Natural Cosmetics Market: Middle-Eastern Promise

Healthy growth in the Middle-Eastern market for natural cosmetics is continuing in spite of political instability and social unrest. A new report by Organic Monitor ( predicts revenues will expand by about 20% this year. Natural cosmetic sales are increasing at a fast rate in key country markets, although turbulence in the region has curbed investment and consumer spending power.

The UAE natural cosmetics market is the largest in the region, comprising over half of total revenues. In other countries, demand is mainly concentrated in major cities, such as Riyadh, Kuwait City and Manama. The study finds affluent consumers and tourists generate most demand for natural & organic cosmetics in the region.

The major drivers of market growth are growing consumer demand for ‘chemically-clean’ cosmetics and expanding distribution. Consumers are buying natural cosmetics as they become concerned about synthetic chemicals in cosmetics & toiletries. Product penetration is increasing in pharmacies, beauty retailers, and department stores.

High growth rates however, are partly because the market is growing from a small base. Compared to Europe and North America where the market share is above 3%, natural products comprise just 0.1% of cosmetic sales in the Middle-East. Although the region has a sizeable consumer market, adoption rates are low because of lack of consumer awareness and high product prices. There is also an absence of indigenous brands, with European and American brands mainly capitalising on high market growth rates.

The market leaders are Korres and Neal’s Yard Remedies partly because of their distribution strategies. Both brands are investing in concept stores, enabling them to educate consumers on their products and differences between conventional cosmetics. Direct marketing also gives these brands the advantage of fostering customer relationships and getting vital feedback. In its Middle-Eastern Market for Natural Cosmetics report, Organic Monitor predicts Neal’s Yard Remedies to become market leader if it continues to expand its retail network in the region.

The market analysis finds companies are facing difficulties in marketing natural cosmetics to consumers. Unlike Europe and North America, the Middle-East has a small market for organic products, preventing consumer demand to percolate from foods to cosmetic products. In mainstream channels, there is high competition from ‘pseudo-natural brands’, which are often cheaper and supported by large marketing budgets.

Organic Monitor draws many comparisons between the Middle-Eastern and Asian market for natural cosmetics; both regions are fragmented in terms of retail structure for beauty products. In the naturals sector, low adoption rates are because of consumer confusion and inadequate distribution. Possible solutions to overcome such market barriers will be discussed in the upcoming Sustainable Cosmetics Summit (, taking place in Hong Kong on 7-8th November. Major topics on the Asia-Pacific summit agenda include strengthening consumer demand, market entry methods, certification & standards, distribution strategies and marketing challenges.

Research Publication

#5501-60  The Middle-Eastern Market for Natural Cosmetics

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About Organic Monitor

Organic Monitor is a specialist research, consulting & training company that focuses on the global organic & related product industries. In 2011, we are celebrating 10 years of encouraging sustainable development. Since 2001, we have been providing a range of business services to operators in high-growth ethical & sustainable industries. Our services include market research publications, business & technical consulting, summits, seminars & workshops. Visit us at

Sustainable Cosmetics Summit

Organised by Organic Monitor, the aim of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit is to encourage sustainability in the beauty industry by bringing together key stake-holders and debate major sustainability issues in a high-level forum. The marketing issues relating to natural & organic cosmetics are a key focus of this first-ever Asia-Pacific edition. The summit takes place at InterContinental Hotel, Hong Kong on 7-8th November 2011.

More information is available from

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Marie-Theres Wimmer, PR & Marketing Executive, Organic Monitor

Tel: (44) 20 8567 0788                            Fax: (44) 20 8567 7164


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