Japan’s deodorant market is seeing stronger demand as consumers grow more aware of personal odour. Could new formats and technology drive further growth?
Perfume might remain a strictly niche market in Japan, but deodorants have more recently become a significant part of the overall personal care sector.
Traditionally, Japanese people bathe on a daily basis and there has been comparatively little demand historically for the scents that were developed in Europe in previous centuries to mask lingering body odour. But a joint Nivea-Kao Co venture between personal care product majors Beiersdorf and Kao Corp in 1971 resulted in the introduction of Japan’s first deodorant product, the 8x4 spray, and sales have built slowly ever since.
Source: Euromonitor International
The sales trend, as depicted by market researcher Euromonitor International, increased after 2003, when total annual sales came to US$310.1m. A gradual rise followed, but it was not until 2010, however, that sales broke through the $400m barrier, reaching $414.2m. Total sales came to $463.2m in 2015, a marginal 0.1% decline from $463.6m the previous year that analysts have blamed on a relatively short and cool summer – the peak sales season in a sector that is highly susceptible to seasonal fluctuations. The figure contracted slightly again in 2016, shrinking 0.2% to US$462.4m.
According to research by Kao, approximately 50% of men and 80% of women in Japan now...
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