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As news of L’Oréal’s acquisition of South Korean company Nanda Co. Ltd. makes headlines, Mintel’s global analysts share their perspective on the deal and what it means for the beauty industry.

Laurie Du, Senior Beauty Analyst, China
K-beauty continues to show its influence and is on track for further penetration into the global beauty market with its slew of trendy, pioneering innovations, particularly popular with young consumers. In years past, we have seen The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. invest in South Korea’s Have & Be Co. Ltd., the company behind skincare brand Dr. Jart+, as well as L’Occitane’s acquisition of Eborian. So it comes as no surprise that L’Oréal would also take an interest in K-beauty.

Nanda Co. Ltd.’s beauty brand 3CE enjoys high brand awareness and penetration in Asia, especially among China’s young Millennials, with its stylish image and affordable price points—something that’s in line with the group’s strategy of targeting today’s young consumers. Currently, makeup is one of the fastest growing sectors in China’s overall beauty and personal care industry.

Maybelline has long been the only mass makeup brand in L’Oréal China’s portfolio. The addition of 3CE will help the company gain a wider consumer base among the fierce competition we are currently seeing in beauty, which includes both international and local players.

Charlotte Libby, Global Colour Cosmetics and Fragrance Analyst
The first K-beauty purchase from L’Oréal, Nanda Co. Ltd offers a cool, creative image with visible founder Kim So-Hee, and brings an authentic K-beauty connection to their portfolio.

Strengthening the L’Oréal presence in the Asian makeup market, the 3CE brand is well placed to appeal to Millennial consumers across Asia, particularly in China. The instagrammable retail destinations that belong to Nanda, such as the five-storey-high Stylenanda Pink Hotel in Myeongdong, Seoul, boost the brand’s popularity among young consumers who are drawn to those offering an experience.

The L’Oréal acquisition of Nanda aligns with global consumers’ huge appetite for Asian innovation in beauty, especially those from South Korea and Japan. Despite starting as a fashion business, the beauty range 3CE reportedly makes up 70% of Nanda’s business—significant of young Asian consumers continual interest in beauty and growing appetite for makeup. L’Oreal plans to expand the range internationally, which will translate easily for global consumers who continue to look to Asia for emerging colour cosmetic innovation.