Nigeria beauty, personal care market retains value as consumers adjust to economic downturn

Nigeria’s beauty and personal care market estimated to be growing at five to 10 percent cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) retains strong potential and opportunity despite economic downturn because market’s underlying fundamentals are staying stable.

BusinessDay’s investigations show that some ladies, about 60 percent of respondents have cut down their use of beauty products, particularly a movement from high-end to medium and low-end beauty products has been observed among some ladies in order to cut costs. Cosmetics categories for the face (foundations, powders, bronzers and blushes) and lips (lipsticks, lip glosses, lipsticks and lip pencil) have known reduced usage.

“I now make up only Monday – Friday because of the nature of my job which involves interfacing with people and representing my company. I am literally the face of my company. However, I no longer use make up at weekends (Saturday & Sunday) to help me conserve my beauty products, because their prices have gone up by 42 percent in some cases” said Lovett Onyeka, who is marketing director at an advertising firm.

For Oluwatoby Kanayo, a fresh graduate who started working with a media house some months ago, she has decided not to wear makeups during the week and Saturdays except for Sundays. “I indeed want to save my cosmetics because of rising costs. In addition I am learning to go natural too. I do not want my worth to be tied to my makeup” she said.

Amid this reduction in the use of beauty products, the market’s fundamentals remain strong. Of Nigeria’s 180 million people, about 49 percent is female, and of this, 53 percent fall within the 16 – 55 age bracket. These ladies enjoy using beauty products which are seen as an essential part of normal grooming. Nigeria’s beauty industry is said to have grown by 35 percent between 2009 and 2014 according to a BusinessDay, report.

Euromonitor, a market intelligence firm, in market a survey centred on the beauty and personal care market in Africa’s largest economy, valued it at $595.8m in 2011, up from $439.8m in 2006. It predicts that by 2016 Nigeria’s young yet increasingly sophisticated population will drive industry sales to $620.2m. Bath and shower gels ($240m in sales in 2011), skin care ($88m) and hair care ($79.9m) products dominate the industry.

Leveraging information available on House of Tara’s website, a premier beauty company in Nigeria, Kudirat Fashola, owner of the popular Nigerian retail chain Kuddy Cosmetics, predicts the country’s color cosmetics market – valued at $26.2m in 2011 – will be a major growth area as people “want to look their best” in urban environments.

Emmanuel Nwakanma, chair of the Cosmetics Manufacture & Ethics Association of Nigeria, said the sector has been transformed in the last five years. “The cosmetics industry has achieved substantial growth, from a few local manufacturers to increasing participation by foreign brands.”

A study conducted by Forbes, found that among the six women who are considered as emerging female entrepreneurs in Africa, two started their businesses in the beauty industry.

Being aware of the large space in the cosmetics market, Louisa Kinoshi, a makeup enthusiast, founded It is an e-commerce and online community for African makeup artists, beauty bloggers and makeup enthusiasts, and it offers young women an easier way to access local and international brands via laptops and mobile phones.

By offering consumers the latest cosmetic brands and corresponding tutorials and advice from makeup artists, Kinoshi earned $52,000 in three months. She hopes that women in Paris and Tokyo will be amazed by the African makeup styles of bright eye shadows, bold lips, gels and beads.

Ngozi Opara, a former financial analyst and trained cosmetologist, founded Heat Free Hair Movement to offer hair care service for women’s naturally curly or multi-textured hair. She has many celebrity clients, such as the actress in Orange is the New Black Uzo Aduba, singer Jill Scott and reality TV star Tamar Braxton.

  With the vast investment into Africa in the beauty industry, the personal care and beauty markets of South Africa and Nigeria have reached $2.1 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively. Thus, with the increasing number of women in Africa, especially middle-class women spending more on personal beauty, the beauty industry is becoming a promising sector that will boosts the economy in Africa.


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