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The Cosmetics Survey in China: What Does It Mean For Us?

What do the results of the survey mean for us?

1.1. The much anticipated survey results provide new and important insights into the rapid growth of the world cosmetics market. Whilst the global cosmetic market has grown exponentially, it has largely been driven by the enormous growth of the US and Western Europe. Whilst we are expecting steady growth in China to support this growth, this is significantly different to the West and may not be repeated in the future.

1.2. We would expect the growth in the US and Western Europe to be significantly greater than in China. Whilst the Cosmetics Survey is about cosmetics, its findings are just as likely to be important for other industries, such as perfumes, cosmetics, skincare, etc.

How does this affect our consumption habits?

More than 30.6 billion U.S. dollars were spent in cosmetics in China in 2015, an increase of over 30% from 2010 and 26.9% from 2013, according to statistics released by the China Beauty Industry Association in Beijing on March 11, 2016. In comparison, the cosmetics industry in the US is about $50 billion and Germany is approximately $38 billion.


China is now the second largest cosmetics market in the world, according to figures released by Euromonitor International in November 2015. The report indicates that Chinese women spent about 4.7 billion U.S. dollars on cosmetics in 2015, taking over the position previously held by the U.S. which had held the number-one position for 10 years. In the U.S.

What are the implications for brands?

The report outlines key findings from a series of consumer surveys conducted by Kantar, the research firm that commissioned the study. We’ve pulled out the highlights from each section below, but head to the end for the full report and full survey results.

Image: Kantar China

People in China are looking for brand experiences that stand out:

62% of respondents felt that they had to try something new to feel completely satisfied.

However, there is still a clear difference in how important having a tried-and-tested product is to some versus others. For example, 80% of women who have bought a sunscreen from a western brand expressed a desire to buy a skin cream from the same brand.

Is there any way to use these insights to our advantage?

Of course! We can learn more about the growth of the local cosmetics market and how the products of western companies are perceived, in order to make our luxury brands more memorable.

What is your opinion of the Chinese middle class?

Its growth is nothing short of staggering. It is an important consumer market. The Chinese middle class is growing exponentially, and this could very well lead to a strong rebound in the luxury goods market. We might see some price increases to cover this rise in demand, but it is still very unlikely that the Chinese middle class will be able to purchase all their desired luxury goods with their disposable income. However, the signs are promising, and some brands have already made changes, in order to cater to the expectations of this new middle class.



Key Questions Answered

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