Wrinkle war intensifies in Thailand

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BANGKOK -- The aging process is one of the few things not slowed down by an economic slump. With this in mind, Procter & Gamble Manufacturing (Thailand) and Avon Cosmetics (Thailand) are stepping up promotions of creams and other wrinkle-battling products.

The companies note that sales of skin care products, including whiteners, are expanding by 10% a year while those of other health and beauty products are flat. They see huge sales potential as only 5% of Thais currently use anti-aging products. Earlier this month P&G introduced Oil of Olay daily renewal cream and lightening lotion in bottles of 30 ml each priced at $8.75. Oil of Olay was previously known as Oil of Ulan. The company will spend $1.25 million to promote the products. Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising handles Oil of Olay.

"We are confident about these two products because of our success in Britain, and particularly Taiwan, where anti-aging products represented about 25% of our total business after one year," says Parinda Hasdarngkul, P&G's marketing manager for skin care products.

Oil of Ulan and Pond's brand each currently hold a 36% share of the skin care market, trailed by Plenitude at 8%, Nivea and Johnson & Johnson each at 7% and Hezeline at 5%. Thailand's skin care market is worth $100m a year.

Avon Cosmetics earlier introduced Anew Night Force facelift cream at $24.97 per 30 ml bottle.

Avon's managing director Sithisak Haputpong says Thailand's current recession does not stop women buying beauty products.

Copyright September 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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