“The show has grown by 30% in exhibition space this year,” said Takuya Ishimoto, Director of the show for Reed Exhibitions Japan. “We have worked on increasing the quality of exhibitors as well as the number of international companies with new country pavilions from the US, Spain and Turkey”, he added.
The rise of international exhibitors has been a constant goal of the organizers. This year, the proportion of foreign companies coming from 36 different countries culminated at 40%. The biggest contingent came from Korea, a long-time supplier for the Japanese beauty market.
“The Japanese market is opening up to international markets but is still quite closed. Also, Japan is now aware of the competition coming from Korean and tries to differentiate itself with its historical culture,” analyzed Florence Bernardin, founder of Information & Inspiration, a beauty trends agency specializing on Asian markets.
As usual, the show was divided in two areas with CosmeTokyo dedicated to finished products, which welcomed 8,454 visitors, and CosmeTech dedicated to the industry’s supply side and representing approximately 2/3 of the exhibition space, which welcomed 16,358 visitors. In total 24,812 professional visitors walked the floor, representing a 6.7% increase compared to 2016 (23,295 visitors).
In order to further promote the internationalization of the show, the organizers also invited 100 buyers from overseas and organized B2B meeting with the exhibitors. A delegation of Japanese buyers and importers was also invited to the show to strengthen its position as the biggest trade show for cosmetics in Japan.
“Japanese companies are trying to internationalize their services,” highlighted Takuya Ishimoto. “We hope to bring more and more international visitors with a focus on professionals coming from Dubai and Russia, but also the Americas and Europe in the coming years. That’s why, the next edition will be held in early December to avoid clashing with Chinese New Year and the Holidays in occident. The show will change venue and go to Makuhari Messe to allow the exhibition to be held in one space and not in separate halls like it was this time.”
Despite the organizers efforts, the internationalization of Japanese brands seems still timid. According to a buyer from US-based retailer TJX visiting the show, “buying Japanese brands is a difficult mission. Most Japanese beauty brands are still unfamiliar with export procedures and the need of foreign customers outside Asia”, he added.
The natural trend
Another key feature of the event was the importance of brands and suppliers with natural and/or organic claims.
“The trade show reflects the current trend in the market: a great wave into natural products. There is an increasing sensitivity to health in Japan. After the Fukushima disaster and other health concerns consumers have started paying more attention into the ingredients used in their cosmetics products. Although Japanese were late at picking up the natural and organic trends, the market is considerably turning into them but also sustainable and locally sourced products with a focus on Japanese values,” concluded Florence Bernardin.