German brands are lesser-known around the world than their flashier French and Italian counterparts, but in China, demand for their products is high.
German products are considered to be of high quality and safe for consumption, which is important in the health and mom & baby space, where product-quality scandals are common. Many of these German brands market their high-quality, natural ingredients, and the fact that the products have been clinically tested in laboratory settings.
We highlight ten German brands that are selling well in China and what they’re doing to appeal to local Chinese customers.
1. Elmex: A popular toothpaste product for children that differentiates itself by offering a gentler toothpaste, preventing excessive erosion of tooth enamel. The toothpaste is also edible, so parents don’t have to worry about their children accidentally swallowing the product. Its baby toothpaste line is unsweetened and designed for babies with newly formed teeth. Both product lines are free of artificial colors or preservatives.
2. Doppelherz: One of the most popular health supplements brands in China, ranking up there with the likes of Swisse and GNC. This particular eye vitamin product focuses on protecting one’s eyesight from long-term degeneration, targeting the elderly and white-collar office workers who spend long hours in front of computer screens. Its products include lutein and other vitamins to rejuvenate one’s eyes, protecting them from bright lights and harmful UV rays as well.
3. Balea: In China, skin ampoules are popular, as Chinese consumers trust in the ingredients and scientific processes used to moisturize skin. Balea products focus on hyaluronic acid, a natural ingredient that helps skin store moisture, making it firm and elastic. This smoothes out wrinkles and brightens customers’ complexions.
Chinese customers in particular use Balea products to mask fatigue, protect skin, and repair skin damaged by sun exposure. Lastly, Balea also packages its products into smaller bottles and even travel kits so that customers can take them on the go.
4. Schwarzkopf: A highly popular shampoo brand in China, sold in many convenience stores and hair salons. It is popular for its ammonia-free formula and natural ingredients, which promote strong, healthy-looking hair without using damaging chemicals.
This particular coloring shampoo repairs hair damaged during the coloring process and coats the hair surface with its natural ingredients. It can be paired with different-colored hair and gives off a strawberry-like smell.
5. Eucerin Sun Protection Cream: In China, consumers like to keep their skin white, as pale skin in China has historically represented nobility and wealth and as such has become associated with social prestige. In particular, Chinese consumers like science-backed skincare solutions that use special technology and ingredients to protect their skin. Recently, sun protection cream has become popular for those looking to protect their skin, but also for those who prefer something lighter than sunscreen.
Eucerin’s new sun protection cream uses such a formula to prevent skin aging, blemishes, dermatitis, etc., enabling consumers to protect their skin from harmful UV rays. Its oil-free formula keeps the skin from becoming too oily, creating an emulsion texture to keep the cream from becoming too heavy. It’s suitable for sensitive, acne-prone, and oily skin. Eucerin also claims that its products have been clinically tested by dermatologists.
6. Braun: Women tend to dominate spending in the China market. However, one imported product that is highly coveted by male consumers is electric razors, which are often much cheaper when purchased from sales channels abroad.
Braun is a particularly popular brand, with its electric razors using 10,000 microvibrations to capture more hair with every stroke. German products are perceived to have higher quality and strong technology, which fits in with this product category. Braun products use three flexible blades that adapt to the contours of the face to create a close shave, and its patented EasyClean system enables the consumer to clean the razor without removing the head. The electric razor is 100% waterproof and can be charged in just five minutes.
7. AnneMarie Borlind: Another German skincare brand that focuses on vitamins and special ingredients to naturally improve skin quality. Its anti-aging cream contains liposomal vitamin C, vitamin E, and retinol to reduce puffiness, dark circles, and other signs of aging skin. It uses botanical wheat germ oil extract and carrot extract to help strengthen and nourish the skin. The brand also emphasizes that its product is free of silicone, paraffin, mineral oil, and cruel or genetically modified ingredients.
As part of its marketing appeal, it claims to have been around for 60 years, and its products are developed and manufactured in the Black Forest in Germany using plant-based, sustainable ingredients.
8. Dr. Hauschka: This brand’s facial toner and skincare products emphasize 100% natural ingredients to clear up oily, acne-prone skin and unclogging pores. Its toner also doubles as shaving lotion or aftershave, and can be used to wash the face when on the go or traveling.
9. Salus Floradix: This brand’s iron supplement formula is popular amongst women in Tier 1-2 cities in China. The formula helps the body fight back against iron deficiency by promoting the formation of healthy red blood cells. In particular, women who are pregnant, breastfeeding newborn children, or menstruating are at particular risk for iron deficiency, and this product is designed to help them recover. Floradix emphasizes 100% all-natural ingredients, and the product is lactose free, alcohol free, and dairy free. The Floradix formula is not genetically modified, and is suitable for vegetarians as well.
10. Dermasence: In China, science-backed dermacosmetics are popular, as Chinese consumers believe in their clinically tested ingredients and ability to heal the skin. Dermasence’s gel cream has surged in popularity in recent years for this reason.
This particular roller product is in the form of a gel pen, which is only 10ml, lightweight, and easy to use on the go. The ingredients include boswellia extract (counteracts redness and swelling), and mild, natural gluconolactone fruit acid (counteracts the formation of new comedones to reduce swelling/pressure and improve skin appearance). Such ingredients also help to reduces sebum buildup and oily skin. The gel cream is scent-free and clinically tested by dermatologists.
Photo: AC Almelor via Unsplash