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By LIU YUKUN | China Daily | Updated: 2022-09-10 10:31
There is something even more unbearable than scorching heat while having a barbecue party－mosquitos.
While the fast-flying insects cause itchy bumps on people’s skin, they are propelling a billion-dollar market that has seen rapid growth in recent years with increasing product innovations.
According to China Insights Consultancy, domestic retail sales of mosquito repellent and insecticide products increased from 6.2 billion yuan ($892.9 million) in 2015 to 8.4 billion yuan in 2019, with a compound annual growth rate of 7.96 percent.
Take mosquito repellent liquid as an example. Its sales revenue in the domestic market rose from 1.8 billion yuan in 2015 to 2.7 billion yuan last year, data from Shenzhen-based consultancy ASKCI Corp showed.
A recent report by China Merchants Securities showed that China’s insecticide and mosquito repellent market scale ranks first in the world as of June. China Insights Consultancy estimates that the market will continue to rise, with retail sales reaching 12 billion yuan in 2024 and the compound annual growth rate standing at 7.28 percent from 2020 to 2024.
The huge market potential has attracted numerous companies to step into the business. According to Qichacha, a corporate information provider, there were a total of 5,227 companies producing smoking mosquito coils and repellent plugins as of August, with a majority from Guangdong province.
Mosquito coils, electric plug-ins, mosquito repellent liquids and electric mosquito swatters are among the most common products sold online and offline. Most recently, mosquito-repelling bracelets, mosquito repellent pads－which stick to the skin－and gel emerged among the best-sellers.
“I don’t like wearing mosquito repellent liquid when going outside because it could cover up the smell of my perfume. Carrying a plug-in repellent could be extremely inconvenient. In such cases, a mosquito-repelling bracelet becomes a top choice,” said Li Jinpeng, a 28-year-old accountant in Beijing.
In recent years, companies in the sector have stepped up efforts in product innovation to be more competitive in the market. Super, one of China’s leading companies specializing in the production of insecticides and mosquito repellents, said it created the world’s first meperfluthrin－a new sanitary cyhalothrin insecticide that was invented in China－series in 2008.
The company said it also developed the first domestic insect repellent spray made from natural plant extracts in 2012 and became the country’s first to develop a room-temperature volatile mosquito repellent product in 2017－a product that releases the repelling chemicals into the air at room temperature rather than being plugged into an electrical outlet.
Super is a subsidiary of Cheerwin Group, based in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province. It has reportedly topped the domestic mosquito repellent market for seven consecutive years since 2015. The company was listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange last year.
Thanks to the upgrade and innovation of mosquito repellent products, as well as stepped-up efforts in sales, the group’s revenue from insecticidal and mosquito repellent products increased by 11.8 percent year-on-year to 1.11 billion yuan last year, it said.
Aside from product innovation, companies in the sector are also ramping up efforts to improve their branding by cooperating with popular intellectual properties on social media in an attempt to attract young consumers, which is different from traditional products that are prudent in branding and design and have more focus on product quality.
Guangzhou-based Runben Biology, a major company in the sector, has cooperated with Duckyo, an emoji package that is trendy on social media platforms, to launch a series of innovative products such as mosquito repelling buttons and bracelets to upgrade its branding appearance to attract more consumers.
The company has also been exploring opportunities in the maternal, infant and children’s consumption markets. In order to strengthen consumers’ awareness of the brand, Runben not only labels its products as “especially for mothers and babies”, but also cooperates with online medical platforms for further endorsement.
From 2019 to 2021, revenue from Runben’s mosquito repellent products reached 114 million yuan, 169 million yuan and 278 million yuan, accounting for 40.88 percent, 38.21 percent and 39.14 percent of the company’s total revenue, respectively, it said.
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