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China Surpasses France In Personal Care Sales

June 11, 2007

CHINA: Moving up two places globally and surpassing both France and Germany, China is now the third-largest market for cosmetics and toiletries. Sales in China grew by more than 13% from 2005 to 2006, according to data recently released from Kline & Company, a global management consulting and market research firm.

Kline’s interactive online service, Global Cosmetics & Toiletries 2006, shows that only Japan and the U.S. are larger markets, making China’s gain particularly noteworthy. Russia has also moved up in the ranks, posting growth of more than 15% and passing South Korea for the ninth spot in the global rankings.

“The urban consumers in China are adopting more westernized habits and are now using a lot of the same products that we use here in the U.S.,” says Carrie Mellage, director of Kline’s consumer products division. “And some people in rural areas are using many products for the first time, so we’re also seeing growth in some of the more commodity categories like soaps, toothpaste, toothbrushes and shampoos.”

France, long known for the manufacture of cosmetics and toiletries, is now ranked fourth worldwide in terms of sales. While many beauty industry companies are still based there, France is a mature market that can’t maintain growth rates at the same level as China, which has the potential to be the largest market. Germany continues to trail France and is currently ranked fifth, according to Kline’s data.

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