Ethics is Driving the Biggest Thai Beauty Trends, but Generations are Clashing on Expression

October 26, 2022

Thailand’s young consumers are reshaping the beauty industry with demands for diversity, purpose, and ethics, but there’s a growing generational divide, according to Mintel’s latest research on Thai Beauty Personas*.

Mintel’s research identifies five key personas impacting Thailand’s beauty market’s evolution. As global influences become more evident, cultural and generational clashes create tension in expression between older and younger groups.

While older consumers still have traditional thoughts on beauty, younger consumers are starting to break the norms and be more expressive. Influenced by news and international films, and television, younger generations prioritise social and environmental values, and they are not afraid to challenge traditional social norms or voice their opinions on social media. 

The largest persona identified by Mintel is the ‘Beauty Activists’, 25-34-year-olds from primarily urban locations. This group accounts for 41% of Thai beauty consumers, and over half (53%) say it’s important to buy beauty products from ethical brands.

Beauty Activists are also particularly proactive against brands they feel are not acting responsibly. Over a third (44%) will call out beauty campaigns they don’t like, and half (50%) say that it’s necessary to stop supporting brands that do not align with their beliefs.

On the other hand, older consumers hold more traditional views and are taking longer to open up to new beauty concepts. While some will embrace these new beauty expressions, brands must ensure they do not alienate this group and find ways to influence them and remain respectful.

Another persona identified by Mintel is the ‘Go-along’ (15%), comprising consumers aged 45+ without strong convictions on environmental or social issues. However, there is an opportunity to influence them and promote passive participation in social and environmental causes through beauty product purchases. 

An overwhelming 94% of  ‘Go-along’ beauty consumers say they passively buy ethical, and 54% say that family members, most likely younger generations, heavily influence their purchasing decisions.

Speaking of the findings revealed by Mintel’s Thai Beauty Consumers 2022 research, Sirinar Puppachat, Beauty and Personal Care Analyst, Mintel Reports Thailand, said: “Young Thai consumers are starting to emerge and demand change. They are empowered by social media to collectively speak up, challenge the norms, and seek ways to express their true inner selves. However, older consumers still have a more conservative viewpoint and expectation of beauty brands.

“Young, activism-led consumers have considerable influence as the biggest group of Thai beauty consumers. Still, brands should remain respectful of older consumers and consider how they can balance the values of the two groups.

“Brands can navigate this challenge by taking a visible stance on the issues younger consumers care about and making eco-ethical claims effortless for older generations to embrace passively. Some of these approaches include promoting clean beauty as a way to contribute to the environment, encouraging passive eco-participation through donations, and publicising brands’ green movements, including corporate social responsibility initiatives.” 

For more information or to schedule an interview with our analyst team, please contact the Mintel Press Office at press@mintel.com.

Note for Editors

*2,000 Thai internet aged 18+, April 2022

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