Asian consumers define health in a number of different ways, spread across both physical and mental wellbeing. Some markets are more skewed towards one type than another; Thais’ top three definitions of health are mental wellbeing, emotional wellbeing, and getting enough sleep, while South Koreans define healthiness as the absence of disease, avoiding illness, and having a healthy immune system.
Whitening supplements have always been popular in Southeast Asia. Crystal Tomato, Dr Ora, and Heliocare are local and international brands capitalising on the ever-increasing demand for beauty-related dietary supplements.
With increasing consumer awareness and demand, coupled with tightening regulations from authorities, a growing number of halal beauty brands and products are emerging in the market. Southeast Asia, being home to over 240 million Muslim consumers, will become the predominant market for the halal beauty industry.
Sustainability continues to be an important long-term strategy for companies, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic driving purpose-driven initiatives globally. However, greater awareness has not necessarily resulted in action amongst consumers, especially in terms of their food choices. Only one in five consumers in Asia seek sustainably produced or raised products and one in four seek eco-friendliness.
Hybrid working policies and the greater acceptance of remote working are further fuelling the casualisation of dress codes and widely contribute to the popularity of Athleisure.
According to Euromonitor International, the world beauty and personal care market size will grow to USD547 billion in 2027. Asia Pacific is the key driver of this growth, accounting for 67% of the growth value. With the region being seen as the future strategic focus, global beauty companies are investing in the following three areas in Asia Pacific: premiumisation of brand portfolio, solid R&D foundation in Asia, and virtual and interactive shopping experience.
The pandemic has raised pet ownership rates, particularly cats and small dogs in Asian cities, alongside improving attitudes towards pet care. However, inflationary pressure on the cost of living will drive cautious spending among consumers, raising the need for a clear value positioning. Pet parents switching from table scraps will also seek nutritional benefits from retail pet food, hence casting a focus on functional ingredients and nutrition.
The world around us has changed rapidly in the past two years. Resilience and adaptability were tested in 2021, forcing consumers to relinquish control and embrace ambiguity. This year, consumers are taking back the reins and paving a path forward based on their passions and values.
Trade tensions and major disruptions in global supply chains have pushed investors to look for alternative business locations. The regional bloc of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is increasingly viewed as a prospective option for new investments thanks to trade liberalisation, rapid digital advancement and cost advantages.