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One way to aid increasingly busy, stressful (and toxic) lifestyles in Asia's cities? A rediscovery (and 2014 reimagining) of traditional herbal products and practices to promote health, wellness and balance. Featuring Herborist, Hyatt on the Bund, Habu and more.

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  1. 1. March 2014 ASIA Trend Bulletin HIP HERBALS Why Asian consumers are seeking a modern twist on herbal health and beauty.
  2. 2. DEFINITION HIP HERBALS: Many inhabitants of Asian cities are subject to increasingly stressful lifestyles, and ever more aware of toxic environments. But plenty remain determined to cram even more – productivity, fun, connection – into their daily lives. One answer? A rediscovery (and 2014 reimagining) of traditional herbal products and practices to promote health, wellness and balance. HIP HERBALS 2
  3. 3. DRIVING THIS TREND: 1. Tradition reimagined Heritage mindset meets contemporary lifestyles. 2. Cultural confidence Local takes priority. 3. Fear factor Awareness fuels concern fuels action. HIP HERBALS 3
  4. 4. 1 Tradition Reimagined Heritage mindset meets contemporary lifestyles. Yin and yang, chakras and Zen: Asian philosophies are inextricably linked with harmony and balance. But many consumers fear that contemporary urban lifestyles mean they have lost touch with these values. However, sophisticated urban consumers won’t stop CRAMMING more into their lives. One result? They’re embracing tradition-inspired products that help them restore balance and keep up the pace. HIP HERBALS 4
  5. 5. 90% of urban female consumers in China prefer products with natural ingredients, rising to 94% of those who earn over RMB 10,000. - Mintel, March 2013 HIP HERBALS 5
  6. 6. 2 Cultural Confidence Local takes priority. Yes, affluent Asian urbanites expect endless choice. But within this context, there is an increasing emphasis on local. With rising affluence driving up cultural confidence, many Asian consumers are looking to local and heritage-inspired consumerism that eschews the wholesale import of foreign ideals – about which they’re increasingly skeptical. HIP HERBALS 6
  7. 7. US cosmetics firm Avon reported a 67% decline in revenue in China during Q3 2013. - Avon, October 2013 HIP HERBALS 7
  8. 8. 3 Fear Factor Awareness fuels concern fuels action. Scandals over environmental and food-borne toxins, and increasing access to new, trusted, non-governmental sources of health and safety information, are prompting many Asian consumers to re-think the health implications of their consumption. Little wonder then, that consumers are turning to recognized, natural and traditional health and wellness. Just one angle on MADE LIVABLE IN CHINA. HIP HERBALS 8
  9. 9. For 80% of Chinese and 75% of Indian millennials, pollution is a stress factor. Meanwhile, 79% and 70% respectively express concern over food safety. - Meet the BRIC Millennials, JWT, September 2013 HIP HERBALS 9
  10. 10. 90% of Chinese urban female consumers say they are increasingly concerned about the safety of skincare products. - Mintel, March 2013 HIP HERBALS 10
  11. 11. examples HIP HERBALS 11
  12. 12. Herborist: Cosmetics based on traditional Chinese medicine. Based on traditional Chinese medicine, Herborist uses all natural, herbal ingredients for its line of cosmetic products aimed at modern Chinese consumers. Available in 1,000 boutique stores across China, the brand’s design identity and packaging strongly reflect stylized Chinese aesthetics, with yin-yang graphics and intricate brocade and jade dragon motifs. HIP HERBALS 12
  13. 13. Best Western India: Hotel partners with Ayurvedic hospital. In April 2013, Best Western Hotels announced the launch of the Arogya Resort and Spa in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. The resort is a tie up between the hotel chain and the AVN Arogya & Ayurvedic Hospital, and offers 21 cottages with private therapy rooms attached for Ayurvedic medical treatments. HIP HERBALS 13
  14. 14. Sulwhasoo: Beauty products made from herb and plant extracts. Launched in Malaysia in June 2013, Sulwhasoo products are formulated in accordance with the Korean philosophies of Sangseng, promoting harmony between body and mind. Herbs and plants are extracted using a traditional Poje method. HIP HERBALS 14
  15. 15. ITC Grand Chola Hotel: Restaurant adheres to traditional herbal principles. In April 2013, ITC Grand Chola hotel opened India’s first high-end vegetarian restaurant, with all seasonal dishes prepared according to Indian herbal or Ayurvedic principles. HIP HERBALS 15
  16. 16. Coca-Cola Thailand: Soft drink infused with cooling herbs. In Thailand in August 2013, Coca-Cola launched Habu: the brand’s first herbal beverage. The soda is intended to provide reprieve from hot weather and fast-paced lifestyles. It’s infused with traditional cooling herbs: roselle, luo han guo, licorice and cogon grass. HIP HERBALS 16
  17. 17. Kousoyokuen Leaf: Beauty salon offers traditional sawdust treatment. In March 2013, Tokyo beauty salon Kousoyokuen Leaf introduced a fermented sawdust bath treatment, which replicates a traditional practice from Hokkaido dating back to the 1940s. Participants immerse themselves in a bathtub of finely ground sawdust made from the Yoshino cypress tree, which is then naturally heated to 40-80°C. HIP HERBALS 17
  18. 18. Channel NewsAsia: Documentary on D.I.Y herbal treatments. During Q3 2013, Channel NewsAsia announced plans to broadcast Grow Your Own, a BBC-produced series featuring Singaporean-born ethnobotanist James Wong. The series demonstrates how to grow and transform familiar plants into modern, simple DIY natural remedies for your ailments. Most of the DIY remedies come from his grandmother. HIP HERBALS 18
  19. 19. Hyatt: Mooncake selection inspired by traditional Chinese medicine. For the 2013 Mid-Autumn Festival in September, Shanghai’s Hyatt on the Bund hotel launched a mooncake selection inspired by Chinese traditional medicine and the belief of eating the right foods during the right season. The range included Longjing Tea for spring and Green Tea with Hazelnut for summer. HIP HERBALS 19
  20. 20. NEXT Brands seeking to tap into the HIP HERBALS trend must keep in mind a paradox increasingly typical of Asian consumerism: rising interest and engagement in tradition on the one hand, and an ongoing desire to CRAM more into contemporary lifestyles on the other. So think: • Time: Consumers who want to re-engage with tradition will often bring an instant gratification mindset, and want products and services that fit seamlessly into lives as they are lived now. • Transparency: Simply saying ‘natural’ or ‘traditional’ isn’t enough. Where it is from, what is in it, how it was made? Consumers will expect to know everything. • Taste: An emphasis on tradition doesn’t mean lower expectations when it comes to product finish, packaging design, customer experience, and more. HIP HERBALS 20
  21. 21. apply Whatever your industry, sector or brand, how are Asia’s paradoxical (tradition-engaged, CRAMMING obsessed) consumers reimagining your offering? To help arrive at the answers, try unpacking the HIP HERBALS trend using our Consumer Trend Canvas tool: HIP HERBALS 21
  22. 22. CONSUMER TREND CANVAS TREND: 1 . ANAL YZE Basic Needs Which deep consumer needs & desires does this trend address? 2. A P PL Y Drivers of Change Innovation Potential Why is this trend emerging now? What’s changing? Shifts: Long-term, widespread macro changes How and where could you apply this trend to your business? Triggers: Recent, short-term changes or technologies Emerging Consumer Expectations Who Inspiration What new consumer needs, wants and expectations are created by the changes identified above? Where and how does this trend satisfy them? How are other businesses applying this trend? Which (new) customer groups could you apply this trend to? What would you have to change? Download a blank worksheet at HIP HERBALS 22
  23. 23. now... MORE... Enjoyed this Trend Bulletin? Want more? 1. Our free Asia Bulletins 2. Our 2014 Premium Service Should you be one of our 1,200+ Premium clients? Subscribe to our Asia Bulletins here. SUBScrIBE ME » See how Premium will benefit you If you have any comments, suggestions or questions then please do let us know. Just email: PAUL BACKMAN Chief Client Officer About us Established in 2002, is the world’s leading trend firm, scanning the globe for the most promising consumer trends, insights and related hands-on business ideas. Our Premium Service counts many of the world’s leading brands as clients, while our free monthly Trend Briefings go out to over 250,000 subscribers in 180 countries. More at