With 2 billion dollars worth of cosmetics bought every year, Iran is the second most influential player of the cosmetics market in the Middle-East and the seventh worldwide. Accordingly, large brands are increasingly present in the country to reap the benefits.
Iran, an expanding market for cosmetics
Whilst the 1979 Iranian law forbid the use and importation of beauty products in the country, this prohibition was brought to an end in the 1990s, effectively reviving the consumption race. Since then, taking care of oneself has become a ritual deeply ingrained within the Iranian society.
With 38 million women in a population of 77 million, the country’s social structure makes Iran an extremely attractive country for the massive cosmetics brands.
Furthermore, 60% of the country’s population is under 30 years old. In addition to taking particularly good care of their appearance, this category of people also has a tendency to spend large amounts for their beauty products. Since a large amount of young people still live with their parents, their revenue is available to acquire cosmetics. It appears that for an average wage of $600 per month, about $7 are spent on cosmetics.
The cosmetics market, far from being saturated in Iran
The commercial sanctions established by the Iranian government have the particular characteristic of preventing American implantations and exportations. The country itself barely produces any cosmetics; the Iranian cosmetics market is left wide open to European companies. Hence the cosmetics market in Iran is far from being saturated.
In parallel, the competition is not very important, an aspect which explains Lancôme’s presence in the country.
The international group L’Oréal also managed an immaculate entrance on the Iranian market by organising an event worthy of its name. Not less than 400 people were present at the event organised in a luxurious hotel in Teheran. The world’s number 1 in the beauty sector, including its subsidiary Yves Saint Laurent already present in Iran, reaffirmed its presence in the country.
Cosmetics, a way out
With more than 20 brands belonging to large or medium sized companies occupying the Iranian cosmetics market, the market remains largely available to luxury brands. Despite the financial crisis, the consumption of beauty products did not experience a dramatic decrease. This may be surprising; however this clearly shows that cosmetics are a way out, a means for people to temporarily forget about their problems.
On average, Iranians stay one hour in front of their mirror each morning, this ritual being a type of body language of its own. The country’s inhabitants wear more make-up than European women: on average an Iranian women buys a tube of mascara per month, against one every three months in France.
Men also buy more and more cosmetics, particularly cream, to keep their skin clean and hydrated and to appear younger.
Iranian rituals present a true interest for cosmetic brands looking for an available market.