The overall growth potential for the cosmetic market during the 2006-2008 is expected to grow between 15-20 percent. High quality, international branded cosmetic products are expected to do better due to good brand image, brand loyalty and perception of good quality. Products from the United States are highly regarded and lead the imported market. Meanwhile competition from France, Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany is getting stronger. Perfume from France remains the market leader in Thailand followed by perfume from the US. Hair care and make up products maintained a single digit growth, while skin care and perfume showed better growth at 17 and 15 percent respectively. The product lines of problem-solving cosmetic have good growth potential. These include products such as anti-wrinkle cream, anti-aging facial cream, whitening facial and body lotion. More cosmetic products especially designed for men are becoming popular. Thailand remains a strong manufacturer and exporter of shampoos and other hair care products, color cosmetic and skin care products.
With a total potential customers base of 18 million (women between the age of 15 to 50 years old), most of them are salary workers and students, Thailand’s market for cosmetic products has a strong group of potential buyers. Political stability after the general election due by or before the end of this year should bring back the consumers’ confidence. Consumer spending is expected to grow positively after a new government is formed.
Product and Manufacturing
The cosmetic products in Thailand are available ranging from very high-end international well-known brands to very low-end, low quality locally produced brands. Thailand is a major producer of cosmetic products which mainly concentrates on low to medium quality color cosmetics (such as lipsticks and nail polishes), skin care products (body lotion and soap, both bar and liquid) and hair care products (shampoo and conditioners). Leading international companies that have production facilities in Thailand include Uniliver, Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, and Johnson & Johnson.
More than 60 percent of the imported cosmetic products are high-end facial and skin cream, mostly anti-wrinkle, anti-aging, and body and skin care products. The products from the U.S. dominate this subs sector with approximately 32 percent share. Leading international brands include: Estee Lauder, Clinique, Shisheido, Christian Dior and Lancome, Olay, Eucerin, La Roche-Posay.
The suppliers of these products always introduce new strategies to retain their existing customers and also to capture greater share and enlarge their customer base. All leading cosmetic companies invest heavily in promotional campaigns to keep their market share and to stimulate the market.
High-end international brand cosmetic products use women’s magazines as their major advertising means to reach their potential buyers. Premiums and point-of-sale promotional campaigns are also used regularly to stimulate sales. Counter sales at major department stores are their main sales channel. For low to medium quality cosmetic products, TV is the main venue used for advertising campaigns. Sampling and giveaway are the two leading promotional strategies to introduce new products and to stimulate the sales of existing products. Uniliver and Procter & Gamble are the leading advertising spenders in Thailand. Direct selling, discount stores, drug stores and convenience stores are the major channels of distribution for medium and low quality cosmetic products.
Cosmetic products in Thailand are distributed through three major channels:
1. Direct sales
Direct selling is the most effective way of introducing new medium and low-end cosmetic products to the market. In a direct sales sector, price is more sensitive than product quality. Some...