Trend Observation: Who Wears Fur

The rising demand for fur coats in China has fueled an export boom among US mink farmers. According to Reuters, US exports of mink pelts to China spiked to a record $215.5 million last year. The desire for high-quality pelts in countries like Russia and China has led to an overall surge in worldwide fur shipments from the US. A little over 11.8 million pelts worth more than $479 million spread out across the world last year from American farmers, trappers, and auction houses, nearly triple the amount of fur exports in 2009.

Fuzzy luxury

As Chinese markets grow and become stronger, more consumers in China develop tastes for luxury goods and services. We’ve seen premium choices become available in the cosmetics sector, within sporting goods, and in food and drink. In Mintel’s Luxury Goods Retailing International August 2012 report, it is estimated that China will account for 20% of the world’s luxury goods buying by 2015. This growth has kept some industries alive, even while the rest of the world experienced times of austerity which kept them from buying items like Champagne or luxury vehicles. This seems to be the case with the fur industry as Western markets have demonstrated a preference for fake fur over the genuine article. But, as Chinese luxury consumers maintain their taste for premium goods and services, companies in China and abroad will benefit from continuing to provide high-quality options for these consumers looking to spend. We will also likely see more luxury items marketed toward younger consumers, especially as they have been tagged as the next generation of luxury consumers in the market.

For a deep and complete analysis of the current situation of the Luxury Goods market Mintel published the following market research: Luxury Goods market

This is an observation from our Inspire trend Eastern Boom which looks at the rise of luxury consumerism in China. For the latest trends and observations on Inspire click here.