K-beauty conglomerate Amorepacific is making headway in leveraging growing interest for beauty supplements with its CUBEME brand.

CUBEME was launched last October with chewable skin care supplements that contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and fish collagen. The brand is one of the company’s three functional health food brands, which include Vitalbeautie and O’Sulloc.

Speaking to Cosmetics Design Asia, Byung Yi Hwang, sales and operation vice-executive of CUBEME, pointed to the brand’s healthy sales performance as proof that more consumers, especially millennials, are looking toward long-term results with beauty regimes and healthy living.

“I have seen some evidence to prove this market is getting bigger. For instance, the space of nutricosmetics is getting bigger… and there are a variety of brands and products on the market now,” he said.

“Furthermore, despite CUBEME’s short period of time in the market, many people are paying attention to it. These are clues that the segment will explode sooner or later.”

Hwang shared that the brand sold out during its pre-launch on Kakaomakers, a marketplace connecting product manufacturers with consumers that operates on a made-to-order batch basis. Since then, the brand has been expanding its channels and consumer touchpoints to include domestic drugstores, bigger online marketplaces, influencer marketing and department stores.

It is also currently exploring expanding to markets such as Taiwan, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong.

The supplements industry was worth US$1.1 billion in 2017, and research from the Nutrition Business Journal projects continued growth. The global Beauty Supplements Market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 8.80% from 2018 to 2025 and reach US$7.64 billion by 2025, according to Big Market Research.

The move into supplements comes as the K-beauty segment is taking a hit in sales both domestically and internationally, as competing brands from China and Japan ramp up efforts to win over consumers.

Consumers in China – the world’s second-largest beauty market – are increasingly looking to local “C-beauty” offerings, as well as Japan, for their beauty fix.

Over the past year, Amorepacific – South Korea’s largest K-beauty producer and the parent company of 33 of the country’s top cosmetics brands, including Iope and Laneige – saw a drop in profits for the first time.

“This year is going to be very harsh for K-beauty especially in terms of the export market,” Mike Sohn Seong-min, an assistant researcher at the Korea Cosmetics Industry Institute in South Korea told the South China Morning Post, adding that K-beauty exports are experiencing negative growth for the first time.

Sourced from Cosmetics Design Asia, Beauty Business Journal, Market Research Gazette, South China Morning Post; additional content by WARC staff