The number of concept stores for natural and organic personal care products in Asia is rapidly increasing, according to new research by Organic Monitor
. In the last 12 months, over 25 new concept stores have opened in Asia. Although most openings are by large natural and organic brands, small firms are also taking this ‘preferred entry route’ into Asia. For example, Jurlique, the Australian organic skincare brand, operates over 35 concept stores in the region.
The Asian market for natural and organic personal care products is growing by over 15% a year. Consumers are turning to natural and organic products partly because of numerous recent health scares. Western brands are mainly capitalizing on high consumer demand, with few Asian companies launching pure natural and organic personal care products. Poor knowledge of green formulations, low availability of natural / organic ingredients and high certification costs prevent many Asian companies to develop such products. Thus, the majority of sales are from Australian, European and American brands.
Although many Western brands are targeting the Asian market, distribution remains a major hurdle. Natural and organic food shops comprise most sales in Europe and North America; however Asia has few such retailers. Mainstream retailers make up most cosmetic and toiletry sales, however they have little experience in marketing natural and organic products. Natural and organic brands are bypassing traditional distribution structures and investing in concept stores.