Unilever launches body moisturizer, shampoo specifically intended for Muslim women

Consumer goods giant mulls exports to other countries also

BE2C2 Report — Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever has launched a body moisturizer called ‘Hijab Fresh’ specifically aimed at Muslim women wearing hijabs in Indonesia, seeking to address “unmet needs” in a continually growing market with the goal to nurture future global brands in emerging markets– the Middle East, South Asia to name two.

Hijab Fresh has two formats, lotion and gel and available in four variants that are tailored to the Indonesian women skin type. The four variants are matcha leaf, mint extract, cucumber, and pomegranate.

Brand Manager Karamita Darusman said the Hijab Fresh market segment is for a woman from Indonesia in the age bracket of 16-25 years old. “In future, Hijab Fresh does not rule out marketing it outside Indonesia,” Karamita said.

The global giant earlier introduced a line of Sunsilk Hijab shampoos and conditioners, formulated to help tackle issues associated with wearing a head covering, such as sweaty hair and an oily scalp, as well as to prevent hair loss.

It’s been reformulating certain products and creating new ones to compensate for humidity, darker skin and Muslim women’s needs.

According to Euromonitor, the Southeast Asia region is said to be a melting pot, and it’s cosmetics and skincare market is expected to reach $9.6 billion in sales by 2020.

The Muslim population in the region is close to 300 million, according to Abas Jalil, chief executive at Kuala Lumpur-based consultancy Amanah Capital Group Ltd. Add to that Muslim population east of the region and the potential Muslim market for Halal skincare and beauty products a whopping figure.

By 2019, the annual global spending by Muslim consumers will reach $73 billion, according to the Singapore-based Institute of Asian Consumer Insight. More than 60 percent of the world’s Muslims live in Asia.

The growth in health and beauty market– specifically ‘halal’ is therefore being tapped by other global giants also.

L’Oreal SA, the leading cosmetic maker in Southeast Asia, is operating a halal-certified factory in Indonesia that supplies to the region. Halal products don’t have components that Muslims are prohibited from consuming or using according to Islamic law.

“Southeast Asia has been the trendsetter for Muslim consumers’ products, including cosmetics,” Abas said in an email to Bloomberg. “Muslim women in this region have greater participation in all aspects of economic activities as well as increasing purchasing power.”

And like Unilever, L’Oreal is also reformulating certain products and creating new ones to compensate for humidity, darker skin and Muslim women’s needs.

For example, Muslim women want lighter, washable makeup that can be removed easily before daily prayers and then quickly reapplied.

Also, Muslim customers who wear hijabs tend to want to highlight the areas of their faces that are revealed, meaning they want more vibrantly colored lipstick and eyeshadow.

“Unmet needs” has therefore become the mantra of these global beauty care products giants.

“If they can achieve success in Southeast Asia with this much diversity, it can also be a very good experience for them to enter different countries with great diversity as well,” said one expert.

Unilever and L’Oréal are also said to be cashing in on a global skin lightening and bleaching industry worth between $10 and $20 billion. This market segment is also dovetailed by a huge Muslim Halal skincare market segment already present in the MENA and the Indo-Pak subcontinent.

According to a report from Global Industry Analysts the skin-lightening industry will mushroom into a $23 billion business by 2020.

An AC Nielsen report from as far back as 2009 estimated that in India alone, more than $432 million worth of skin-whitening products were being consumed annually. In the intervening years, the popularity of such products has skyrocketed.

In the Indo-Pak subcontinent, a considerable chunk of this revenue is earned by Unilever’s best-selling “Fair & Lovely” product. The adverts for the cream tend to follow a staid format, where a dark-skinned girl is unable to get a job or get married until she uses the product and manages to lighten her skin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *