Interview:The trend of high-end cosmetics in China

Win in efficacy, welcome the future. On September 22, The 5th CHAILEEDO Conference on China’s Cosmetic Trends hosted by CHAILEEDO was held in Hangzhou.

Forest Cabin is a skincare brand, the pioneer of camellia oil. We invited Sun Laichun, the founder of Forest Cabin, to discuss the market trend of efficacy products in China with us.

Q: You have just mentioned long-termism.What kind of persistence do you think a brand needs for long-term development?

A: Thanks to CHAILEEDO for the invitation.Actually I think if a brand wants to be long-term,there are at least 3 things that are the foundation.The first thing is long-term investment in scientific research.That is not immediately effective.It has to have a long period of time to do experiments to prove the results of the research.We need to determine whether it meets the requirements of consumer for skincare efficacy and safety indicators.

The first is the long-term investment in scientific research.The second is the long-term investment in the brand.Because the brand should let consumers remember what you are doing.Like Forest Cabin, people all know we are focusing on camellia oil. It has anti-wrinkle effect.But people can’t remember it if you only say it once.It needs long-time reputation and a long-term accumulation of brands.The third one I think is the training and building of talents.

Organizations need long-term experience, training and fighting at the same time,which can train an effective team.To sum up, my opinion is scientific research, organization and brand.These 3 things are the 3 basic skills of all long-termist brands.

Q:We learned that Forest Cabin aims at the mid-to-high-end market, what do you think will be the trend of the mid- to high-end market of Chinese cosmetics next year?

A: The mid-to-high-end market has always been a strategy of Forest Cabin.We have a goal to become the first level of high-end cosmetic brands in China.Because from the global view,starting from Europe to the United States, and later Japan and South Korea are rising with economic GDP and cultural comprehensive national power.Especially in the consumer goods, especially cosmetics industry,are born several high-end skincare products.

By analogy,China will inevitably give birth to several high-end cosmetics that represent Chinese culture and Chinese technology and design aesthetics in the future.I think the current decade is a golden decade for high-end cosmetics in China.In previous years, the Chinese market was completely monopolized by European, American, Japanese and Korean brands.But recently, Forest Cabin has explored the growth of local high-end cosmetics in China over the past 10 years.Especially the current generation of consumers is not simply using an imported product to differentiate from a Chinese product,but has started to look at the ingredients, the efficacy, the culture,and they even care about the brand has done the craft and charity.

In fact, Chinese brands are in a continuous increase from this year onwards in the mass and high-end cosmetics market.So I think 2020 is a watershed.Chinese brands are bound to emerge in the next 10 years with at least three high-end cosmetic brands that represent Chinese culture and technology.

Q: You just mentioned that the characteristics of Chinese consumers are actually changing now,what do you think are the main characteristics?

A: I think this generation of consumers has changed so much.this first. People born in the 60s and 70s are crazy about foreign things.This generation of consumers is the complete opposite.They think every product is equal.No matter which country the products are from,as long as they meet his demand, he is willing to pay for it.Some consumers even only like Chinese products.This is the first change.The second change is that this generation of consumers are generally highly educated.

In my age of university, only 3 out of 60 of my classmates can have higher education.Now the number increased to 59.This generation of young people’s education is high.So their consumption will be more rational without blindly following the trends.So this generation of consumers prefer Chinese brands.This generation of consumers will be more about technology, about rational.Another detail I found is that current consumers is more picky.He may have bought less, but he would have bought better.So I am very optimistic about the future development of high-end cosmetics.

Q: Forest Cabin has 400 directly-operated stores. What kind of trend do you think the development of Chinese direct chain stores will have?

A: Forest Cabin insisted on doing direct sales for 19 years.In fact, we have never let go of the franchise. Because we need to consider whether this business model can help people make money in the end.It wasn’t until last year that we tried to open a few franchise stores for testing.But now there are many areas we have not yet officially introduced.I think the future of direct franchising can go hand in hand.But there is an old saying in China. If we run a restaurant, you sell the food we make to your guests if you and your family don’t eat it, it’s immoral.

If we do direct stores are not profitable, it is unethical if we let people join us.So when we make money as a direct-sale store. So when we make money doing direct stores, we are willing to share Forest Cabin’s story and business opportunities to some of these entrepreneurs who are interested in engaging in cosmetic single brand stores. In fact, I think the direct store is the basis.It is the basis that a brand can consolidate as a chain store.

In the future, direct-sale stores will definitely be chosen by some brands.Even Starbucks, which sells coffee, has chosen to operate directly.Apple, which sells cell phones, has chosen to operate directly. Huawei, which sells cars, is also operating directly.Now NIO car also operate directly.In fact, direct sales and cooperation are the standard in the future.

Q: Then you mentioned in the speech that you will consider the franchise model, what kind of prediction and expectation do you have for it?

A: I think in the future,franchising is the best way to fill the brand premiums and gaps in the region.According to our statistics, there are 2,800 county-level markets in China,Forest Cabin only has 400 stores now.If we want to achieve 2,000 stores. We still have room for 1,600 stores. We are waiting for more partners to develop together.We have a 30-square-meter store in Baoshan, Shanghai,It sales 300,000 yuan every month,which is more than the 200-square-meter store next to it that sells clothing.

What will franchise stores rely on in the future? The future of the franchise depends on very high quality service, on very skilled skincare techniques and technology on the ability to accumulate members for a long time, and more importantly, on our ability to build 19 years of brand power research power and online-offline strategy.

We just opened a store in Nantong.When the first day it opened, the performance was 680,000 yuan.That’s because we already have online followers in Nantong. More than 10,000 followers know the store opening.Only one or two hundred people came to cheer on that day.In fact, I think we not only focus on online in the future,we must have offline physical stores with brand attributes, cultural symbols and brand experience. So we hope that more creative people who have a certain culture and loving beauty and are willing to engage in physical retail and combine online traffic with offline will work together to create the first high-end cosmetics brand in China.

Q: Thank you, we know that you have said that you are optimistic about the development of the fragrance market and ready to launch high-end perfumes. What do you think the trend of the fragrance market will be this year?

A: Fragrance has been developing in China for decades.After China’s reform and opening up, all the fragrances in China were imported from France.But in fact, China has a long history of using incense.From watching TV and reading ancient books, we all know that the Chinese use incense, incense pouches,incense pouches hung on clothes at that time.and other kinds of scents.And in the palace, the agarwood and sandalwood of the big families. The use of incense has existed in China since ancient times.Incense it has a huge effect. It can regulate and heal some fatigue and stress.

People are aware of the four treasures of the literati in Song Dynasty.but the literati also have four things called hanging paintings, making tea, lightening incense, and playing ancient instrument.Incense is an important standard for the literati.So the rise of China’s fragrance market is inevitable.But there is a lack of high-quality local Chinese fragrance brands. Even high-end cosmetics have not come out. It is difficult to create high-end fragrance.Forest Cabin has more than 10 years of precipitation in perfumery.

This year we will launch a high-end natural fragrance,which is already in the final stage of testing. There are many loyal followers who have already experienced the wonderful smell. We hope to let you experience it when it comes out sooner.

Q: We’re very excited about this.We finally come back to the question about botanical skincare.What do you think will be the characteristics of the plant skincare market?

A: I think plant skincare is not only liked by Chinese people. Now the global chemical skincare and plant skincare have formed a trend.In the early days, Western cosmetic products were mainly focusing on chemical skincare.When it comes to China, the influence of the traditional Chinese medicine culture,the Chinese people have a natural preference for plant-based products.

There are 3 trends in the future of plant-based skincare:The first is true.The so-called true, is that you are really 100% natural source.The concept claims has become a thing of the past.The second is effective.Ingredients are completely from natural.The real natural ingredients do not lose to any chemical synthetic or chemical skincare products efficacy.Whether you are anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, acne-removing or whitening and sunscreen, you have to be effective. Thirdly, I think there will be a trend of localization in China.

The new national cosmetic regulations in China encourage the creation of Chinese local specialties of natural plants.There are actually numerous brands making an effort in this area.Forest Cabin has been working here for more than 10 years. We make China’s alpine red camellia as a symbol and strength of our brand’s research. The investment in scientific research is all on the red camellia in China. In fact, we hope that more companies in China can create real and effective cosmetics.In the same time, it is also in line with the authentic natural materials that Chinese local consumers like. There is a saying that each place has its own way of supporting its own inhabitants.Thanks.



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