With manufacturers introducing new product lines and improved products into contact lenses each year, contact lenses recorded noteworthy value growth over the review period. However, as the category is heading towards maturity, growth levels are slowing down and 2016 saw the category record the lowest growth rate since 2009. Daily disposable lenses managed to maintain healthy growth during 2016, cancelling out the negative growth seen in sales of conventional lenses. Daily disposable lenses continued to record faster growth than any other contact lenses category during 2016 due to the consumer preference for the greater convenience that they offer and the superior sanitation and hygiene that these products represent. As of 2016, daily disposable lenses accounted for 40% of total contact lenses value sales, the same proportion as frequent replacement lenses. The proportion of total contact lenses value sales accounted for daily disposable lenses jumped from 18% in 2009 to 40% in 2016.
Johnson & Johnson Korea Co Ltd continued to lead sales of contact lenses in 2015 with the leading brand Acuvue. Other manufacturers are making efforts to catch up with Johnson & Johnson, although the gap between the leading player and its rivals remains substantial. The second ranking player in the category in 2015, Bausch & Lomb Korea Inc, recorded a value share of 14%, 30 percentage points lower than Johnson & Johnson. Even if the value shares of all companies from the second to sixth rankings in the category were combined, it would still want to less than Johnson & Johnson’s value share. With the competitive landscape concentrated in the hands of just one player, it is inevitable that retail shelves are dominated by the Acuvue brand. Almost all of the retailers which sell contact lenses in South Korea offer the Acuvue brand, although the range of other brands in stock varies from retailer to retailer.
Daily disposable lenses is set to continue recording growth in its value share in contact lenses, with value sales of daily disposable lenses set to exceed value sales of frequent replacement lenses for the first time in 2017. The gap between the two categories is set to increase as years pass, reaching 48% by 2021. International brands are expected to remain dominant in contact lenses, with the high brand recognition and superior retail selling power of these brands giving them an advantage. Domestic brands are likely to attempt to compete against these multinational brands through establishing brand power within the outlets of domestic retailers and developing products that fit better and satisfy the demand of South Korean consumers more effectively than international brands.
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Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Spectacles industry in South Korea with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our glasses and spectacles market research database.