Its research on ‘Ascending Africa’ is particularly relevant to the personal care industry, as it looks at how African beauty products have the potential to crossover into the European market in authentic form.
One example of this kind of potential crossover that the firm’s report picks out is black soap made from ash of locally harvested plants. Ingredients like plantain, cocoa pods, palm tree leaves and shea butter made from the fat of shea tree nuts are highlighted.
“Africa’s rising GDP and improving infrastructure are making it an increasingly credible and powerful trading partner and Europe will start to buy into and reach out to the benefits of Africa’s growing middle class and rapidly improving connectivity,” the firm explains.
Why is Africa rising?
Richard Cope, Senior Trend Consultant from Mintel, explains that the right social and economic conditions are emerging to promote the industrial development of various African nations.
“A host of factors are raising Africa’s prospects, including its youthfulness, its growing independence and burgeoning middle class,” the analyst says.
“In 2017, Europe will start to buy in and reach out to the benefits of Africa’s growing middle class and rapidly improving connectivity, which is helping people access credit to start up their own businesses.”
He notes that enthusiasm for African ingredients is rising globally, and there is also the opportunity for whole products to cross over from Africa into other markets.
Challenges and opportunities
Cope explains that along with the opportunities that come with a blossoming African market, there will be some challenges for brands looking to take advantage of it. He puts forward religious sensitivities and a growing desire in the continent for ‘patriotic purchasing’ as examples of this.
However, the firm is confident that Africa holds great promise for consumer goods industries, particularly where it can cross over into the European marketplace.
“Without denying Africa’s many challenges, its youthfulness, growing connectivity and economic performance can empower it to trade and put it front of mind for Europeans. What’s more, its indigenous products are poised to deliver a winning combination of authenticity, provenance and exoticism across food and drink, fashion and beauty,” he says.
“If African exporters and brands can successfully mobilise, there is strong potential to appeal to youthful, premium, artisan and ethical European markets in food and beauty.”