With so much talk of the slowdown of the BRIC markets, and in particular China, many industry players are wondering whether they will continue to be the key drivers of growth in beauty and personal care. The answer is very simply yes. According to Euromonitor International, from 2011 to 2016 the BRICs will add another US$35 billion to the global beauty and personal care industry, as their spending on beauty shows no signs of slowing down. Furthermore, recent market movements highlight that these dynamic growth markets are increasingly becoming trend setters, not followers. Major players have been taking inspiration from the beauty regimes of the BRICs and spreading them to the rest of the world.

Despite its growth falling into single digits for the first time since 2008, Brazil will be the largest contributor to gains by retail value over the next five years. The 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics are expected to attract even more foreign investment to the country and, together with the rise of minimum wages and the new measures to detach Brazil from European economies, should boost the country’s economy even further.

Meanwhile, even though China’s economic slowdown continues, it will still be the second largest contributor to beauty sales from 2011 to 2016.Together with Brazil, these two markets will account for the lion’s share of absolute value growth.

The success of Blemish Balm (BB) creams originally from South Korea, whitening/brightening products from Asia, natural ingredients’ soaring popularity in India, as well as Brazilian blow-dries clearly shows there has been as shift in the origin of global trends in beauty and personal care.  For example, other facial make up, a category which includes primers as well as BB creams was a slow growth category in North America until the introduction of BB creams. This caused growth to jump from 3% in 2009, to almost 12% in 2010. The BB cream craze also has industry players fearing for the end of tinted moisturiser. Their popularity has even inspired the introduction of Colour Correction (CC) creams, which were again launched in Asia first.

The increasing buying power of consumers in the BRICs will continue to shape the future of beauty and personal care. Furthermore, as consumers in these mounting economic and fmcg powerhouses have become more sophisticated over the years, their cultural influences and beauty regimes will continue to set global trends for the industry.