10 Trends Gathered at the 2020 CBE

On July 11, the 25th China Beauty Expo and Supply World came to a successful end at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. 

Featuring 15 large halls, 10 theme halls, and dozens of brand VIP halls, the expo covered a total exhibition area of 220,000 square meters, the three-day expo total brought together over 3,000 exhibitors across the beauty industry, as well as buyers and professional R&D technicians, commencing the recovery of the beauty industry in 2020.

 In order to attract more collaboration and trading, the CBE team also launched its online version of the expo dubbed CBE Virtual Expo. During the expo, the total number of online visitors skyrocketed. By 5:00 p.m. on July 11, the figure reached more than 290,000 people. The success of both online and offline expos is a reaffirmation of CBE’s dominance and indisputable power in the industry. 

 As the bellwether of the beauty industry, each edition of CBE gathers the latest technologies and products from leading companies and brands. This year also saw a remarkable showcase of new concepts, ideas and technologies.

Here are the trends gathered from the show.

1.  Growing consumer interest in technology is driving further development in the cosmetics sector

According to China’s Meiyi Science and Technology White Paper released on July 8 at the 2020 International Cosmetics Technology Conference hosted by CBE and Supply World, a growing number of Chinese consumer groups have keen interest in technology, who are more rational and pays more attention to products per se, which in turn is driving the need for technological innovation to bring the cosmetics sector to a new height.

From the design of its pavilion to the products showcased, all evidence are pointing to PROYA’s determination to develop its brand by exploring high-tech solutions and pursuing the ultimate aesthetics. It’s foreseeable that technologies will be what Chinese brands should focus on for future growth. 


2. Content marketing continues to attract attention and expects to fuel the industrial growth

Currently, content marketing is indisputably the best form of marketing for brands to communicate with consumers.

At CBE 2020, different brands adopted different forms of content marketing to increase their brand visibility, including recommendations by KOLs, crossovers with famous IPs, content planning and topic discussions. 

3. Anti-aging and sensitive skin repair products are gaining popularity, consumers show more interest in skincare products with efficacy

In terms of skin care, anti-aging and sensitive skin repair products are the most eye-catching items showcased at CBE 2020. Herborist Derma, a sub-brand of Shanghai Jahwa, presented three freeze-dried ampoule products, one of which was 77 Polypeptide Firming Freeze-Dried Powder made from three anti-aging ingredients including polypeptide, ginseng extract and retinol using the freeze-drying technology to deliver benefits such as firming, filling and fine line correcting. The growing popularity of anti-aging and repair solutions were also manifest in the latest technologies showcased by upstream businesses. 

4. Consumer differentiation calls for accurate targeting of user by the brands

During this year’s expo, CBE teamed up with Alimama to release the 2020 Meiyi White Paper, which identifies major consumer profiles and market segments for accurate targeting. The White Paper notes that there are eight types of cosmetics consumers, each with distinctive preferences. Therefore, it’s important for brands to focus on key groups to launch relevant products.

Huanya pavilion highlighted a collection of 11 unique and differentiated brands such as FACE IDEAS, AUSPERI, MOR and MOINA to better target different market segments and explore new market needs.


5. International giants expand their presence to all beauty sectors, while niche brands join forces to be more successful

Over the years, international brands have been one of the major highlights of CBE. Hall N5, E8 Japanese and Korean Brands, Hall E2 International Pavilions and Imported Products, Hall E3 International Brands and Hall E7 International Brands, brought together large numbers of quality products, attracted vast numbers of visitors and buyers.  

From these brands, it’s clear that international giants, in response to the current market environment, are more focused than ever to show its presence in this market. 

There were also a large number of niche brands on display at CBE 2020 such as Chuan Xi, who exhibited its full fleet of brands.  

6. Consumer demands changed as a result of COVID-19, which has awakened the awareness to health and safety 

Due to COVID-19, consumers are more concerned about health and safety than ever. As a result, cosmetics with natural and safe ingredients are preferred. 

HOLA, a natural skincare brand with ingredients sourced in Australia, showcased its top product lines including the Instant Soothing Repair series, which received a warm response. Pien Tze Huang, using “Beauty of Health and China Beauty” as its exhibition theme, launched a new collection of moisturizing products based on traditional Chinese medicine. 

What’s more, the POLYSTAR Japanese Brands Pavilion in Hall N5 also featured the theme of “Beauty and Health”, signaling efforts to add “healthy” elements to communicate a lifestyle of external beauty and internal wellbeing to Chinese consumers. 


7. An integration of online and offline distribution channels to further unlock retail potentials

New distribution channels such as social e-commerce and live streaming have been important contributors to sales growth in recent years. Therefore, CBE 2020 conducted live streaming throughout the event. By live streaming, brands were able to combine both online and offline channels to expand their customer base.

An executive of Taobao Live said at the China Cosmetics Retail Conference that live streaming could help integrate products, efficacy experiences and sales in the most efficient manner. With the advent of 5G, live streams are expected to further accelerate marketing and sales efficiency. At the expo, Kafellon demonstrated the use of mini app streaming and mini app stores to empower retailing.  

8. Changes in retailing technique, but ultimate objective is still about experience and service

During the expo, brands and retailers introduced new or improved retail approaches based on the current market ecosystem.

With different brands having different priorities, like Cogi Formula, a formula experience center focusing on professional instruments and products, and Xcheng emphasizing the creation of an omnichannel interaction retail platform, but the ultimate purpose of these new retail approaches is still about experience and service. 

9. Skincare still a hot trend, creating further upstream businesses

It is worth noting that upstream OEM/ODM companies such as Intercos, Kolmar, Nox Bellcow and 3INS are increasing investments into the skincare lines.

According to Intercos, color cosmetics and skincare products used to represent around 50% of the company’s business revenue respectively. However, these days, the revenue from skincare products has accounted for 75% of the total, exceeding that of color cosmetics. Kolmar also made greater efforts to promote its skincare lines during the expo by launching 5 skincare products with different efficacies.


10. Upstream businesses shift more attention to interaction with consumers by highlighting trendy and fun elements

From the expo, more and more upstream businesses highlighted trendy and fun elements during their exhibition of products to ensure interaction with consumers. For example, COSMAX created a “brands supermarket” to showcase 20 brands that are well-developed in terms of product offerings, trademark and selling points. BAHO’s booth design was characterized by a fusion of technology and art. It used state-of-the-art technologies, 3D mapping in particular, to visually present its facial mask products and culture, as well as its development and innovation processes. 

Easycare, in designing its booth, focused on trendy and fun elements appealing to young consumers. For instance, it featured a themed area incorporating bathroom items into the setting of a bar with shelves of alcohol bottles and beer dispensers, which look liked with a lot of fun. 

CBE 2020 is the first super-large expo held in Shanghai during the pandemic with an exhibition area of more than 200,000 square meters. During the expo, health and safety measures were effectively implemented while boosting trades. July 11 saw the perfect conclusion of the expo. Sang Jingmin, founder and chairman of China Beauty Expo, said that CBE 2020 played a vital role in driving and leading a recovery not just for the beauty sector but for the entire economy.