The cosmetics industry in Poland has over 100 years of tradition and experience. The cosmetics market in Poland is dynamic and full of innovations. The strength of the Polish cosmetics industry is the high quality of its products and the interesting ideas and strategies for their promotion. Consumers in the Republic of Korea can find out more about this , more often.
The Polish cosmetics market
Poland is the 6th country in Europe and the 5th in the EU in terms of the value of its cosmetics market. The Polish cosmetics sector has resisted the pandemic and is expected to grow at an average of 3% per year. Experts estimate that it will already reach a value of 4.5 billion Euros in 2024. The development of the sector can be seen by the number of newly created cosmetic companies. In the last four years alone, the number of SMEs in this industry has increased by nearly 2/3. During this period of time, Poland was responsible for as much as 20% of the total increase in the number of companies in the cosmetics sector in Europe.
Both new brands and companies with a long tradition are mainly engaged in the production of cosmetics for skin care and personal hygiene. These types of products account for over 50% of the Polish cosmetic market. According to forecasts, the cosmetics sector for skin care and personal care will also be one of the fastest growing areas of this industry. Despite the general decline in retail sales of cosmetics in Poland (about 6% in 2020), a 7% increase in exports in the same year allowed the sector to maintain stability, despite the pandemic
The pandemic has had a significant impact on the most important trends and challenges facing this sector. The Coronavirus has increased the importance of e-commerce and social media in marketing, as well as reduced interest in cosmetics from the makeup category in favour of home care and SPA products. Non-pandemic trends are the growing environmental awareness of consumers and the focus on natural/bio products and the creation of brands by influencers and celebrities.
Looking broadly at the Polish cosmetic market, it can also be concluded that the time of local producers has ended, when many small and medium-sized manufacturers and locally recognizable brands were been created.
Cosmetics from Poland
The volume of Polish exports is about 4 billion euros. Poland is one of the largest exporters in the EU and is the only one in the EU that has not experienced significant drops in exports in recent years. The main export destination remains European countries with Germany at the forefront. Interestingly, however, the largest increase in the value of exports is recorded outside Europe, as it took place in the case of Kazakhstan. Polish companies are more and more often boldly looking for contractors on the distant markets of Asia, the Near East or America. Cosmetics from Poland are currently sold in 170 countries. The top 3 Polish exported products are products for beautifying and caring for the skin, perfumes and toilet waters as well as pastes, powders and liquids for cleaning teeth. Such and other products have reached countries even as far away from Poland as Japan, Mexico or Taiwan, as well as the Republic of Korea.
Initially, Polish exporters focused on the natural ingredients of their products as their biggest advantage. Currently, however, the naturalness of cosmetics alone does not provide a sufficient competitive advantage, it ceases to be the most important export asset. What makes cooperation with Polish manufacturers attractive is a competitive price, together with a wide range of products in line with current, global cosmetic trends, as well as the needs of various customers in various markets. The pandemic, which sensitized both customers and contractors to the price of products, has shown that it is the attractive price and the high quality that goes hand in hand with it that are an extremely strong bargaining points of Polish manufacturers in talks with foreign business partners.
Poland and Korea
Korea is the EU's 10th export market in terms of cosmetics. Polish exports in this direction are constantly growing. Poland sees the Republic of Korea as a market with very high potential and a chance for a stronger presence. The total value of exports of Polish cosmetics to the Republic of Korea in 2019 amounted to USD 5.47 million. In the same year, the main Polish products exported to Korean were skin care products.
Currently, cosmetic companies from Poland, entering or wanting to further develop on the Korean market, focus on certified and vegan cosmetics. Polish entrepreneurs want to introduce to Korea products that have hitherto been unknown, niche and innovative products to the Korean market. The Polish Investment and Trade Agency is trying to support them in such activities.
Promotion of the Polish cosmetics sector in the Republic of Korea
The Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH) is a state advisory institution - a first point of contact for exporters and investors. PAIH's mission is to increase the influx of direct foreign investment to Poland and raising awareness of Polish companies abroad. The Polish Trade and Investment Agency operates both in Poland and around the world through its foreign trade offices. (ZBH) One of these is the PAIH office in Seoul. Our Foreign Trade Office in Korea works for the promotion of Poland and Polish entrepreneurs. Great emphasis is placed here on promoting the cosmetics sector.
In 2019, at the Cosmobeauty Seoul fair, the Polish National Stand was organized by our ZBH in Seoul. The event was attended by numerous Polish companies from the cosmetics sector with their offer of among other things, cosmetics for the face, body and hair care, make-up, perfumes, specialized as well as natural cosmetics. Polish entrepreneurs had the second strongest representation in terms of the number of exhibitors within the national sections. Due to COVID-19, there was a slight break in Poland’s presence at such events, but already this year Poland’s National Stand was again present at the Cosmobeauty Seoul fair.
However, even during the restrictions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency did not cease its activities to promote Polish products abroad. Only in 2020, our Foreign Trade Office in Seoul regarding Polish products from the cosmetics sector. As part of this, the Korean ZBH turned into a mini-showroom, where presentation sessions for local importers of among other things, Polish cosmetics took place. The Seoul ZBH also held numerous webinars encouraging manufacturers in Poland to enter the Korean market more boldly.
The ZBH in the Republic of Korea can operate so dynamically and was able to carry out its tasks despite pandemic restrictions thanks to its very good contacts with Korean importers. Thanks to these established relations, the ZBH helped to implement several contracts for Polish cosmetics companies and constantly provides substantive support to entrepreneurs who are already on or want to enter the Korean market. Employees of the Seoul ZBH modestly summarize the presence of Polish cosmetics in Korea as a maturing market. However, they proudly say that from year to year this presence is increasing. They also emphasize that the Korean market is demanding, but holds great prospectives, which is why they do not cease to implement further activities and intend to promote Poland and the Polish cosmetics sector even more strongly.
Anna Lagodzinska(안나 와고진스카)