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Japan Continues to Set the Trends for BeautyJapan Continues to Set the Trends for Beauty

Collagen surfaces as killer ingredient to drive growth across product formats & categories.

June 3, 2013

3 Min Read
Japan Continues to Set the Trends for Beauty

In 2012, INTAGE conducted a nationwide internet survey of 4,000 male and female dietary supplement users. Estimated from the data, the largest segment in Japan's ¥1.5 trillion dietary supplement market is "skin beauty and skincare," which accounted for 11.3% of total sales, followed by "health maintenance/improvement" (9.8%), "health of joints" (6.2%), "fatigue recovery" (5.8%), "nutritional balance" (5.5%) and "eye health, excluding 'dry eye' treatment" (5.2%). New products and active ingredients appear all the time in the market, as trends go quickly in and out of fashion. Although internet purchase has a larger share of the dietary supplement market in Japan than in the United States, accounting for 46.8% of sales overall, its presence in the beauty and skincare segment stands at a somewhat lower 43%. Users who buy at pharmacies and drugstores, on the other hand, represent a larger proportion (35.5%) compared with overall supplement sales, and the players in the market are actively working to differentiate themselves by offering membership programs and discounts and enhancing user friendliness.

Collagen is queen

Within the segment, collagen enjoys especially strong recognition among women (80%), and it has become practically synonymous for “skin beauty and skincare” among both men and women. The next most commonly recognized effects for the ingredient are “joint health,” “anti-oxidation and anti-aging,” and “bone health.” All kinds of dietary supplements highlight that they contain collagen, including drinks, supplements and jellies. The ingredient is so ubiquitous and accepted that even in food service, it is not unusual to find restaurant menus emphasizing dishes that contain collagen.

Menus featuring high-calorie soup dishes such as shabu shabu and ramen, in particular, are designed to appeal to female customers by adding collagen, and some restaurants even offer to add collagen to dishes tableside.

High potential

In a recent INTAGE survey of how much consumers “actually paid” in the past year and how much they would be “willing to pay” in each segment of the dietary supplement market, we found that the gap in the skin beauty and skincare category of ¥158.8 billion is big enough to cultivate huge market potential. A large proportion of consumers also expect to see increased benefits from continued use. The most common reason given for not continuing to take a product is “want to try various others too.”

Among the beauty and skincare segment, 73% uses a product “5-7 days a week” as the use frequency. Users in this segment as a whole appear to continue product use in the hope of experiencing increasing benefits—“within 3 years” of continue product use is the largest survey result, with 34.2% expecting results over that timeframe—while at the same time being extremely curious about new ingredients and products.
There is likely to be increased opportunity for entering the beauty markets in other Asian countries too. INTAGE conducted an attitude survey of 90 types of subjective symptoms in eight countries and regions (South Korea, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, India and Malaysia). According to this, the top 20 symptoms included the following three relating to skin beauty: “facial oiliness,” “dark circles under eyes,” and “acne.” Of the 40% of the respondents who experienced “facial oiliness” during the past year, 49% said that they were dissatisfied with what they were currently doing to deal with it and intended to take different action. Likewise, 60% of the 31% who experienced “dark circles under eyes” and 45% of the 40% who experienced “acne” planned to take different japancontinues2.JPGaction. In Asian countries, the growth of middle-income groups is raising interest in health and beauty. As in Japan, therefore, the beauty and skincare segments of their markets are likely to grow.

Miki Omagari is a consultant in the healthcare division of INTAGE Inc., Asia’s leading market research firm. For more about INTAGE, please visit www.intage.co.jp/english.

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