The Beauty Industry Looks to Africa for Growth

In recent years, there has been a sharp rise in African beauty brands or African diaspora niche brands that have organically built a customer base providing products made for those with black skin and hair. With Africa’s beauty and personal care market estimated at $11 billion in 2017, the continent is being seen as a major growth frontier for majors including L’Oréal and Unilever pursuing increasing activity in the region. In 2013, L’Oréal acquired the Kenyan company behind Nice & Lovely, a well-known mass-market skin and hair brand, for an estimated $17.6 million. The next year, L’Oréal bought Carol’s Daughter, a business that was started by Lisa Price in her Brooklyn, New York kitchen in 1993, but was valued at $27 million at the time of acquisition. A few years later in 2017, Liberian-born Richelieu Dennis, the founder of one of the best known black skin & hair brands, Shea Moisture, sold his New York-based company Sundial Brands to Unilever. At the time of sale his company was estimated at a whopping $240 million.


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