Singapore's Beauty and Personal Care Market
“Indie Brands” of personal care products, a strong domain of U.S. firms, thrive in Singapore as consumers seek to express their individuality and authenticity.
U.S. beauty and personal care exports to Singapore reached $555 million in 2019. U.S. exports to Singapore declined by $180 million in 2020 but this is forecast to rebound post pandemic. Growth is estimated to average 2% annually. The U.S., France, and the rest of the E.U., Japan and China continue to be the top five leading suppliers. Singapore serves as a showcase market for the region and the majority of imports are re-exported. Singapore has a strong tourism sector, accounting for 4% of GDP, and 21% of tourists spent the most on beauty products while visiting. Per capita income is $65,000 which makes Singapore one of the most affluent countries in Asia.
While the traditional retail distribution channels such as departmental stores and pharmacy chain stores still dominate, the pandemic greatly accelerated the use of e-commerce with Shopee, Lazada and Qoo10 being the top three sites. The total e-commerce market for Singapore is expected to grow to $3.7 billion by 2024. Among all Southeast Asian countries, the Singapore shopper registered the highest basket size at $67.40. Conversion rate is 10% higher than the region’s average and beauty is the top eCommerce category. Singapore’s mobile internet penetration rate is 93% and approximately half of completed e-commerce transactions are done via mobile phones.
Long-term trends that have been driving growth in Singapore include greater awareness of “Clean Beauty” or natural and organic products that are ethical and sustainable. There is also keen interest in products with Asian ingredients which has enabled Korean and other Asian skin care brands to gain market share. “Indie Brands”, or independent brands, the strong domain of U.S. firms, continue to thrive as consumers seek ways to express their individuality, originality and authenticity. Since the pandemic, there has also been a rise in acne and skin issues associated with mask wearing and this has translated to more interest in such remedies, including skin preparations infused with probiotics and vitamins. Increasingly, males are spending more: some as high as $296 per month on grooming products.
There are two main distribution models. With the standard model, the distributor receives the best export price and undertakes all costs associated to bringing the product to market. However, more distributors are promoting a hybrid model where the principal pays a monthly retainer fee in exchange for the distributor handling all logistics, advertising and promotions associated with market entry. Singapore is a duty-free port. Consumers pay a 7% Goods & Services Tax (GST).
Cosmetics products supplied in Singapore must comply with the requirements under the Health Product Act and its Health Products Regulation and abide by the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive. Details are here: https://www.hsa.gov.sg/cosmetic-products/overview
For more information contact: Luanne Theseira (Luanne.Theseira@trade.gov)