In retrospective, how many industrial insiders could foresee the facial mask boom in China nearly a decade ago? And how many expected such market sensation still to be continued
Ever since becoming a market sensation nearly 10 years ago,
facial masks have grown remarkably quickly in China. In 2015,
the market size was estimated to reach 30 billion RMB (
approximately $4.4 billion) and sheet masks consumed by Chinese
around 2.8 billion pieces, big enough to cover an area equivalent
to 80,000 football fields, according to Nielsen.
The strength of this market has been demonstrated again.
During last year’s Double 11 Festival (also known as Singles’ Day,
the biggest online shopping event in China, similar to Black Friday in the U.S.), facial masks topped the best selling category list,
followed by BB cream and body/hair care sets, based on the data
collected across 16 major e-commerce sites (including Alibaba,
JD, YHD, Suning, and Amazon) during that 24 hours, according
to digital consultant company Syntun.
Right before the festival, the pre-sale data from Tmall (
Alibaba’s online mall for brands) revealed that facial masks were
among the top selling cosmetic categories. The market leader in
this category is It’s real squeeze mask from K-brand Innisfree,
receiving more than 100,000 orders in just one day.
In its 2016 Online Cosmetic Retailing White Paper, Syntun
stated that facial masks remain the biggest contributor to skin
care growth, accounting for nearly 40% of total online sales of
the segment last year. Furthermore, the latest report from Nielsen
reveals that for the first half of 2016, facial masks even led the way
in sales growth across all FMCG sectors at a rate of 16%, followed
by lipstick ( 9.3%) and bottled water ( 8.7%).
Diversifying to be Different
With the market getting more crowded, differentiation has never been so important and imminent for the manufacturers of
In the earlier story Uncovering the Growth In the Facial Mask
Market back in 2015, I
touched upon differentiating from three aspects: 1)
Formularies with actives
drawing inspiration across
all cosmetic categories as
well as food and pharmaceutical industries and
forms delivering novel
sensory feelings, ; 2) Substrates varying in material
and shapes; and 3) More
in terms of application occasions and target groups.
Nearly two years later,
these are still deployed by
A Market Grows
Chinese consumers continue to see benefits of this skin
By Ally Dai, Contributor