India Embracing Western Influence in Personal Care Market

With a population of more than one billion and a growing taste for Western sophistication, India has become one of the fastest growing markets for cosmetics and toiletries, according to a newly published study by worldwide consulting and research firm Kline & Company. Sales of cosmetics and toiletries grew a whopping 12.6% in 2006, and marketers are recognizing the tremendous potential in this budding market.

“As the country becomes more westernized, the industry as a whole is becoming more sophisticated to meet consumer demands,” says Carrie Mellage, director of the consumer products practice for Kline’s market research group. “We’re seeing a major shift across the board, from the types of products sold to their formulations and even the purchase channels.”

Data in Kline’s In-depth Report Series, Global Cosmetics & Toiletries 2006, indicates India is currently the thirteenth largest market in the world for cosmetics and toiletries. Despite having among the lowest levels of per capita spending on personal care products, averaging just $3.40 per person in 2006, the market is evolving into one of the most promising worldwide, particularly with regard to skin care. With more Indian women entering the workforce, they are placing greater emphasis on personal appearance and are spending more to look their best.

“Indian women have officially joined the search for the Fountain of Youth, driving up sales of both anti-aging and skin-whitening products to help them develop a younger, fairer complexion,” Mellage says.

Indian consumers are also moving away from traditional talcum powder toward more modern deodorants and antiperspirants. Marketers are now expected to rise to the occasion with innovative products and revamped pricing strategies to help garner a significant share of this segment of the market.

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