Korean SMEs beat Japan’s top names in cosmetics, stoves, animation

2023.01.20 14:07:02 | 2023.03.02 14:31:01

Korean shampoo and treatment brand Kundal [Source : The SkinFactory Co.]이미지 확대

Korean shampoo and treatment brand Kundal [Source : The SkinFactory Co.]

Korean small and medium-sized enterprises are leveraging the popularity of K-content to boost their presence in cosmetics, hair products, stoves and animation in Japan, a sector where the latter has long been a global leader.

According to sources on Thursday, ROM&ND, a makeup brand from Korea’s iFamilySC Co., took first place in the Japan’s largest cosmetics review platform LIPS last year for its eyelash nutrition product, which was first launched in the same year. ROM&ND’s eye lash serum and mascara products received the most recommendations from consumers in the first half of last year on @cosme, Japan’s largest review-based beauty care information platform. The feat was achieved in about three years after the company entered Japan in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Driven by growing popularity of Korean cosmetics in Japan, Korea overtook France to become the number one cosmetics exporter to Japan in the first half of last year. Korea’s Cosmax Inc. established a Japanese operation in March last year and purchased land to build a factory.

“I think now is the right time to enter Japan as the Korea wave is booming among Japanese women in their 20s and 30s,” said Cosmax Chairman Lee Kyung-soo.

Korean shampoo and treatment brand Kundal from The SkinFactory Co. entered Japan’s offline market in 2021 after its first introduction to local consumers through Qoo10 in January 2020. The company generated sales of 16.5 billion won ($13.4 million) in Japan last year by selling hair products alone. Sales over the past three years reached 27 billion won. According to Korea Customs Service data, Kundal was the most sold hair product in Japan among Korean brands last year.

[Source : Paseco]이미지 확대

[Source : Paseco]

Paseco Co., which made its name known for its stove and window air conditioner, achieved first place in sales of camping stoves in Japanese internet shopping malls Rakuten and Amazon Japan, beating Toyotomi Co., the country’s leading stove brand. The Korean brand’s exports to Japan at the end of September last year grew 30 percent from a year earlier. Stoves are one of key camping products in Japan. Paseco was a small supplier of stove wicks when Korea imported kerosene stoves from Japan in 1974.

Animation production company SAMG Entertainment Co.’s is another Korean brand that’s gaining momentum in Japan. The company entered the Japanese market in December with home-grown animation ‘Catch! Teenieping’. The animation is being aired in Japan through Kids Station, an animation channel run by Sony Pictures Entertainment. SAMG Entertainment plans to export Catch! Teenieping character toys to Japan from the first half of this year.

“It is a monumental event that Korean animations are introduced in Japan, where animations were made and loved by people all over the world,” said SAMG Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Kim Su-hoon.

Last year, Shinil Co., a mid-sized Korean home appliance company, signed an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) contract to export 50,000 humidifiers to Japan for three years. Shinil already supplied 8,000 humidifiers to Rhythm Co., a well-known watch manufacturer in Japan, and plans to increase its supply to more than 10,000 units this year.

By Lee Sae-bom and Minu Kim

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