4 July 2013
Boom in Beauty, Catering Services on Chinese Mainland
Hong Kong Companies Enjoy Product, Service Advantages
Taking part in today’s press conference were (left to right): HKTDC Economist Wing Chu, HKTDC Deputy Director of Research (Greater China) Pansy Yau and HKTDC Economist Alice Tsang
“Mainland urbanites are very conscious of their appearance, and their frequency of patronising beauty parlours is on the rise,” said Ms Yau. “Middle-class consumers also eat out regularly and see it as an important facet of their lifestyle. This offers considerable opportunities to Hong Kong companies.”
Earlier this year, the HKTDC carried out consumer focus-group discussions in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shanghai, conducting in-depth interviews to better understand market developments and consumer demand for beauty and catering services on the mainland. Study results appear in two recently published HKTDC market-research reports, “Brisk Demand for Beauty Services in China,” and “Booming Demand for Catering Services in China.”
Beauty Business Looks Good
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce expects that, during the 12th Five-Year Plan, revenue from the country’s beauty- and hair-care sector will grow at an annual rate of 15 per cent. By 2015, it is estimated that revenue from the sector will exceed Rmb770 billion. In the focus group discussions, female respondents noted that, on average, they visit beauty parlours for facial treatments every seven to 10 days. In addition, they have a body massage or slimming treatment once or twice a month. The discussions also revealed that more teenage girls are patronising beauty parlours.
Targeting Mainland Men
Mainland men are also beginning to appreciate the importance of personal image in business. There is, however, a lack of beauty parlours providing services for men or beauty treatments dealing with men’s skin care, as well as a dearth of skin-care products for men, according to HKTDC Economist Alice Tsang. “Respondents hope that more male beauty products will be introduced and more beauty parlours catering to male members established,” said Ms Tsang.
Focus-group participants noted that Hong Kong beauty service providers are superior to their mainland counterparts in terms of management and trustworthiness, as well as quality assurance of the products they use. Ms Tsang believes that Hong Kong’s beauty service industry can take advantage of the opportunities. “But it must respond to the needs of the mainland consumer, choosing suitable shop locations and introducing competitive products and services, including organic beauty care and treatments using natural products.” She added that such marketing measures as group buying should be employed and discounted trial treatment programmes offered.
Hong Kong Catering Advantages
In the last decade, the mainland catering industry has been growing at a double-digit rate annually, with total revenues for the industry reaching Rmb2,345 billion in 2012. Prime catering services and facilities with distinctive features are selling points of commercial districts and shopping malls, attracting consumers to spend money.
While market competition is fierce, Hong Kong brands command advantages in certain catering areas. And the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement offers favourable conditions to Hong Kong companies looking to enter the mainland market.
Taste of Hong Kong
The frequency of dining out is also on the rise on the mainland, according to the HKTDC report on catering. “Although local cuisine is still the mainstream, consumers generally like to try out new restaurants and new flavours, and this provides opportunity for Hong Kong businesses,” said HKTDC Economist Wing Chu. He suggests that Hong Kong companies look to the high-end market, offering better furnishing and ambience and avoid competing on price. “As long as they offer value for money, they should be able to distinguish themselves.”
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About the HKTDC
A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers . With more than 40 global offices, including 11 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com.