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Collection of full-length papers and in-depth analysis of economic and management issues.

Anti-aging as a New Growth Engine

Anti-aging as a New Growth Engine

KANG Chan-Koo, CHUN Sang-In, Ahn Shin-Hyun

Mar. 27, 2013

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Originally released on January 30, 2013

Anti-aging products and services have proven to be more than a passing fad, and are now an established area for business investment and management. Once limited to cosmetic products, anti-aging is expanding to many other industries. However, confusion is growing as the term has become increasingly broadly used in academia, medicine and industry. In Korea, systematic understanding, market analysis and forecasting for the anti-aging industry is virtually non-existent. This study attempts to investigate the anti-aging industry by focusing on the field of skin aging, the industry's most successful sector, and sketch out development directions for the future.

Anti-aging in Korea is an industry spurred by growing numbers of older people, an increasingly rigorous emphasis on appearance, and larger disposable incomes. Furthering the trend, advances in biotech and medical technology and government policies promoting quality-of-life have contributed to advancement in anti-aging products and services. The anti-aging industry is well positioned to continue expanding, thanks to these social, economic and technological driving forces.

Korea's anti-aging market is estimated to be worth about 11.9 trillion won, and is currently growing at an average rate of 10.1% per year. The cosmetics sector dominates growth with 75% market share, while the medical and services sectors account for 18% and 7%, respectively. This growth trend is all the more remarkable considering the near standstill in Korea's GDP growth and its sluggish private-sector consumption. The market's competition paradigm is also changing. Medical providers are entering the field of aesthetic care, while consumer goods companies are expanding into quasi-medical treatments by intensifying the effects of their cosmetics. In aesthetic services, the spa industry is continuing its steady rise by converging with medical care and cosmetics. Aesthetic devices, home beauty appliances, beauty foods and wellness resorts are also growing into promising business areas for the future.

With the anti-aging industry growing worldwide, now is an opportune time for the government and private sector alike to seek out strategies in this area. All companies should recognize anti-aging as a future growth engine. More attention and investment are urgently needed, especially from fine chemical companies capable of adding value through functional materials, as well as from consumer goods companies which can develop anti-aging convergence products. As the industry unfolds, strategies to maintain a balance between technology and marketing, as well as active forays into the global market will be critical. As part of this process, the government can establish an anti-aging institute to conduct basic research. The creation of industry clusters and the reinforcement of overseas publicity activities will also be necessary.

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