The value of the personal care category in the BrandZÔ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2017 remained unchanged, following a 61 percent rise a year ago when, tied with jewelry retail, personal care led all categories in value growth.
Of the three personal care brands included in the ranking, Dabao, a skin care cosmetic, increased 13 percent, in value; Herborist, known for natural ingredients, declined 16 percent; and oral care brand Zhong Hua declined only slightly.
These results tell only part of the story, however, as the personal care category reflects several trends shaping consumer purchasing. Because of the transition of China’s economy, sales of fast moving consumer products (FMCG) are growing at two separate speeds, according to Kantar Worldpanel.
In some subcategories, such as packaged foods and beverages, sales are weaker because many of the customers are negatively impacted by economic change. Conversely, sales of other categories, including personal care, benefit from of the aspirations of customers in the expanding middle class, the beneficiaries of economic change.
The personal care category grew 9 percent during the first half of 2016, according to Kantar Worldpanel, primarily because of premiumization. In addition, Chinese brands are gaining in popularity, even in lower tier cities, especially brands that promote health benefits, natural ingredients, and safe use.
Sales of skin care and color make-up increased by 12 percent and 10 percent, during the 52-week period ending in June 2016, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Dabao, a skin care brand made by Johnson & Johnson, ranks as China’s Number 1 cosmetic brand in Kantar Worldpanel’s Brand Footprint report, which notes that over 23 percent of China’s population choose the brand an average of twice a year.
Herborist declined in value, however, because of competition in key channels, department stores and supermarkets. As cosmetics competition increased in China, over half of the cosmetic brands did not increase sales, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Herborist plans to shift distribution focus to cosmetic stores and e-commerce. Its corporate parent, Shanghai Jahwa, entered a strategic cooperation with JD.com to strengthen its multi-channel presence.
Established in 1998, Herborist creates products that link the practices of traditional Chinese medicine with modern technology. It introduced a collection of anti-aging products. Along with an extensive presence in China, Herborist is available in Europe and opened its first overseas flagship store, in Paris.