Japanese cosmetics firms tap into mature market

Japan's cosmetics companies are adding new products to their line-ups as they seek to increase their appeal to the growing mature market - and break a few taboos in the process.

A decade after Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. released Evita - the first brand specifically targeted at the "over 50" sector of the market - the company has added a number of products to the range.

These include moisturizing milks and creams specifically created for older skin and ranging from a mere Y300 (€2.65) to Y2,800 (€24.78), the company said.

When Evita was launched in October 2000, it caused a stir in Japan because until then, it had been an unwritten rule to never specify a target age in cosmetics marketing - particularly in the mature sector, the company said. By taking a chance, Kanebo struck a chord and within seven years Evita had bloomed into a mega-brand with annual sales in excess of Y10 billion (€88.49 million).

"When they hit 50, women reach a turning point in lifestyle," said Chizuru Ishikawa, manager of the Self Selection Brand Products Development Group at Kanebo. "They gain more leeway with time and money, and this brings more opportunities for leisure. They also think more about beauty care and take a renewed interest in sun care, fashion, lipstick, and other makeup items.

"Women in their 50s have different skin concerns to women in their 30s and 40s," she said. "Dryness can become a big problem. The intensive moisturizing focus in Evita sets the brand apart from cosmetics made for younger skin."

Other cosmetics firms soon realized the possibilities among older consumers, with Shiseido Co. launching its Elixir Prior series in late 2008 "to draw out the beauty of women aged 60 and older."

Research carried out by Japan's largest cosmetics company showed that the segment of women aged between 60 and 69 accounts for 19 percent of the entire cosmetics market and is worth around Y670 billion (€5.93 billion) a year. And with Japan's population aging - as it is in many nations around the world - there is huge potential in this sector, Shiseido concluded.

Kanebo has also announced plans to add to its Chicca range of cosmetics, aimed at women in their 60s and described by the company as "new matures."

On February 2, Kanebo will release 19 new products in a selection of new colors for Spring 2011, ranging from Y2,100 (€18.56) to Y7,350 (€64.95), the company said.

http://www.kanebo-cosmetics.co.jp/global/


http://www.shiseido.com/index.htm

JR

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