South Korean pop culture drives Vietnam cosmetics sales: survey

By Dat Nguyen   December 25, 2019 | 03:03 am PT
South Korean pop culture drives Vietnam cosmetics sales: survey
A makeup artist makes up for a client in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Shutterstock/Quang Nguyen Vinh.
The increasing influence of South Korean pop culture on Vietnam is causing a surge in demand for beauty products, a new report claims.

The beauty care products market grew at 7 percent last year, three times the rate of the fast-moving consumer goods market, the report by market research firm Kantar said.

In June this year one in two urban consumer goods shoppers bought at least one beauty product online.

The report attributed the sharp growth to the increasing influence of South Korea, culture among young people through TV serials and music, though it did not offer any evidence.

South Korea was the largest exporter of cosmetics to Vietnam last year, accounting for 30 percent of the market.

Vietnamese are increasingly taking care of their skin with complex rituals instead of basic acne prevention and the like that was the norm earlier.

Forty five percent of buyers go through at least three steps in their skincare, and women are willing to buy more products for this.

Between June 2018 and June 2019 there were 54,000 new buyers of cleansing water and 32,000 new buyers of sheet masks.

Beauty stores were the biggest channel for cosmetics products, accounting for 21 percent of sales. Though online shopping came second at 19 percent, it grew at 91 percent.

A survey by market research firm Q&Me earlier this year found that Vietnamese women spend an average of VND300,000 ($13) a month on cosmetics, with 30 percent saying they wear make-up every day.

The market was worth $2.3 billion this year, with foreign brands accounting for a 90 percent share, according to British market research firm Mintel.

But with two out of five households never having bought any beauty product, there is clearly room for growth in the market, the Kantar survey said.

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