Study: Ethnic HBC market remains robust despite economic hard times


ROCKVILLE, Md. — The market for health and beauty care products targeted to minorities continues to advance at a healthy pace, and marketers should be ramping up in new products and marketing campaigns sooner rather than later, according to a new report released from Packaged Facts.

According to the "Ethnic Hair, Skin and Cosmetic Products in the U.S." report, the market posted growth of nearly 13% during 2010, and the market continued to advance at a healthy pace in 2011 to approach $3 billion.

With the rapid expansion of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States over the next 10 years, ethnic health and beauty care product marketers have a fast-growing target market. Hispanic, African-American and Asian population growth is far outpacing that of whites, with minorities expected collectively to be the majority of the U.S. population as soon as 2042.

Compared with many consumer packaged goods categories, ethnic hair and beauty care products did remarkably well during the recession, continuing to chart steady growth, even though U.S. minorities were especially hard hit by the economic downturn, stated Packaged Facts, a division of The loyalty of African-American and other minority communities to their HBC products kept the market on track to resume impressive growth as soon as economic conditions began to improve.

As more ethnic health and beauty care products are introduced, they are meeting the needs of people of color that had previously been either ignored or mistargeted. As of 2012, market drivers include a desire for more natural products; greater participation in HBC categories on the part of men overall, but especially men of color; and a surge of innovative, better-quality products, Packaged Facts noted.

At the same time, minority consumers still spend vastly more on general market HBC products than they do on targeted ones, a dynamic that, according to the report, highlights the continued opportunity for specialized HBC marketers to expand their reach, and for general HBC marketers to sharpen their focus.

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