Hajime Suzuki (left) & Kyoko Nagakusa (right), Reed Exhibitions Japan...

Hajime Suzuki (left) & Kyoko Nagakusa (right), Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd.

With a rise of 60% in the number of exhibitors for its second edition, compared to 2012, Cosme Tokyo has grown as one of the major events in the cosmetics industry in Japan. The show even became much more international, with a significant Korean pavilion participating for the first time.

The Korean participation is important for the show, as Japan and Korea are the most influent trendsetters for the cosmetics sector in Asia,” explains Hajime Suzuki, Director, Group VP, International Sales & Marketing Division, at Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd.

As far as Cosme Tech - the section dedicated to suppliers - was concerned, the number of exhibitors was also on the rise with a wide array of packaging and ingredients suppliers, as well as OEM companies. Product showcases were completed by academic presentations in partnership with Japanese scientists, but they unfortunately only provided in Japanese language.

Actually, the two shows combination offered a well balanced breakdown of products and services: ingredient suppliers (including participants in the Academic Forum) represented 12% of the exhibitors, OEM/ODM suppliers accounted for 22%, while containers and packaging suppliers for 21% and the manufacturers of finished products for 45%.

Furthermore, the number of overseas exhibitors has been growing a lot and now represents 25% of the participants. And we expect this number to continue growing for the next edition,” adds Hajime Suzuki.

The market access challenge

To encourage the participation of international players, the show’s organizers know they have to deal with the reality of the Japanese market, which is not reputed as being particularly easy to access.

Several foreign companies participating in the show already had an agent or distributor in Japan. For Jacques Jourlait, General Manager of Coverpla, a French supplier of standard glass packaging, which participated for the first time in this event, “a key factor of success in this market, is to have the right partner.

Same advice from Aeneas Hall, Sales Manager at Manuka Doctor, a New Zealand brand proposing skin care products based on bee venom: “it is important to find the good distributor before coming here.

However, according to Mario De Luigi, the CEO of Italian supplier of make-up and skin care high end products, B.Kolor Make Up & Skin Care, who sells directly to Japan and participated for the second consecutive time in the show, it is above all necessary “to make a good preparation work before the show, and to hire someone speaking Japanese.” In his opinion, if the market is “more difficult than in Europe”, it is because buyers “need to be surprised and mainly look for innovative and original products.

In order to stimulate the business during the show, the organisers have scheduled several business meetings between exhibitors without any local partners and the Japanese operators attending the event.

One of the most important evolution of the Japanese market is the shortening of the distribution channel. The time to market is faster and the feedback from the consumers comes earlier and is more accurate. As a consequence, there is a strong demand for innovation from all the operators, and this is a big opportunity for overseas suppliers and brands,” concludes Hajime Suzuki.

The next editions of Cosme Tech and Cosme Tokyo will be held from the 27th to the 29th of August 2014.