Korean beauty, or K-beauty, products are among the most consumed globally. The clean ingredient lists, the Hallyu wave and popularity of Korean music and entertainment have all played a big role in making them popular. Small wonder then the global K-beauty market is estimated to hit $18.32 billion by 2030; it was $8.30 billion in 2021.
In a span of 10 years, South Korean beauty and cosmetics company AmorePacific Group has brought brands Innisfree, Laneige, Etude House and Sulwhasoo to India. To mark the milestone, Innisfree has unveiled a new logo, tagline and packaging.
In an interview with Lounge, Paul Lee, the managing director and country head of the AmorePacific Group, discusses the company’s 10 year-long journey in India and what it takes to sell K-beauty in the country. Edited excerpts:
What was the Indian market like when Innisfree was launched a decade ago?
Innisfree was launched when the K-Beauty market was not very established in India. The skincare knowledge was limited to a simple cleansing, toning and moisturizing routine. The concept of 10-step skincare routine, glass skin, double cleansing or difference between ampoule, serum and essence was fascinating for the audience. Innisfree was one of the first K-beauty brands to be launched. Our vision was to tap into the gap and cater to the audience with the best of our offerings.
What makes Innisfree, Laneige, Etude House and Sulwhasoo different?
Innisfree caters to women of every age group and offers some popular Korean ingredients like green tea and black tea. The target audience varies between millenials, Gen Z and older age groups.
Laneige is all about working on a strong skin barrier and making sure of overall skin health and immunity through hydration focussed ingredients. The age group for this is late teens to early 30s.
Etude is a complete Gen Z brand. The packaging is young, vibrant and cute, while Sulwhasoo is a luxury skincare brand that targets anti-ageing concerns.
What attracts the Indian consumer to K-beauty?
The Indian consumer is attracted to the K-beauty segment due to several factor, for their natural ingredients, which align with the growing demand for clean and eco-friendly beauty products in India. Secondly, the functionality and textures are Indian skin friendly. And lastly, the increased purchasing power and the growing skincare knowledge and awareness.
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The Indian beauty market is quite crowded, with several homegrown brands also focusing on clean beauty…
The Indian market is highly competitive, with well-established local brands that have a strong emphasis on natural and clean beauty products. Indian beauty and personal care market, as a whole, is about $16 billion; it's the eighth largest in the world.
Building trust among consumers through marketing campaigns, sustainable packaging, and customer engagement strategies have helped us establish a strong presence here. Differentiating our brands from Indian ones by highlighting the Korean heritage has been an effective strategy. Also, offering a range of products at different price points helps.
The only challenge in India is that the majority of the segment is composed of personal care goods and the size of the premium market is not sizeable enough to compare to the overall market. But we do believe in positive macro signs of the country and rapid growth in both mass and premium beauty industries.
- FIRST PUBLISHED20.09.2023 | 12:20 PM IST