The exhibition attracted +78% attendance compared to last year, mainly coming from Thailand and ASEAN countries. In two-year time Cosmoprof CBE ASEAN has become a reference destination for stakeholders from all over the world,” said Gianpiero Calzolari, President of BolognaFiere Group.

A successful concept in a heterogenous region

Indeed, the show that was launched last year with some 500+ exhibitors has already doubled in size compared with its first edition. Cosmoprof CBE Asean 2023 took place from 14th to 16th September 2023 at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, with around 1,000 exhibitors and 13,255 visitors from 69 countries.

Just like for Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna or Cosmoprof Asia, exhibitors at the fair came from different sectors of the beauty industry, including suppliers (contract manufacturers, packaging and ingredients suppliers), and brands and finished products marketers. However, unlike Bologna and Hong Kong, supply chain exhibitors were the majority at the fair, with only around 1/3 of the exhibition space dedicated to retail beauty.

China was the country with the largest number of exhibitors at the show with a presence almost exclusively in the supply chain part of the fair. Thailand was next, with a majority of exhibitors from the supply chain area although some of the country’s biggest domestic retail beauty brands, such as Mistine or Karmart, had prominent booths near the main entrance. Korea followed with exhibitors primarily from the finished beauty sector. Japan had a significant exhibition presence as well, while Italy was the only European country with a collective pavilion.

According to the National News Bureau of Thailand, the ASEAN region [1] recorded an average economic growth of 5% from 2000-2022. With a combined population of around 672 million in 2022, ASEAN accounts for around 9% of the world’s total population and contributed 6.4% to global GDP. With beauty and personal care sales expected to reach USD 29.97 billion in 2023, the ASEAN is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 3.56% from 2023 to 2027 (source: Cosmoprof CBE ASEAN). However, as far as demographic, economic, political and social development is concerned, there are major differences amongst the ASEAN countries making it a highly complex region.

Almost all ASEAN countries have their own B2B beauty trade shows, some of which have been taking place for many years, such as: Beauty Expo Malaysia, the Cosmobeauté shows in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam; Beauty Connect Expo in Cambodia and Myanmar, Vietbeauty or Philbeauty. However, these are usually small and very domestic events, with only a handful of non-Asian exhibitors or visitors. Up until recently, there was no major pan-ASEAN beauty trade show. Cosmoprof CBE ASEAN is set to fill that space!

Product innovation from Thailand

Mistine is probably the most famous Thai beauty brand and its exhibition booth at Cosmopof CBE ASEAN was constantly surrounded by visitors throughout the three days of the show. The company showcased at least a dozen new makeup launches, including new cushion foundations, both for its international markets and the domestic sector (the brand has product ranges with specific textures and packaging for its global markets that are different from the Mistine ranges developed for the Thai market), a range of lip-creams flavoured with Thai tea aroma, new pressed powders and blushes as well as lipsticks and glosses.

Browit by Nongchat was launched in 2017 by Karmart in collaboration with makeup artist Chatchai Peangapichart (Nongchat). Although Nongchat has since extended his brand into other makeup categories and skin care, its focus remains the brow and lash category. At the trade show, Browit by Nongchat presented half a dozen new eyeliners, mascaras and brow pencils. During the pandemic, the eye and brow product category grew strongly in Thailand and the segment is set to continue on its upwards trajectory – even in September 2023, many Thai still wear protective face masks.

The company also presented two other new beauty ranges which were both launched in collaboration with famous Thai influencers. The 3-sku Intimi range – spearheaded by influencer @nn.ladarpha, includes a brightening toner for underarms, elbows and other body areas, a women’s intimate wash and a men’s intimate wash.

Lip colour range Lip It was developed together with mega influencer @nisamanee_nutt. The new line offers a clear SPF15 lip balm, two waxy lip mask sticks and two creamy tinted twist-up lip creams.

Cathydoll is another hugely successful Karmart-owned brand, offering makeup, face and body care and, most recently, perfumed body lotions and sprays. The personal fragrance and aromatherapy categories in Thailand are growing in line with the domestic home fragrances sector – anything that helps with relieving stress is popular with local consumers.

In the face cosmetics category, one of the newest Cathydoll launches was an SPF 50 mist specifically created for touch-ups during the day. Ultra Light Sun Mist is scented with a fresh, light herbal-citrus fragrance and can be sprayed over makeup.

Considering how many cannabis shops and cafés have opened up in Thai cities over the past twelve months – the government abolished its hitherto very strict anti-cannabis legislation in summer 2022, supporting the domestic hemp industry in a bid to bolster the pandemic-affected Thai economy – the lack of CBD beauty exhibitors was striking. There was only one CBD exhibitor with a significant retail range at the show.

Dr. CBD launched its Earthlab beauty and supplements brand in 2022. It’s latest launch is a sleep-boosting supplement. With 19 million Thai suffering from insomnia in 2019 (a number which is likely to have gone up significantly since then), sleep tech/care is booming in Thailand just as strongly as in other Asian (and European) markets. Earthlab’s Dé Leep contains CBD as well as GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), vitamin B complex, l-theanine and turmeric to help improve sleep quality and duration. The Earthlab products are widely retailed in Thailand both online and offline, including trend perfumeries like Eve & Boy and Sephora.

Spa and home fragrance launches

Spa beauty is a major category in the Thai beauty market and a few smal domestic spa brands were present at the show. Giffarine’s Pattrena range, for example, was extended with six face care products based on Jasmine rice as a key ingredient. The line-up includes a cleansing milk and cleansing foam, cream scrub, moisturising cream, face serum and cream gel.

Karmart’s Reunrom home fragrance brand offers a wide range of room fragrances inspired by iconic places in Thailand, such as various well-known Bangkok neighbourhoods. Amongst the newest Reunrom launches is the Song Wat range of scented aroma oil and room diffuser - Song Wat is an historic road in Bangkok’s Samphanthawong neighbourhood. And Saraburi, another new launch of aromatic oil and room diffuser, is inspired by the eponymous city in central Thailand. The Reunrom brand has grown considerably over the last few years, and its product ranges are available both in perfumeries and drugstores as well as branded stores and shop counters in luxury malls and department stores.

And in August 2023, Mistine launched scented candle and home spa range Amorn Apothecary to commemorate the brand’s founder Amornthep Derojanawong. The new line offers three scented candles, a body scrub and a body oil formulated with three types of Thai rice (white jasmine rice, red jasmine rice and black glutinous rice).

Launched in 2020 during the pandemic, Taiwanese brand Oooh offers hand sanitisers and liquid hand lotions that come in stylish refillable packaging. The brand recently launched a range of sophisticated unisex EDTs. The formulations contain antibacterial persimmon-derived tannin extract which helps to destroy the odour bacteria in sweat, so the fragrance can be applied on sweaty or humid skin and still stay true to its scent notes.

Natural and functional beauty

A few clean and/or natural beauty launches were also visible at the show, although primarily from Korean exhibitors. Ecobe, for example, was launched in March 2023 specifically for distribution outside Korea. The brand offers clean and vegan face care products packaged in simple, stylish glass bottles. And clean beauty brand Lalaits launched in 2020 with a natural-positioned range of face and body care formulated with marine ingredients such as algae and lava sea water sourced from Korea’s famous Jeju island.

Thai indie brand Varenn was launched in 2021 and has already achieved a solid online and offline distribution. At the show, Varenn presented two new oil-based products which will be launched in the next couple of months: the aromatherapeutical Intensive Night Revival Body Treatment Oil is a moisturising plant oil blend scented with a relaxing, sleep-promoting fragrance. And Day to Night Lip Serum Oil is a rich oil-based lip balm cream which can be used as an over-night lip treatment or to soothe dry and cracked lips during the day.

Functional anti-ageing face care was primarily the purview of the Korean beauty brands, like Trimay. For instance, the Korean brand was launched in 2018 and offers around 120 face and body care SKUs. Spicules Tox, one of the brand latest anti-ageing launch, features active ingredients manufactured as tiny spikes (or spicules) that create a micro-needling effect when the cream is massaged into the skin.

New dates in 2024

Next year’s Cosmoprof CBE ASEAN is set to take place from 13th to 15th June 2024 at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in Bangkok. “The new dates will better reflect the season trends and habits influencing business activities in the region,” said the organizers.