Euromonitor: skin care the key to unlocking Middle East market

By Pooja Kondhia

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Middle east, United arab emirates

As the Middle Eastern cosmetics market experiences an upturn in fortunes, the skin care segment holds the largest growth potential, according to market analyst Euromonitor.

Within the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Iran “are the largest and most robust markets, both in terms of size and volume”​, and “are likely to see the big international players making moves to increase their share of sales in the region.”

Facial care leads the way

Facial care is the strongest driver of growth in both Iran and the UAE. Iran experienced a 26 per cent increase in growth thanks to anti-ageing products in 2010 to reach a total of IRR 195m (€13,487).

Euromonitor expects this growth to continue into 2015, with a seven per cent CAGR, giving the category a total value of IRR 4.6bn (€318,162).

Similarly, in the UAE, facial care is the largest category thanks to facial moisturisers, nourishing and anti-ageing products dominating, with a 57 per cent share of the market. This is expected to grow at a six per cent CAGR to reach AED 307m (€65.4m) by 2015.

In contrast, in Saudi Arabia, it is hand care that dominates the market. This category grew 11 per cent in 2010 to a total of SAR 86.6m (€18.7m).

Along with this, skin whitening and anti-ageing products also drove growth, with anti-agers representing 50 per cent of the total category growth with an increase of eight per cent.

With estimated growth at a four per cent CAGR, skin care is expected to reach a total of SAR 1.9bn (€0.39bn) by 2015.

Lucrative market extends to other categories

This follows on from other research conducted by Euromonitor and Organic Monitor which highlights the lucrative nature of this vast market for cosmetics and personal care players.

Earlier this year, Euromonitor looked at the trend for the increasingly fast growth of the hair care market in the Middle East.

“The hair care market in Saudi Arabia and UAE combined is expected to be worth a staggering $524.2m (€410.4m) in 2012, and this figure is expected to reach $566m (€443.1m) by 2014, making the countries of the Arabian Gulf a key target for international hair care majors.”

Companies already investing in region

In line with the market research outlined by Euromonitor, both BASF and Univar have targeted the Middle East as part of business strategies for expansion.

Univar has looked towards expansion of its personal care business by signing an agreement with chemical manufacturer Huntsman to distribute its surfactants in the Middle East.

BASF has focused on the Middle Eastern market with its skin and sun care products, as the “Middle East and especially Turkey are strong growing and important markets for us”, ​said Stefan Beckmann, senior vice president of Home Care and Formulation Technologies Europe.

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