The cosmetics and toiletries market is one of the fastest growing industry sectors in Tajikistan, with annual growth of 20-50% during the last five years. Tajikistan is a net importer of cosmetics and toiletries because local production was not developed during or since the Soviet era.
Key market segments are: soap (50% of market), hair products agents and cleaners, oral hygiene products, cosmetics, perfume, and cologne.
There is no domestic manufacturing. Major imported manufacturers and brands include Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Colgate, Avon, Faberlic, Sanfor, Domestos, Prill, Fairy, Hugo Boss, Chanel, L’Oreal, Schwarzkopf, Unilever, and Mary Kay.
Cosmetics and toiletries are legally imported to Tajikistan from China, Russia, Turkey, Dubai, Poland, India, Iran, Israel, Belorussia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. According to some sources, many counterfeit products are imported from China, Dubai, and Russia. The black market for such products may make up as much as 50% of the total cosmetics and toiletries market.
Retail distribution of cosmetics and toiletries occurs through approximately 700 officially registered stores, outdoor markets, and other retail outlets, mainly in Dushanbe. One of the few examples of a high-end store specializing in this sector is Dushanbe’s perfume shop, “La Cite and Yves Roche.”
Products from U.S. companies like Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble are imported to Tajikistan through regional distributors in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Sales opportunities for U.S. exporters include the following categories: soap, make-up, skin and hair care products in all market segments, natural cosmetics, manicure and pedicure products, and cosmetics for men and children.
Tajik consumers trust U.S. and other foreign brands more than Chinese-made products, which they perceive as lower quality. Given strong competition from the black market and imports from Russia, China, Iran, and Turkey, the cost of market entrance is relatively high for Tajikistan’s relatively small domestic market of 7.5 million people.
U.S. Companies success in this market will depend on substantial investments in promotion, advertisement, and marketing. Price is the most critical factor for the relatively poor population of Tajikistan.