The skincare and color cosmetic products sectors in Thailand are the largest among the Southeast Asian countries. Major international brands have invested in the Thai cosmetics market. Much effort has also been put into developing and expanding the domestic brands and production to establish Thai cosmetics and skincare products in other markets. New brands for such products have also emerged from current trends, especially from social media influencers. By promoting these products heavily on their social media accounts, influencers have become an important marketing platform for cosmetics brands. The Thai cosmetics market could ensure continuous growth and maintaining healthy market performance by tapping into this resource.
The Thai cosmetics market now has greater capabilities to expand through the ASEAN economic community, which promotes free trade policies among member countries. This makes it easier for Thai products, such as cosmetics, to be exported to the ASEAN countries. Moreover, Thailand has also other free trade agreements with countries such as Japan and Korea, resulting in several cosmetic brands from these countries entering the Thai market. Leading brands for skincare in Thailand include Artistry, Pond’s, Olay, Mistine, and Nivea. As for makeup products, the leading brands are Mistine, Oriental Princess, and Giffarine. The market size of skincare products is highest for facial skincare and is followed by body skincare items. Products such as beauty face masks are one of the most popular products for Thai consumers. End users of cosmetic products do not only include domestic users but also foreign tourists and customers who frequently visit spas or salons, which are influential channels for product marketing.
Since the average income of Thais is also increasing, the demand for cosmetics is shifting towards the premium segment.
THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS AND FUTURE EXPECTATIONS
Cosmetics and personal care products have become more accessible through internet platforms. Major international brands such as Morphe cosmetics market a lot of their product collections through social media influencers. Thai consumers have picked up on this trend, turning to domestic influencers who catered to their style and needs. Cosmetics are therefore one of the leading product categories purchased through influencer marketing. Apart from social media trends, a shift in consumer demographics is also signaling changes in consumption patterns. As Thailand is approaching an aging society , cosmetic brands are aiming to market more products for oral care and hair grooming as well as products with anti-aging properties.
- Revenue in the Beauty & Personal Care market amounts to US$5,415m in 2022. The market is expected to grow annually by 5.40% (CAGR 2022-2026).
- The market’s largest segment is the segment Personal Care with a market volume of US$3,605m in 2022.
- In global comparison, most revenue is generated in the United States (US$87,987m in 2022).
- In relation to total population figures, per person revenues of US$77.27 are generated in 2022.
- In the Beauty & Personal Care market, 9.9% of total revenue will be generated through online sales by 2022.
The Beauty & Personal Care market is thriving and one of the fastest growing consumer markets, driven in particular by the Cosmetics and Skin Care segments. The main reason for this strong growth is the generational shift with young consumers entering the market. At the same time, this change is reinforced by social media, internationality, and eCommerce, which have a lasting effect on buying behavior when it comes to beauty products. Trends from all over the world are spreading and changing the daily beauty and care routine.
A recent HKTDC Research study found that 81% of the Thai consumers surveyed planned to spend more or about the same as they do now on skin care and cosmetics in the next three years. The affluent Thai middle class has an insatiable appetite for fresh new beauty products.
The study also discovered a few trends in Thailand’s beauty and personal care products market. The growth of the market is being driven by the ubiquitous social media usage, bringing a whole host of new opportunities and challenges with it. The most obvious change is that social media has provided a new way to target more refined target segments of consumers. Focus group respondents indicated that they usually discover new brands or products via social media, and are more likely to give products a try if user reviews are positive.
Thai Consumers’ Expected Changes in Spending Pattern in the Next Three Years (Products)
|Categories||Spend More||Unchanged||Spend Less||Net|
(Spend More – Spend Less)
|Packaged Food and Beverages||54%||36%||9%||45%|
e.g. smartphone accessories and smart home devices
|Home and Living|
e.g. small home appliances and houseware items
|Skin Care and Cosmetics||41%||40%||18%||23%|
e.g. bags and shoes, streetwear, and athleisure
|Toys and Collectibles|
e.g. traditional and digital toys, collectible figures
Source: HKTDC survey
HOLISTIC APPROACH TO BEAUTY
The survey findings reflect a shift in consumers’ priorities towards a holistic approach to health and the environment. Demand for specialist and natural skin care and cosmetics is on the rise. Brands can command higher prices if they target the premium and speciality sector, offering natural and organic skincare, make‑up and haircare.
One of the biggest‑selling skin care products in the Thai beauty industry has traditionally been skin whiteners. However, a backlash against this market segment is starting to grow, spurred by a change in mainstream attitudes as well as by concerns about the harmful ingredients used in such products. Brands that aim to sell skincare products to today’s more discerning Thai shoppers should be careful that those products are made of safe and natural ingredients and provide detailed explanations about the ingredients they are using.
In response to the increasing demand from upper middle‑class Thais for better information about the products they buy and use, the online store of Lush, a global personal care brand, is taking a more transparent approach. It now shows photos, videos, and product descriptions, as well as a list of all the ingredients used in their products. Customers can click through to pages that explain a particular ingredient’s uses, components and benefits. This information has been welcomed by increasingly health‑conscious Thai middle‑class consumers.
Dermatologist and doctor brands for skin care products have also become more in demand. These brands capitalise on the advanced technology used in their manufacture and are often able to charge higher prices than mass brands. This has led to the rise of the ‘masstige’, or mass prestige, derma brand.
MEN’S PERSONAL CARE
Another emerging trend in Thailand is the growth in men’s personal care products. Although the mainstream media has historically targeted women when it comes to beauty and grooming products, personal care and pharmaceutical companies have been selling male‑focused products such as cleansers, deodorants and hair loss prevention shampoos for some time. Now, many brands are employing direct‑to‑consumer distribution models and redesigned packaging to attract a new generation of male consumers.
Men’s grooming products, especially skincare and haircare items, are expected to be the next boom category — at least in urban areas. Most male respondents in the focus groups stated that they use facial cleanser every day and moisturiser regularly. They are particularly willing to invest in the right products, such as shampoo and styling wax, to take care of their hair.
The International Trade Administration notes that increasing social acceptance of men’s grooming will continue to drive this trend, fostering a more dynamic men’s grooming market within the next few years.
NEW AND LESSER KNOWN BRANDS
During the focus group discussions, respondents revealed a shift in attitude regarding brands. While established beauty brands are often top in most people’s minds, younger consumers are increasingly interested in smaller, unknown brands. They look to explore new brands and products, especially those that are less available in their own cities.
Respondents hinted that they are quite receptive to social media advertising. Most female respondents have bought cosmetics from new brands on social media channels. When they discover something interesting that is reasonably priced and has positive user reviews, they will give it a try.
Some skin care brands are looking for a more defined niche such as anti‑ageing skincare products. Demand in this sector is growing due to Thailand’s rapidly ageing society. The elderly make up 10% of the population — a number that will increase to 20% by 2031 and 30% by 2050.
Thai consumers believe that regular usage of anti‑ageing products, such as night cream and eye cream, can help stimulate collagen production and repair skin damage. This is especially the case regarding products that contain retinoids, Peptides, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid.
THAI DISTRIBUTORS SEEK PERSONAL CARE AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS TO ADD TO THEIR PRODUCT OFFERINGS IN THIS GROWING MARKET.
Long-term trends driving growth in this sector include greater financial independence for working women, greater interest in natural and organic products among youth, and greater attention to grooming by men. Growth of disposable income levels and the construction of new shopping malls and department stores have created opportunities for global brands to directly reach out to affluent customers.
The COVID pandemic and working from home accelerated the use of e-Commerce in Thailand. Forty percent of e-shoppers buy through social media platforms (Line, Facebook, Instagram), 35% buy through e-Marketplaces (Lazada, Shopee, JD Central), and 25% through e-Tailers or e-Brands. The trend is expected to continue post-pandemic due to the convenience of direct-to-consumer delivery. A rebound in sales of cosmetics is expected in the latter half of 2021 and early 2022 when more people will return to in-person workplaces.
Local distributors interviewed by the Commercial Service in Thailand say there are several products they are looking to add to their lineup in the future including haircare products, personal hygiene items, home-use beauty products, organic and natural products, “Indie” brands and facial cosmetics.
Prior to importing cosmetic products, the local importer (Independent License Holder) or distributor needs to register them with the Thai Food and Drug Administration.
Source Statista, HKTDC Research , GlobalData