‘Cinderella market’: Pupa eyes growth in Asia on the back of new makeup and skin care innovations

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Pupa Milano is gearing up to take on the ‘huge potential’ of Asia’s beauty market. [Pupa Milano]
Pupa Milano is gearing up to take on the ‘huge potential’ of Asia’s beauty market. [Pupa Milano]

Related tags Pupa Milano Italy Asia China South east asia Colour cosmetics Makeup Skin care Body care

Italian cosmetics company Pupa Milano is gearing up to take on the ‘huge potential’ of Asia’s beauty market with a new skin care line and new makeup innovations.

Pupa was established in 1976 and exported to around 70 countries across the world, primarily in Europe. However, the company has identified expansion potential in Asia.

“At this moment, Asia is the Cinderella market because it’s where we have the biggest potential. The brand is active in a few markets. We have a few doors in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. We also started in China last year,”​ said Rossano Muraro, export manager, Pupa Milano.

The brand has been going strong in China on the back of its new skin care portfolio, which was launched in July 2022 in response to the changing dynamics in the post-pandemic beauty market.

In China, where consumers are also prioritising holistic self-care, the brand has been buoyed by the popularity of its Push Me Up body care range, which offers specialised products that care of the décolletage and derrière.

“It’s interesting that China has been introduced to Pupa as a skin care brand while the rest of the world knows it as a colour cosmetics brand. I would say it's promising because we’ve started with the most difficult thing – convincing them we are a good skin care brand and then introducing our mascara, eyeshadows, and all. I think we are in a good position in China.”

Furthermore, the brand had success in the Malaysian market, where it has resonated with Malay consumers.

Muraro said: “We are working with Sa Sa in Malaysia, and we are super happy with how well the brand has been doing, especially with the Malay consumer.”

With makeup on track to recovery in Asia, the brand believes it is the right time to further extend its presence regionally to markets such as Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.

While Pupa does have an online presence in Asia, the brick-and-mortar remains a priority for the brand. Not only is it hoping to expand to more doors in Asia, but it is also hoping to develop a presence in the travel retail space.

“We are working very well in travel retail in Italy and our statistics show that people travelling through Italian airports and buying Pupa are not Italians, but foreigners.”

Creating sub-families

Like many makeup brands, Pupa was majorly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, the company took the opportunity to start a skin care brand that caters to a wide range of demographics with five targeted line-ups.

It took the same approach and created “sub-families” ​within its makeup portfolio. For instance, it extended its Wonder Me foundation range with concealers and contour kits. It has also been developing the Vamp! Family of eye products as an extension of its best-selling Vamp! mascara.

“Like we did with skin care, we are building families and sub-families within makeup to make it easier for consumers to identify with our products,”​ said Muraro.

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