M a r k e t N e w s

Kenya Is The Epicenter Of Beauty In East Africa

Posted on : Friday, 5th July 2024

Kenya has been an important player in the East African area and a developing hub for the global beauty industry in recent years. Kenya's beauty and personal care market is expected to increase at an annual rate of 6.78% with a current valuation of $2.3 billion, according to Statista. Kenya is beginning to emerge as a beauty hotspot in the region, with major competitors like Ethiopia, which is predicted to generate up to $5.12 billion in revenue by 2024, in comparison to other well-known East African nations like Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan, which have respective revenue of $391.90 million, $69.75 million and $25.59 million.


Kenya's economy has proven to be very resilient and dynamic, which attracts foreign companies, including well-known international cosmetic brands. Nairobi, Kenya saw the opening of a MAC Cosmetics store by the Estée Lauder Companies in 2014. Other beauty brands such as Clinique, Clarins and Lancome were supplied in the Kenyan market through Lintons Beauty World, a multichannel retail organization formed by Dr. Joyce Gikunda and Edward Gikunda that has grown to 30 outlets in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kampala. The French cosmetics company L'Oréal decided to establish a new subsidiary in Kenya in 2011 as part of its strategy to penetrate the East African market. According to a statement, "this will be the Centre for growing the group's activities in East Africa, a region which also covers Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda." It went on, "These are vibrant markets with lots of potential new customers." Additionally, the business purchased Kenya's Inter consumer Products Limited, the company behind the Nice & Lovely brands; the purchase was estimated to be "worth billions of Kenyan shillings." P&G, Unilever and PZ Cussons are just a few of the numerous conglomerates Kenya has welcomed.


Numerous important causes have contributed to the phenomenal rise of the Kenyan beauty sector. The first-ever CosmoTalks on Africa were held by CosmoProf Worldwide last year in response to the publication of a study detailing the prospects and problems faced by the continent. Kenya was listed in the release as one of the continent's safest and fastest-growing beauty hotspots. "Africa's cosmetics and beauty market is expanding steadily, tracking the major trends of urbanization, demographic growth and rising middle-class incomes," states Francesco Gastaldon, Partner and Country Manager - Italy of Kili Partners, a business advisory and project development company that helps clients access markets and growth opportunities throughout Africa. "South Africa, Nigeria, kenya and other markets are among the more intriguing ones.


In addition to foreign competitors, the nation has produced domestic brands that have become well-known worldwide. Kenya has become a major player in the beauty industry thanks in part to the growth of regional beauty brands. These companies have benefited from Kenyan consumers' particular requirements and preferences by providing goods that are tailored to African skin and hair types. The CEO and co-founder of Uncover Skincare, Sneha Mehta, tells Beauty Matter that the beauty industry in East and Sub-Saharan Africa is among the most underserved in the world, mostly because of a lack of market knowledge. "Understanding is the root of the underperformance," Mehta tells Beauty Matter. We at Uncover rely heavily on data. In order to get to know and understand the women, we began with a survey. After we realized why, we essentially came up with a solution to deal with it. The clean beauty skincare business uses science-backed formulas for melanated skin, derived from natural African components and South Korean  skincare technology.


Kenya's Uncover Skincare sought $1 million in 2022 to increase the scope of its skincare products. According to her statement to Beauty Matter, "the products [we noticed] on the shelves were basically import-export plays that were not keeping POC in mind as their primary focus; hence, Uncover." "We have become aware of the enormous potential [of the rapidly expanding beauty industry] in Kenya after more than ten years of living here and developing a brand here," Mehta claims. "To start with, there are also pan-African patterns present here. Thus, consider an extraordinarily youthful population that is expanding quickly, as well as a growing middle class," she says. This has not only strengthened the local economy but also elevated Kenyan beauty products to a worldwide level, drawing attention from beauty brands.


The retail sector interacts with global brands, with local brands serving as one of the primary drivers of the industry. According to Statista, Kenya's wholesale and retail trade sector expanded by 5.7% in the first quarter of 2023, a modest acceleration of growth when compared to the same period in 2022. There are a few important things for marketers to think about when considering the Kenyan market. Galib Virani, CEO of Super Cosmetics, a third-generation specialty cosmetics shop network, tells Beauty Matter that it's critical to understand the local consumer. Brands including Paco Rabanne, LaRoche-Posay, CeraVe, Revlon, L'Oréal Paris and several others are part of SuperCosmetics' portfolio.  


"Kenyan shoppers are picky about value, quality and genuineness and we have a devoted customer base of 20 to 40 years old who have been shopping with us," Virani adds.


Leading stores like Super Cosmetics have made it simpler for the Kenyan beauty market to grow, which has helped the country's economy even more. They were among the pioneers in the retail of brands such as L'Oréal. Up to five opulent retail stores for Super Cosmetics have opened in key Kenyan regions. "We aim to improve Kenyan beauty expression with every door we open and establish a model that we can apply to East Africa and eventually West Africa," Virani says. To cater to the preferences of both domestic and foreign customers, they employ a physician and a group of clinical nurses who assess skin issues prior to recommending derma-cosmetics.


The astonishing rise of Kenya as a global beauty hotspot and competitor for domination in East Africa is noteworthy. Due to its strong purchasing and selling capabilities and vibrant beauty market, the nation has established itself as a major participant in the sector. Beauty businesses can take advantage of the numerous opportunities that Kenya presents by having a thorough awareness of the local consumer and entering the market strategically.

Source : www.africaafro.com
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