Asia fragrance – Brand awareness

Unlike Europe, Asia has little fragrance heritage and usage remains low. However a new generation of wealthy, brand conscious young consumers is driving growth, especially in China. Although fruity floral scents are generally preferred, brand name and image are the principal sales drivers with scents from Chanel and Dior among the most popular

Asian fragrance sales are still very much driven by brand name but while this is a winning formula for some manufacturers, others are looking beyond traditional big names to focus on the niche, as Emma Reinhold reports

For fragrance manufacturers looking to tap into the Asian market there is one perennial issue that every company has to face: consumer usage, or rather a lack of it.

Despite the best efforts of the beauty giants, fragrance still remains a marginal sector in Asia with any long term growth staying in single digits.

“The problem is that fragrance is still a small market in Asia and it’s still only used on special occasions rather than every day,” explains Nicole Tyrimou, research analyst at Euromonitor International. “Volume in the region is only one fifth of that in Latin America and only 8% of the global fragrance total.”

The size of the region means fragrance tastes are very fragmented and therefore brands have to adopt a multifaceted marketing and product development approach to appeal to the diverse needs of Asian consumers.

“Asia Pacific is a big region so naturally fragrance trends differ. In China, Japan and South Korea, consumers prefer premium fragrances, while in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia the market is more mass driven,” says Tyrimou.

Price is another barrier for fragrance growth in Asia. “Asia has the second lowest unit price in the world, even in China,” continues Tyrimou. “Consumers are conscious of what they are spending and they often can’t see the value in fragrance which they see in skin care, particularly whitening and brightening products.”

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