Chinese consumers seeking protection from pollution
Beijing issued an alert for hazardous air, and it urged residents to try to stay indoors as the city was choked by smog on Thursday after experiencing unusual blue skies during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Meetings from Nov 5 to 11.
Meanwhile, many cities in neighboring regions, including the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong and Liaoning, are also under heavy smog.
According to new research by Mintel, 40 percent of the population bought items designed to protect themselves from the effects of environmental pollution in the past year.
The company's latest annual China Consumer Trends report also revealed that 47 percent of Chinese consumers are concerned about catching incurable diseases due to environmental pollution, and 38 percent are worried about developing respiratory diseases.
The Mintel report, carried out online, surveyed about 3,000 people between ages 20 and 49 from 10 cities across the country.
At least a quarter of Chinese women who use body care or hand care products said they buy products that specifically claim to have anti-irritation, healing or antibacterial ingredients.
Cosmetics companies are now using PM2.5 terminology to promote their anti-pollution products and are trying to make consumers more aware of the personal effects of pollution, the company said.
The PM2.5 scale measures the amount of particulate matter - particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter that can harm health - per cubic meter of air.
Companies have an opportunity to offer effective solutions and establish their brand in the antipollution market, which has the potential to grow further in the future, industry analysts said.
Cindy Li, 33, said that given the levels of pollution in some areas of China, she now chooses cosmetics more carefully than ever before. ■