Is K-beauty missing a trick? Prohibitive costs of halal certification could close key Muslim markets to AmorePacific et al

Is K-beauty missing a trick? Prohibitive costs of halal certification could close key Muslim markets to AmorePacific et al

Korea’s major cosmetics players could be missing out on a lucrative opportunity should they continue to ignore the growing popularity of halal-certified cosmetics, according to a report published by The Korea Herald.

The costs related to certification are thought to have acted as a barrier to entry to the halal market for Korean cosmetics brands thus far. According to Korea’s only halal certification body, the Korea Muslim Federation, just one cosmetic product has been granted halal status in the country, a facial sheet mask made by small local firm Dr Maris.

Internationally, Talent Cosmetic became the first Korean brand to achieve certification for 141 of its products from Malaysia’s certification agency JAKIM, while Cosmax has had its Indonesian manufacturing complex approved by local board MUI.

“There is already a high demand and preference for Korean cosmetics in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, which sets Korea apart from its global competitors,” Jang Geon, President of the Korea Institute of Halal Industry told The Korea Herald.  “There is a significant competitive difference in selling a product with a halal logo and one without in Muslim countries.”

The world’s major Muslim markets are expected to make the halal standard a pre-requisite for the sale of cosmetics in the near future, with Indonesia and Malaysia already said to be making regulatory shifts towards compulsory certification.

“We are in the process of investigating halal cosmetics, including the possibility of certification and new product development, but no concrete plans have been set as of now,” AmorePacific spokesperson Lee Kyung-min told The Korea Herald. A spokesperson for LG Household & Health Care, meanwhile, told the newspaper that the company had no plans to pursue certification at the moment.  

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