Contact Lens Industry Continues to Expand in Five Key Asian Markets to Achieve a New Value High of Over USD712 million

11 percent overall growth boosted by surging demand in Korea and Taiwan

The  contact  lens  industry  in  Korea,  Taiwan Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong continue to flourish, closing 2011 with an 11  percent  registered  growth  in  total  sales  revenue.  According  to  GfK  retail audit findings across these five countries, the two biggest contact lens markets of  Korea  and  Taiwan  were  the  key  drivers  in  this  region  with  their  robust double-digit  sales  expansion  in  both  unit  and  value  terms  over  the  previous year.

Korea  posted  the  best  results  with  20  percent  growth  in  value  sales,  followed by  second  largest  market  Taiwan  at  12  percent.  Singapore  and  Malaysia similarly  reflected  hikes  in  value  worth  of  the  industry  by  7  and  5  percent respectively.

“We  have  observed  the  stark  differences  in  general  contact  lens  trends  and preferences

in  the  different  markets,”  commented  Ms.  Jasmine  Lim,  Regional Account Director for Lifestyle products at GfK Asia. “For instance, Koreans are seen  to  be  shifting  their  inclination  towards  daily  beauty  lenses,  and  while Taiwan is fast catching up in their demand in the daily modalities, it remains to be  seen  if  the  market  will  mirror  a  similar  inclination  towards  the  daily  beauty category.”

Overall,  2011  saw  very  sunny  periods,  thanks  to  the  increasing  consumer preference  leading  to  dynamic  growth  in  contact  lens  segments  of  shorter modalities, particularly in the daily disposables and beauty lens segments.

“The  contact  lens  industry  has  been  developing  significantly  in  recent  times with  new  consumer  needs  that  have  emerged  into  the  latest  trends.  Usage  of contact  lens  has  evolved  to  serve  beyond  its  originally  intended  purpose  of vision correction and is now even popularly being used as a fashion accessory and beauty enhancement product,” said Ms. Lim.

GfK is a sponsor at the MIDO International Optics Fair held on 11-13 March at Fieramilano in Milan, where the company shared the latest insights into the optics industry of European countries including Italy, Spain, Germany and France. According to GfK retail tracking in Europe, the contact lens market remained positive, as in the year before, ending 2011 with an increase in value of 1.6 percent.

“The optics industry in the west, specifically the contact lens market, is considered to be at a mature state as compared to the East, which explains its slower rate of growth in that part of the world,” said Ms. Lim. “ Despite a negative macro-economic climate amidst the economic depression, there is still much potential for the fast developing contact lens business in Asia, and we can expect continued demands for such products as Silicon Hydrogel, dailies, and cosmetic lenses to keep on driving growth of this trade,” concluded Ms. Lim.