Two of Kline & Company’s team members from the Shanghai office, Rob Field-Marsham and Emma Yam, visited Cosmoprof Asia 2012, the most prestigious and trend-setting beauty event in the Asia- Pacific region, held in Hong Kong from November 14 to 16. This marks Kline’s first trip to the trade show’s Asian outpost. Held at the impressive Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, with stunning views of Victoria Harbour, the event brought together exhibitors from 44 countries, covering five product sectors spread across 10 exhibition halls:
- Perfumery, cosmetics and toiletries
- Natural health
- Beauty salon, spa, nail products, and equipment
- Hair products, equipment, and salon furnishings
- Packaging, raw materials, private label, and contract manufacturing
This was the event’s 17th year and is its largest ever, with 74,000 sq m of exhibition space (up 9% from 2011), pre-registration visitors up almost 20% over 2011’s record numbers, and roughly 50,000 visitors. While official numbers are not yet out, everyone that Kline spoke with was under the distinct impression that this year’s event was bigger than ever.
South Korea had the strongest presence at the event, with 285 exhibitors and numerous group pavilions in a number of product categories. Even Seoul’s Gangnam district (yes, that Gangnam!) had sponsored several booths for cosmeceuticals and beauty companies, such as CNP Cosmetics and DN Company.
Within this wide spectrum of the beauty industry, there were many striking features, but here are a few that caught Kline’s attention:
- Keratin products prominently on display, including keratin straightening products
- More and more hair products containing argan oil, not only from multinational brands, but from local players as well
- Coloring products with limited or no ammonia
- Natural products continue to be very popular, with labels commonly claiming “natural,” “organic,” and “herbal” ingredients
- Even a Beer Shampoo and Conditioner from Taiwan, which luckily did not smell like beer!
- A very large showing from devices manufacturers, with the Chinese clearly emerging as a force to reckon with for Japanese and Korean manufacturers: prices likely to fall sharply and quickly
- Ultrasonic beauty devices and those with nanotechnology popular
- Many skin care brands trying to market their products as being able to produce results similar to that of plastic surgery
- South Korean brands consistently focused on medical products and organics/naturals
- Exhibitors definitely pushing gels over polish
- Bulk discounts on products readily available
Kline also came across various people from the professional trade media from around the region, including h4ufme (leading hair salon magazine in Singapore and Malaysia), Next Trend Publications (publisher of Sisters, a leading Chinese beauty magazine in Malaysia), Beauty & Hair (Indonesia), StyleSpeak (India), and Estetica China, the Chinese edition of the international hair fashion magazine. Most publishers were launching new titles focused on niche areas of the booming beauty markets in Asia.
The event also hosted the Asia Hair Masters Association (AHMA) Summit, a two-day affair bringing together hair dressers from across Asia, and it culminated with the AMHA Hairstyling Award Final 2012. Kline caught up with Billy Lim, President of the Malaysian Hair Dressing Association, and a judge at the event, who confirmed the heavy turnout at the event.
Finally, Kline attended the reception hosted on November 15 by the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors (ICMAD), a non-profit trade association, where it caught up with its CEO, Pam Busiek, and its Vice President of Operations, Sheila Sebor, and discussed about Kline’s recent tie-up with ICMAD. Kline also spoke to U.S. companies doing well in Asia, like Nyx Cosmetics, whose products are selling well in Taiwan and Hong Kong. It also came to know the details of the latest industry efforts to approach the Chinese authorities to help harmonize product registration standards, as registering products in China continues to be a challenge.
More transcontinental and global insights will emerge from similar Cosmoprof events: in Bologna, Italy, in March 2013, and Las Vegas, United States, in July 2013.
Rob Field-Marsham, Engagement Manager