Leveraging 25 years of research and innovation on African hair, L’Oréal is pursuing its strategy of reaching new consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
To build on this knowledge, the Group opened “The L’Oréal Institute for Ethnic Hair and Skin Research” in the United States in 2003, the first centre entirely dedicated to studying ethnic skin and hair. Additionally, a centre in South Africa enables the group to evaluate formulas for the specific needs of consumers in the region.
This expertise allows L’Oréal to offer tailor-made products that are adapted to different lifestyles, habits and levels of purchasing power. Softsheen Carson is one of the leading hair-care brands in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its Dark and Lovely “No-lye Relaxer” kit has become the world’s number one hair straightener. In 2013, L’Oréal acquired Interconsumer Products Limited’s beauty portfolio, whose Nice & Lovely brand is the body care market leader in East Africa. L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline and Mixa, among other L’Oréal brands, are also present on the African market.
Geoff Skingsley, Executive Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, stated:
“The beauty market in Africa is very promising for the Group. We aim to make L’Oréal the number one beauty company in Sub-Saharan Africa thanks to our expertise which enables us to offer consumers in the region innovative, affordable, high-quality products that match their expectations and needs.”
Sub-Saharan Africa’s middle class includes more than 300 million people (which represents 34% of the population) and could reach more than 1 billion people in 2060 (source: African Development Bank).
L’Oréal has three commercial hubs in the region: in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, which cover neighbouring markets. With 650 employees and two plants in South Africa and Kenya, L’Oréal sold almost 120 million units in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2013 (+52% on 2012).
In February 2014, the Group inaugurated “The L’Oréal Professional African Salon Institute” in Johannesburg, the first hairdressing institute of its kind in South Africa, bringing specific know-how of ethnic hair coupled with the latest global hairstyle trends from around the world.