While the ageing population in Japan was seen as a constraint within the Beauty and Personal Care industry in Japan, it has been proving to be an advantage to some companies who developed age-specific brands and products to address age-related concerns. Along with age-specific products, tourism demand has also supported growth thanks to large numbers of Chinese women visiting the country.
Many new launches were seen in 2016 for many leading domestic players were fighting for share and to add value. Most launches were to address consumer specific needs or issues, for example Kao benefited from launching easy-fill refill packs for many of their products. This addressed consumers’ price-sensitivity and their focus on environmental issues. Age-related concerns were also addressed, like Lion launching Systema Haguki Plus Night Care Gel toothpaste which improved gum health while sleeping. There was a growing focus on scent among Japanese consumers towards the end of the review period, both in terms of utilizing fragrance for enjoyment and personal expression and in terms of minimizing body odor. Companies main focus was middle-aged men, but consumers as a whole became more interested in the scent of beauty and personal care, while there was strong growth for fragrances as many sought to express themselves through the use of exclusive super premium fragrances. With a stronger Yen in 2016, inbound tourists became more interested in iconic domestic brands because of imported products being impacted by currency fluctuations. This resulted in higher prices of the imported goods.
Population decline will inevitably impact demand within beauty and personal care, although it may benefit in some areas. Baby and child-specific products will suffer, yet products promoting a youthful appearance will offer considerable opportunities for growth. Leading players, such as Shiseido and Kao, are investing heavily in consumer-focused research and development because of this trend. Age-specific products will remain a key trend in the forecast period, as will products addressing specific consumer needs, while players will also increasingly seek to drive sales via effective online marketing and consumer interaction.