Mentholatum in China

Mentholatum is set up by Mr. Hill in America in year 1889. Its first product was menthol, which is also where it is named after. Over a century later, it has been bought by Japanese fortunes in 1988, and its products now include menthol and internal and external use medicines like lip stick and rub ointment, and they go to over 150 countries in the world. Mentholatum has subsidiaries in many parts of the world, including Canada, Australia, England and Asia. Its products are leading in the market in Japan, Hong Kong(香港) and Taiwan(台湾).

Mentholatum began its step in China in year 1991, then it started a factory in Guangdong(广东) Province in China. However, its attention in Asia began relatively earlier. In 1983, it had Mentholatum (Asia&Pacific) Co. Ltd, which is responsible for the brand’s development in Hong Kong(香港), Thai, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia Philippine and China. The factory in Guangdong(广东) costed about 100 million yuan, and now has over a thousand employees. Major products of the factory in China produce menthol and lipsticks, and several types of personal care products, satisfying the need of not only China, but also the need in England, Germany, America, France, Australia, Canada and southeast China.

To better explore China market, Mentholatum has subsidiaries in the three first tier cities in China: Beijing(北京), Shanghai(上海) and Guangzhou(广州), and have development in other cities like Dalian(大连), Tianjin(天津), Harbin(哈尔滨), Shenyang(沈阳), Nanjing(南京), Suzhou(苏州), Wuxi(无锡), Hangzhou(杭州), Zhongshan(中山), Shantou(汕头), Chengdu(成都), Chongqing(重庆) and Shenzhen(深圳). Each subsidiary is responsible for the sales, product exhibition and advertisements, and for market research and explore of nearby second and third tier cities.

With Cecilia Cheung(张柏芝) as its spokeswoman and its successful market strategy of putting products in supermarkets, convenience stores and fashion terminals like Wastons, it successfully grasps the tastes of young consumers. As for the products for men, Mentholatum hires Stephen Fung(冯德伦) to speak for its products, and also receives welcome.

In a survey carried out in convenience stores like 7-11, fashion terminals like Watsons and some supermarkets, it has been found that the lip sticks and male skin care products are on 60% of all counters. According to the sales manager of Mentholatum, the secret of its average yearly growth of 50% is to continually looking for fashionable, special, and undeveloped markets and sales channels.

Currently, the Mentholatum’s comparative advantage mostly exists in first and second tier cities, and the sales network still needs to be improved. To cope with this problem, it has launched online stores, and also developed its app for android users to freely visit its products.

Edited by Amy Wang from Daxue Market Research China 

Credit Photo: Nipic