Ethnic HBC Industry Expands to Over $3 Billion

Press enter to search
Close search
Open Menu

Ethnic HBC Industry Expands to Over $3 Billion

The vibrant market for ethnic-specific health and beauty care products has
experienced steady growth — even during the worst economic times — with retails sales increasing to $3 billion during the period 2005-2009, according to “Ethnic Hair, Beauty and Cosmetics Products in the U.S., 7th Edition” by market research publisher Packaged Facts.

In 2010, African-American, Asian, Hispanic and other folks of color already account for over a third of U.S. population; as of 2013, their spending power will have surpassed $4.2 trillion. Marketers have ventured beyond the usual hair relaxers, the few darker tints of makeup and heavy moisturizers, to offer premium-to-high-end beauty and grooming regimens sold through pop-prestige outlets such as Sephora, as well as through TV home shopping networks HSN, QVC and others.

Organic formulations are driving ethnic HBC sales, too [m] because Americans of color actually skew more green-minded than Whites. Yet, ethnic HBC’s sell-through in the prestige, natural grocery and TV home shopping channels is still small in relation to its fabulous potential. As for the effect of the struggling U.S. economy, this market achieved mid-single-digit increases during the global recession of 2008-2009, and is expected to return to double-digit progress as the recovery proceeds.

Packaged Facts’ sales estimates for ethnic-specific hair relaxers, styling products, facial makeup, moisturizers, fade creams and other products are presented in this latest edition of “Ethnic Beauty Products” — together with estimates of ethnics’ spending on mainstream versions of the same items. Sales drivers are analyzed in depth. Experian Simmons demographic data and IRI brand shares are detailed and examined, too; as are the competitive behaviors of Alberto-Culver, Ales Groupe, Dudley Beauty, Johnson & Johnson, Johnson Products, Johnson Publishing, L’Oréal and Procter & Gamble.

Packaged Facts asserts that there is now less advantage for ethnic health and beauty care marketers — particularly for smaller and midrange players — to restrict themselves to niche positioning, and more advantage in the multicultural approach.

“In 2010, there is a strong trend to position beauty products multiculturally. That is, not only to the three principal minorities consisting of Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians, but also to Arabs, Native Americans, South Asians and others,” says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts. “A strength of using the term ‘multicultural’ is that products carrying the label can be marketed to everybody, including Caucasians.”

The ability to market multicultural health and beauty care products to Caucasians, in addition to consumers of other ethnic backgrounds, is important to marketers based in the United States who increasingly seek lucrative international involvements. The term “ethnic” does not have the same meaning in most of the rest of the world, where billions of people have skin tones that befit the use of ethnic products popular in America and where Whites are the minority. Even in the United States, which is home to more than 100 million persons of color, the term is expected to become antiquated in the coming decades, as the ethnic nation expands to become the majority sometime around 2042. For further information, visit: