Editor’s note: Euromonitor International is a market research firm headquartered in London. This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared here under the title, “The growth of K-beauty in the U.S. market.”
The 2018 Winter Olympics may be over, but the world is still buzzing about all things South Korean. South Korea has continued to emerge as one of the top drivers for global economic and fast-moving consumer goods industries, which is inspiring many new trends in other countries.
South Korean culture comes in many forms – in song, movie, television, food and distinctive fashion. The overall culture and consumption of the population in South Korea is very much influenced by popular actors and singers endorsing the products. Fans are more likely to buy products that their idols are endorsing, which causes major market shifts and can increase consumption significantly. Moreover, as the actors and singers become popular overseas, so do the products that they promote. As a result, manufacturers compete to get the most popular representatives for their brands, and this forms a major part of their overseas expansion strategy.
There is no doubt that many brands and manufacturers have utilized the Olympics to catapult their products onto the world stage during South Korea’s moment in the spotlight. This can be seen especially with the growth of K-beauty products in the U.S. market.
In 2015, South Korea’s beauty exports to the U.S. grew 59 percent, reaching $207 million. Social media has propelled the growth of K-beauty in the U.S. by turning skin care and makeup routines into creative outlets for self-expression. The rapid proliferation of social media since the late 2000s has provided fashion-forward individuals with a myriad of platforms to spread the gospel of K-beauty. Makeup and skin care-loving Koreans took to YouTube, blogs and Instagram to share their interests with the rest of t...