Several East African beauty brands are taking on the multinationals with ambitious growth plans, according to a report published by How We Made it in Africa. A growing urban middle class, enthusiasm for natural and organic products and the trend towards more natural hair styles has spawned a slew of domestic brands that are increasingly gaining traction.
While multinationals still dominate the market, domestic ranges are growing fast. Amagara Skincare, for example, is in the process of constructing a new facility that will see the Ugandan beauty brand double its capacity from 500 to 1,000 liters a week, while Kenyan Keyara Organics is planning to launch a new range for men and fellow Kenyan brand Pauline Cosmetics is hoping to double its retail presence from 40 to 80 stores by the end of the year.
And as these local players grow, they are increasingly turning heads of not only consumers but also the larger players. Earlier this year, Flame Tree Group snapped up SuzieBeauty for a reported KES45 million, with CEO Heril Bangera stating, “We’ve seen the brand is successful, so there is an opportunity now to use that as a base to grow it within Kenya and beyond. Within Kenya the present market size is about US$60 million. We expect the East Africa segment of the market to grow from the present US$152 million to US$231 million by 2018.”