GFK – Contact Lens Sales In Six Key Asian Markets Generated Over USD 660 Million In First Three Quarters Of 2013

Toric Lenses And Silicon Hydrogel Lenses Drive Growth

The availability of better eye care providers along with a more discerning society is driving growth in the contact lens sector across six countries in Asia. The combined markets for contact lens in China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore continues to expand, registering a five percent increment in sales value in January to September this year compared to the same time period last year.

According to GfK findings, five out of six contact lens markets— South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore grew in the range of 1 and 15 percent with Malaysia showing the most rapid expansion. Singapore trails as the country with the next highest growth at 14 percent. However, it is Taiwan and South Korea which are the top two revenue generators for contact lenses. This year, users in Korea has already splurged over USD253 million while those in Taiwan have spent USD127 million on the product.

“The stepped-up efforts by eye care practitioners and manufacturers in educating the low-res-GfK_logo_RGB_smlpublic on adequate eye care and what the latest technology in this area can do for them have greatly increased consumer awareness on the options available,” said Jasmine Lim, Account Director for Home & Lifestyle products at GfK Asia. “With the experts’ endorsements, we are seeing a shift in market trends towards the newer and more advanced toric and silicone hydrogel lenses which are rising in demand.”

In spite of having already been available in the market for more than a decade, toric contact lens only started gaining grounds amongst users in this region recently. Its total combined value grew nearly 16 percent over last year, with Hong Kong and Singapore being the two markets where the segment account for the highest proportion of total contact lens sales at 26 and 24 percent respectively. All six markets saw increased consumption of toric lenses.

There is also rising inclination among contact lens wearers to spend their money on the more advanced but also higher priced silicone hydrogel lens, which recorded strong double digit growth and intensifying contribution in overall dollar sales in each and every one of the six markets. Consumers in Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea are evidently the most receptive to these lenses. In Singapore, the segment made up 37 percent of total contact lens sales in the first three quarters of this year; up by over 5 percentage points from a year ago. Meanwhile, the fastest growing market is Korea which saw incremental sales value of 41 percent.

“The emerging trend of consumers in the region becoming less price conscious and shifting towards toric and silicone hydrogel lenses depicts a more health-conscious and sophisticated market,” said Lim. “As more contact lens wearers make the switch to these higher value products, the contact lens market is anticipated to continue its upsurge in the next few years,” she concluded.

GfK, leading global market research company, conducts retail audit of optical products across the world. The company participated in the recent HKTDC Hong Kong Optical Fair 2013 where a seminar on global optics trend was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.


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