness issues is boosting demand for organic and natural products. Few Chinese companies, however, are producing natural and organic cosmetics because of formulation and ingredient issues. There is low availability of certified organic ingredients and natural extracts, which are mainly imported into China, according to the report. The report also adds that formulators and product developers lack technical expertise in removing synthetic ingredients from cosmetic formulations.
China is losing out to other country markets, such as India, Thailand, and Singapore. Hong Kong, however, is benefiting most from "boycotting of the Chinese market." All leading international natural and organic cosmetic brands have a presence in the Hong Kong market, while over 20 new brands are launched each year. Hong Kong also possibly has the highest concentration of green cosmetic retailers in the world. Apivita, Jasmin Skincare, Aveda, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Jurlique, Melvita, and Comvita are some of the international brands with concept stores in Hong Kong. The range of natural and organic cosmetics in Hong Kong and wider Asian region is increasing.
Western brands are raising exports since few Asian brands have been successful in developing such products. Only when Asian companies manage to formulate natural and organic cosmetics with the same efficacy as Western brands, will they be able to tap the potential of their local markets.
The marketing and technical issues associated with natural and organic cosmetics in Asia will be featured in the Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit.