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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ethnic Hair, Beauty and Cosmetics Products in the U.S., 7th Edition

No market is an island -- but why do many marketers and retailers still consider the ethnic HBC aisle as separate from the rest of the store, sleepy and low-end? In reality, ethnic haircare, makeup, and skincare products are a vibrant $2.7 billion business that reflects the upscaling of the parent HBC market.

Photo: ethnicbeautycentral.com

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 thus 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 -- 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.

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