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China Soap, Bath and Shower Products Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Soap, Bath and Shower Products market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This market covers solid and liquid soap/hand liquid, bath, and shower products for men, women, and children. Market size comprises sales through all retail channels including direct to consumer.

Shower products included in this report:

  • Gels/creams
  • Body washes
  • Others

Bath products included in this report:

  • Foam
  • Liquids (including oils, gels, milks, pearls)
  • Solid products (including salts, melts, tablets, powder)

Excluded: Facial cleansers and scrubs.

Key points included

  • Involving men to the market
  • Offline channels deserve attention
  • How to capture the premiumisation opportunity

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Vicky Zhou, a leading analyst in the Household sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Unisex shower gel still dominates the market and men are at the early stage to use male-specialised shower products. Further competition lies in fragrance and value-added functions such as sensory experience. Offline channels, especially beauty vertical channels should be invested in. Vicky Zhou
Household Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
        • Excluded
          • Subgroup Definitions (by Monthly Personal Income):
          • Executive Summary

              • The Market
                • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast of total value sales of soap, bath and shower products market, China, 2013-23
              • Companies and Brands
                • Figure 2: Market share of leading companies in soap, bath and shower products market, China, 2016-17
              • The Consumer
                • Shower gel beats soap in usage
                  • Figure 3: Purchased soap, bath and shower products in the last six months, September 2018
                • More than 90% of consumers still purchase from physical stores
                  • Figure 4: Purchase channels of soap, bath and shower products in the last six months, September 2018
                • But online reviews have strong influence
                  • Figure 5: Purchase factors for a soap, bath and shower products, September 2018
                • Potentials of products helping relaxation and sleep
                  • Figure 6: Functions or claims that would pay more for, September 2018
                • Fresh scent, smooth feeling, and cream texture are more welcomed
                  • Figure 7: Preferred product features of shower gel, September 2018
                • RMB50 is the optimal price for a 500ml shower gel
                  • Figure 8: Price sensitivity – optimal price of a 500ml shower gel, September 2018
                • What we think
                • Issues and Insights

                  • Involving men to the market
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                        • Figure 9: Romano male shower gel highlighting masculine fragrance, China
                        • Figure 10: SOLEHE shower gel product communication, China
                        • Figure 11: DeOu shower gel advertising, Japan, 2018
                      • How to capture the premiumisation opportunity?
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Figure 12: Example of shower gel that can help relax
                            • Figure 13: Crabtree & Evelyn Lavender & Espresso Body Wash
                            • Figure 14: Dove Shower Mousse emotional connection
                          • Offline channels deserve attention
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                • Figure 15: Walch Fragrance Show, China, 2017
                            • The Market – What you need to know

                              • Stable development maintained
                                • Healthier micro factors and wider consumer base fertilise the market
                                • Market size and forecast

                                  • Slow but stable growth
                                    • Figure 16: Best- and worst-case forecast of total value sales of soap, bath and shower products market, China, 2013-23
                                • Market Drivers

                                  • More standardised regulation
                                    • Enhanced cultivation on men-specific products
                                      • Rising awareness for hygiene drives liquid soap/hand liquid
                                        • Upgraded emotional needs for bath and shower products
                                        • Market Segmentation

                                          • Overview of four market segments
                                            • Figure 17: Total value sales of soap, bath and shower products market, by segment, China, 2013-18 (est)
                                          • Shower products
                                            • Figure 18: Best- and worst-case forecast of total value sales of shower products market, China, 2013-23
                                          • Bar soap
                                            • Figure 19: Best- and worst-case forecast of total value sales of bar soap market, China, 2013-23
                                          • Liquid soap/hand liquid
                                            • Figure 20: Best- and worst-case forecast of total value sales of liquid soap/hand liquid market, China, 2013-23
                                          • Bath products
                                            • Figure 21: Best- and worst-case forecast of total value sales of bath products market, China, 2013-23
                                        • Key Players – What you need to know

                                          • Unilever and P&G have strong performance
                                            • Invest in sensory feelings and team up with online platforms
                                            • Market Share

                                              • International brands are leading
                                                • Figure 22: Market share of leading companies in soap, bath and shower gel market, China, 2016-17
                                              • High-end brands emerging
                                                • Local brands catching up
                                                • Competitive Strategies

                                                  • Invest in fragrance
                                                    • Figure 23: Example of top note, middle note, and base note of bath and shower products
                                                  • Targeting relaxation moment
                                                    • Figure 24: Rever bath bomb fizzer for different occasions
                                                  • Launch designed edition
                                                    • Figure 25: New shower gel launch with designed edition
                                                  • Collaborate with online platform to design better products
                                                    • Further cultivation through advanced tools
                                                      • Figure 26: Walch AR hand wash
                                                  • Who’s Innovating?

                                                    • China is leading babies and children tailored products and not lacking behind male tailored products
                                                      • Figure 27: New soap and bath products launch, by demographic claim and country, January 2018-October 2018
                                                    • Multi-function shower gel for men
                                                      • Figure 28: New male multi-function shower gel launch, China, 2018
                                                    • Mild shower gel for children
                                                      • Figure 29: New shower products launch for children, China, 2017-18
                                                    • Claim centralised around moisturising/hydrating
                                                      • Figure 30: New soap and bath products launch, by select functional claim and country, January 2018-October 2018
                                                    • Play with ingredients to enhance moisturising/hydrating
                                                      • Figure 31: New shower products launch with ingredient detail, China, 2017-18
                                                    • Noteworthy innovations in China
                                                      • Fragrance packaging
                                                        • Figure 32: New shower products launch with fragrance style packaging, China, 2018
                                                      • Anti-pollution
                                                        • Figure 33: New shower gel launch with anti-pollution claim, China, 2018
                                                      • Hand sanitizer targeting children
                                                        • Figure 34: New hand sanitizer launches targeting children, China, 2018
                                                      • Noteworthy innovations outside China
                                                        • Bio ingredients
                                                          • Figure 35: New shower products launch with bio ingredients, UK and South Korea, 2017
                                                        • Juice trend
                                                          • Figure 36: New juice smoothie shower products launch, South Korea and US, 2017
                                                        • Concentrated format
                                                          • Figure 37: New concentrated shower products launch, Philippines and Sweden, 2017-18
                                                        • Bringing fun to bath time
                                                          • Figure 38: New bath and shower products launch aiming to bring fun, UK, 2018
                                                        • Convenient products
                                                          • Figure 39: New shower products launch in convenience package, South Korea and US, 2017
                                                      • The Consumer – What you need to know

                                                        • Male shower gel needs more effort to enhance penetration
                                                          • In-store experience worth investment
                                                            • Innovation and online buzz are important
                                                              • Providing an emotional connection should be next priority
                                                                • Fresh scent is more favoured than floral and fruit
                                                                  • RMB50 is the most easily adopted price for a 500ml shower gel
                                                                  • Purchased Products

                                                                    • Shower gel is the leading body wash product rather than soap
                                                                      • Figure 40: Purchased soap, bath and shower products in the last six months, September 2018
                                                                    • But soap has not faded out from affluent households
                                                                      • Figure 41: Purchased soap in the last six months (bought for my shelf), by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                    • Men still use unisex shower gel more than male shower gel
                                                                      • Figure 42: Purchased male shower gel in the last six months, by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                    • Income rather than family structure is more influential to male shower gel
                                                                      • Figure 43: Purchased male shower gel in the last six months (bought for myself), by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                    • Men aged 25-29 are more interested in male shower gel
                                                                      • Figure 44: Purchased male shower gel in the last six months, by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                    • Long-lasting smell is more fitting for male shower gel
                                                                      • Figure 45: CHAID analysis of men who have bought male shower gel for themselves, September 2018
                                                                    • Shower mousse appeals to men while bath infusions appeal to women
                                                                      • Figure 46: Purchased shower mousse/foam and bath infusions in the last six months (bought for myself), by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                    • Men in late 20s are more willing to use bodycare products
                                                                    • Purchase Channels

                                                                      • Offline dominates, where soaps in particular are preferred to be purchased in store
                                                                        • Figure 47: Purchase channels of soap, bath and shower products in the last six months, September 2018
                                                                      • Men prefer physical stores while women tend to buy online
                                                                        • Figure 48: Purchase channels of unisex shower gel in the last six months, September 2018
                                                                      • Male shower gels are bought more from online shopping websites and health and beauty chain retailers
                                                                        • Figure 49: Purchase channels of unisex shower gel and male shower gel in the last six months, September 2018
                                                                      • High earners visit vertical channels more
                                                                      • Purchase Factor

                                                                        • Reasonable consumers
                                                                          • Figure 50: Purchase factors for a soap, bath and shower product, September 2018
                                                                        • Online factors still appeal to younger consumers
                                                                          • Figure 51: Purchase factors for a soap, bath and shower product, by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                        • High earners want to try new products
                                                                          • Figure 52: Purchase factors for a soap, bath and shower product, by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                        • Online buzz also drives high earners to buy
                                                                        • Premium Product Factors

                                                                          • Sleep aid function is appealing…
                                                                            • Figure 53: Functions or claims that would pay more for, September 2018
                                                                            • Figure 54: Examples of bath products with relaxing function
                                                                            • Figure 55: Lux Botanicals Detox & Purifying Perfume Soap, China, 2018
                                                                          • …and can boost 22% of consumers’ interest
                                                                            • Figure 56: TURF analysis of premium product factors, September 2018
                                                                          • Women look for hydration while men look for tailored products
                                                                            • Figure 57: Functions or claims that would pay more for, by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                            • Figure 58: Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash
                                                                          • 20s worry about acne while 30s and 40s seek protection from pollution
                                                                            • Figure 59: Functions or claims that would pay more for, by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                          • Containing biology ingredient attracts affluent consumers
                                                                            • Figure 60: Functions or claims that would pay more for, by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                        • Preferred Product Features

                                                                          • Fresh scents are most wanted but have not been fully invested
                                                                            • Figure 61: Preferred product features for shower gel – fragrance, September 2018
                                                                            • Figure 62: New shower products launch, by fragrance (top 10), China, January 2017-October 2018
                                                                          • Men aged 30-49 prefer fresh and herbal fragrance, while more women aged 20-29 prefer niche scents
                                                                            • Figure 63: Preferred product features for shower gel – fragrance, by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                            • Figure 64: Example of shower gel with niche fragrance, China, 2018
                                                                          • Women want smooth while men want clean
                                                                            • Figure 65: Preferred product features for shower gel – perception, by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                            • Figure 66: Example of shower gel empathising on premium cleaning function, China, 2018
                                                                          • Men want to see larger size than women’s preference
                                                                            • Figure 67: Preferred product features for shower gel – pack size, by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                          • Cream is popular among older consumers, while foam is welcomed by younger consumers
                                                                            • Figure 68: Preferred product features for shower gel – texture, by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                          • But gel dominates new launch
                                                                            • Figure 69: New shower products launch, by format (top five), January 2017-October 2018
                                                                        • Price Sensitivity

                                                                          • Methodology
                                                                            • Optimal price at RMB50
                                                                              • Figure 70: Price sensitivity – optimal price of a 500ml shower gel, September 2018
                                                                              • Figure 71: Price sensitivity – threshold prices of a 500ml shower gel, September 2018
                                                                            • Who are more willing to pay for premium price?
                                                                              • Figure 72: Price range of ‘expensive but still consider’, by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                          • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                            • Bath infusions have opportunity among Mintropolitans
                                                                              • Figure 73: Purchased soap, bath and shower products (bought for myself) in the last six months, by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                            • Prudent Mintropolitans
                                                                              • Figure 74: Purchase factors for a soap, bath and shower product, by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                            • Mintropolitans look for more functions
                                                                              • Figure 75: Functions or claims that would pay more for, by select demographics, September 2018
                                                                          • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                              • Figure 76: Total value sales of soap, bath and shower products, China 2013-23
                                                                          • Appendix – Market Segmentation

                                                                              • Figure 77: Total value sales of shower products market, China 2013-23
                                                                              • Figure 78: Total value sales of bar soap market, China 2013-23
                                                                              • Figure 79: Total value sales of liquid soap/hand liquid market, China 2013-23
                                                                              • Figure 80: Total value sales of bath products market, China 2013-23
                                                                          • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                            • Methodology
                                                                              • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                • Abbreviations