THE rise of the middle class is boosting the Philippine market for health and beauty products, GlobalData said in a report.

According to estimates contained in “The Health & Beauty Retailing in the Philippines, Market Shares, Summary & Forecasts to 2021,” GlobalData said higher incomes are driving a shift to higher-quality products for personal care.

“Similarly, the cosmetics and toiletries category, will be driven by a rising working class and an increasing consumer interest in global brands,” it said.

The report noted that, with Philippine economic growth among the fastest in Southeast Asia, the retail sector will post a “healthy” compound annual growth rate of 8.2% in the five years to 2021.

The health and beauty sector is forecast to hit P529.1 billion by 2021 with an annual growth rate of 4.7%.

Drug stores and health and beauty stores, followed by hypermarkets, supermarkets and discounters and convenience stores were identified as the leading distribution channels for these products, including the Mercury Drug chain, Watsons, Avon, the SM Store and Rose Pharmacy among others.

By 2021, online sales are expected to register the fastest growth in the segment via e-retailers such as Zalora, GlamourBox and BeautyBar, and the widening use of smartphones. — Janina C. Lim