The Iran cosmetics market: opportunities in the skincare industry

Iran is one of the leading cosmetic market in Middle East and Africa region, where is expected to be the fastest growing region during the next eight years.

Many Iranian women wear a make-up frequently which makes Iran a hot market for international cosmetics manufacturers. On the other hand the number of potential customers (women above 15 years old) is increasing year by year.

Consumption and market value

According to an open poll, conducted in 2015 of women who had a job, and were in the age of 15 or older, They would spend 30% percent of their income on cosmetics, toiletries and body care products. Besides, almost 4.5% of iranian family’s yearly income is spent on cosmetics and skin care products. This rate in Germany is 1.5%, 1.7% in England and France, and 3% in Italy, based on the Gallup Institute data. So, Iran spends 2 times more than Italy, and 3 times more than England and Germany on Cosmetics.

The cosmetics market value is estimated to be around $4 billion in 2016 according to Beauty world middle east, which makes Iran the #7 consumer of cosmetics and skin care products, in the world.

Iran cosmetics and skincare consumption

The table below, shows the amount of Iranian consumption, which indicates that it grows about 6% yearly.

year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Billion $ 1,7 1,9 2,1 2,2 2,4 2,6 2,9 3,1 3,3

Nail polish and design products,are among the mostly imported cosmetics goods (based on the amount of Iran cosmetics import).

Iran cosmetics sources

As a country, consuming in this measure, it is performing poorly in Iran Cosmetics production sector; Iran produces only about 20% of the cosmetics, and a major part of the cosmetics and skin care products, are imported from UAE, Turkey and Iraq, through borders.

Drivers of growth for cosmetics and skincare in Iran

  • Increase on the number of women in workplace
  • Increase in the size of the urban population
  • Iran census 2016 shows that population of people older than 30 is growing which result in more demands in the skincare market
  • Expansion of new modern retailing channels such as hypermarkets
  • Lack of nutritions, air pollution and Increasing problem of early signs of aging is fueling the demand for cosmetic skin care products in Iran

Local production vs imports

In general we can say the following:

  • Bath and shower category products such as soap, shampoo are under dominant of domestic producers yet modern and high-tech products such as skincare and beauty are mostly imported.
  • Iranian consumers are mostly snobbish and prefer to buy European products however in recent years because of the lower purchasing power, consumers have moved toward less expensive products with reasonable quality from Asia (South Korea, India, etc.)
  • Rising demand for natural based products with better quality raises the chance of importation of quality brands

Prepare before you enter

Iran is a very big market for cosmetics but international cosmetics companies face different barriers when entering Iran. These can be high custom duties, tax, health certificates and registration bureaucracy.

Do market research first and only enter with a good local partner who can help you find the right distribution channels.

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