Fragrances in Middle East and Africa

September 2020

Fragrances is seeing modest growth in the Middle East and Africa, albeit undermined by economic slowdown in core markets. However, demand for fragrances in the region has grown, in accordance with an overall positive trend in personal grooming, supported by rising brand availability and awareness. Gains are dependent on economic prosperity and rising levels of discretionary income however – threats to this can be expected to have a direct impact on demand, given fragrances are non-essential.

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Key findings

Limited gains in 2019

Regional growth was flat in 2019. Declining oil prices and low consumer confidence have impacted the market negatively, with an accordant fall in discretionary spending. This was most clearly illustrated by Saudi Arabia, which saw the most significant decline in value in 2019. There were positive sales performances in South Africa, Israel and Morocco, however.

Aspirational consumers drive growth

Urban development and economic growth – albeit often volatile and prone to fluctuation – has seen demand rise over 2014-2019. Sales have been fueled by aspirational consumer purchasing behavior, particularly amongst image-conscious young urban adults. Brand awareness and product availability are rising across countries, in accordance with multinational expansion and modern retail development. 

Premium under threat in Middle East

Middle Eastern buyers tend to be the biggest spenders when it comes to luxury fragrances, owing to the strong importance attached to fragrance due to culture and tradition, although this is now under threat as economic difficulties worsen and prompt some shift to mass products.

Affordable luxury makes inroads in Africa

Affordable mass products and entry level premium brands have tended to underpin gains in Africa; major retailers typically focus on these brands, as demand for luxury brands is comparatively low.

Bleak economic prospects threaten market potential

COVID-19 stands to cause major disruption to sales in 2020 and beyond. Despite their growing popularity, fragrances are not essential products, and demand is being impacted accordingly.

 

Introduction

Scope
Key findings

Regional Overview

Putting the Middle East and Africa into context
Minor growth seen in 2019 to collapse in 2020
Gulf countries dominate premium fragrance landscape
South Africa leads growth in the region
Decline in Saudi Arabia underpins major loss for premium fragrances
Economic challenges threaten sales in core markets
Beauty specialists’ reign challenged by modern retail and mass brands
E-commerce opens up new opportunities
Omnichannel presence and a change in pricing strategy drive growth

Leading Companies and Brands

Top 5 companies dominate in developed markets
Domestic players hold strong presence despite multinational expansion
Coty benefits from geographical spread
The rise of masstige aided by brand positioning and premiumisation

Forecast Projections

Strong gains for Morocco; significant losses for Saudi Arabia and UAE
Fragrances hit hard by COVID-19; recovery will be difficult and uncertain
Opportunity in population growth constrained by negative soft drivers

Country Snapshots

Algeria: Market Context
Algeria: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Egypt: Market Context
Egypt: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Israel: Market Context
Israel: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Kenya: Market Context
Kenya: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Morocco: Market Context
Morocco: Market Context
Nigeria: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Nigeria: Market Context
Saudi Arabia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Saudi Arabia: Market Context
South Africa: Competitive and Retail Landscape
South Africa: Market Context
United Arab Emirates: Competitive and Retail Landscape
United Arab Emirates: Market Context
Tunisia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Tunisia: Market Context
Cameroon: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Cameroon: Market Context
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