Secondly, NEMA has now partnered with county governments to outlaw unregulated disposal of any form of waste. A violation of this regulation is punishable either by a jail sentence or court fines. This of course scares consumers of beauty products and has caught the attention of manufacturers of packs for these products who are now eager to design packaging that is environmentally friendly.
Consumer organizations such as the Kenya Consumers Federation is also leading campaigns in sensitizing beauty product consumers on the importance of being responsive to environmental concerns by both the community and government agencies.
Photo above of Miadi by Australian Beauty Review
The Hair Care Market in East Africa
East Africa’s hair care products market is on a growth trajectory but along with it is an emerging trend where consumers are increasingly becoming sensitive to environmental messages on the packaging used and showing preference for products in packs that are easy to use.
Experts have linked the market growth to the entry in the region of leading international brand names, the increasing use of mobile phones, access to the internet where people in the region have an opportunity to compare their hair styles with those from other regions and also the increasing level of education and expanding working class women.
For example, market analyst Euromonitor International, says the Kenyan hair care products market “is experiencing growing middle class and rising disposable income levels, increased investment by international players in hair care, growing numbers of professional hair care salons and increased product quality all set to promote value and volume growth in the category over the forecast period.”
In its 2015 market outlook for Kenya, Euromonitor noted: “There is a growing perception among Kenyan women that straight and dark hair is attractive, easy to manage and more beautiful than naturally curly hair, which is increasingly perceived as difficult to manage.”
The report added that “leading hair care manufacturers are increasingly using pictures of black women with long, soft straight hair in all of their advertising campaigns across various platforms, including billboards, television, magazines and product packaging in order to foster this perception and boost sales.”
Brands Marketed in East Africa
PZ Cussons East Africa, part of PZ Cussons Group, which commands an estimated 9% of the Kenyan market, says the market was one of those that performed well in Africa last year despite being behind Nigeria.
The company, which is known for its Fudge, Fudge Urban and Charles Worthington brands in the international market, said the good show by Kenya was despite the “difficult trading conditions in Africa.”
The Nairobi-based Haco Tiger Brands, which is said to hold an estimated 36% of the local market, previously said the demand for hair care products that are specifically designed to meet the unique East Africa consumers’ demands are on the rise.
Haco Tiger Brands, which produces the Miadi and Black Silk range of hair care products, said in a previous report that the introduction of the latter product in the market in 2013, which it said is the first locally manufactured premium hair care product in the East African market, was well timed.
“These products will be in Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Ethiopia, South Sudan—they are all dying for it because for the first time, we have a product that is totally focused on us,” said company chairman Chris Kirubi.
L’Oréal East African, with an estimated 27% market share in Kenya, has previously described the market as “potential, driven by the rising middle class, growing income and long tradition of beauty practices.”
Two years ago L’Oréal East African acquired health and beauty company Interconsumer Products Ltd in Kenya, an additional expression of confidence in the future of the hair care products market in East Africa.
In addition, market consultancy KPMG says the Kenyan market is expected to grow because of the increasing willingness by women “to spend up to 20% of their salaries on beauty products.”
“Many people in Africa appear willing to spend a proportionately large share of their incomes on beauty products,” KPMG says in a report on the fast-moving consumer goods sector in the region.
Top market players in Africa, KPMG says, have been able to successfully “adapt Western products to specific African consumers” and gave the examples of shampoos and conditioners “aimed specifically at ethnic hair.”
But beyond the market potential and recent growth tendency, hair care product makers and marketers face the challenge of how to integrate sustainable packaging with the expansionary trend and changing consumer tastes and increasing preference for convenience.
For PZ Cussons East Africa, which serves its commercial and manufacturing interests in East Africa from Nairobi and is known for other personal care products such as Imperial Leather, Carex, Robb and Cussons Baby, packaging is core to its overall marketing and governance strategies.
Last year, the company said it intensified efforts to reduce the weight of packaging as its research and development team continues to assess the type of packaging for its products.
The company says it prefers packaging “that uses up to 100% post-consumer waste recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) instead of virgin PET”, which it launched in the Australian market with success.
“We acknowledge that packaging design, use and disposal can have major impact on the environment and we will embark on creating a more efficient, competitive and environmentally friendly packaging portfolio and wherever possible reduce the impact of our packing on the environment” says PZ Cussons in its 2015 annual report.
“We will consider the sourcing, manufacture, distribution, use and recovery of packaging to appropriately minimize the quantity, complexity and cost while ensure our packaging remains fit for the purpose.”
Haco Tiger Brands on the other hand has a wide range of hair care product packages that are more than 750ml and in some designs, up to 5 liters. The trend has helped the company hook more consumers because of the possibility that hair care products in high yield packs tend to last longer and hence minimize the temptation by consumers to change brands mid-stream.
Also, the high yielding packs such as Haco Tiger Brand’s five-liter Miadi Fruity shampoo are more easily re-usable unlike the small packs that are more often not properly disposed of.
Market intelligence services firm Smithers Pira says one of the fast-growing trends among personal care product consumers is that they “becoming more environmentally aware, and these concerns are leading into their personal care purchases.”
“These days, consumers are actively seeking out signs on packaging that show the manufacturer has an environmental conscience,” it says.
“There is a general movement toward PET usage which allows for product flexibility on-the-go,” Smithers adds.
Aside from sustainability, what other packaging features stand out? According to Smithers: “Easier to open caps, closure devices, packs which stand up better in the shower, portion control devices and ‘handleability’ are all innovations which are responding to the consumer’s desire for convenience and ease of use.” And for the East African market, obviously this is the way to go.