Chinas No. 1

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | August 3, 2010

No, no, no. Not in the size of its global economy, nor its personal care and household product sales. Nope, China is now the largest consumer of energy, powering its way ahead of the U.S., according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency. More specifically, China consumed 2.252 billion tons of oil equivalent last year, about 4% more than the U.S total of 2.170 billion. Oil equivalent measurements represent all forms of energy consumed, such as crude oil, nuclear power, coal, natural gas and renewable resources like wind and solar power.

China’s climb to the top of the energy usage heap isn’t all that surprising; what is surprising is China’s phenomenal growth rate. Just 10 years ago, in 2000, China consumed less than 1.2 billion tons of oil equivalent or about half of the U.S. total.

But enough about oil—what about household and personal care sales? At the start of the new decade, pundits marveled at China’s newfound appetite for non-durable consumer goods. Now, a decade later, China’s spending on cosmetics, skin care and fragrances has soared to $20.8 billion, making it the fourth largest beauty and personal care market in the world, behind the U.S., Japan and Brazil, according to Euromonitor International. In household care, China ranks third behind the U.S. and Japan, with sales of $7.9 billion. At the rate it’s growing, it is only a matter of time before China is challenging the U.S. for the top spot in the global household and personal care market.

With that in mind, Happi will expand its network of correspondents during the coming months, adding new voices from places such as Asia, South America and India. Be sure to be on the lookout for our new columns, which will make their debut in the Fall. In the meantime, you can get a global view of the market by reading The International Top 30, our annual look at the leading marketers of household and personal products with headquarters outside the U.S. Coverage begins on p. 76.

This issue of Happi also includes a report on the dynamic color cosmetics market (p. 54). Interestingly, Leonard Lauder’s famous lipstick index no longer holds weight with consumers. During the past year, sales of nail enamel and eye makeup led the way, while lip color lagged in sales, according to associate editor Melissa Meisel.

Also this month, we take a look at the latest innovations in fragrance packaging (p. 72). Although the segment may be under pressure, that’s not stopping marketers and their suppliers from rolling out an array of eye-catching spritzers and flacons.


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