The mosquito repellent industry is buzzing with growth

A consumer buys mosquito repellent liquids in a supermarket in Shanghai. EVERYDAY CHINA

There’s something even more unbearable than the scorching heat of a barbecue party: mosquitoes.

While fast-flying insects leave people’s skin itchy, they’re propelling a billion-dollar market that has grown rapidly in recent years with increased 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 rate of compound annual growth of 7.96%.

Take the example of mosquito repellent. Its revenue in the domestic market rose from 1.8 billion yuan in 2015 to 2.7 billion yuan last year, according to data from Shenzhen-based consultancy ASKCI Corp.

A recent report by China Merchants Securities showed that the scale of China’s insecticide and mosquito repellent market ranked first in the world in June. China Insights Consultancy estimates that the market will continue to grow, with retail sales reaching 12 billion yuan in 2024 and a compound annual growth rate of 7.28% from 2020 to 2024.

The huge market potential has attracted many companies to venture into the business. According to Qichacha, a company information provider, there were a total of 5,227 companies producing smoking mosquito coils and repellent plug-ins in August, with the majority from Guangdong province.

Mosquito coils, electrical outlets, mosquito repellent liquids, and electric mosquito swatters are some of the most common products sold online and offline. More recently, mosquito repellent bracelets, mosquito repellent pads – which stick to the skin – and gel have appeared among the best sellers.

“I don’t like to wear liquid mosquito repellent when I go out because it might mask the smell of my perfume. Carrying a plug-in mosquito repellent can be extremely inconvenient. In such cases, a mosquito repellent bracelet becomes a first choice.” said Li Jinpeng, a 28-year-old accountant in Beijing.

In recent years, companies in the sector have intensified their product innovation efforts 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 cyhalothrin-based sanitary insecticide invented in China, in mass production in 2008.

The company said that it also developed the first household insect repellent based on natural plant extracts in 2012 and became the first in the country to develop a room temperature volatile mosquito repellent in 2017, a product which releases the repellent 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 is said to have dominated 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 the intensification of sales efforts, the group’s revenue from insecticide and mosquito repellent products increased by 11.8% YoY annual to reach 1.11 billion yuan last year, he added.

Apart from product innovation, companies in the industry are also stepping up their efforts to enhance their brand image by cooperating with popular intellectual properties on social media to attract young consumers, which is different from traditional products that are careful in branding and design and have more focus on product quality.

Guangzhou-based Runben Biology, a major company in the industry, cooperated with Duckyo, a trending emoji package on social media platforms, to launch a series of innovative products such as mosquito repellent buttons and bracelets to improve its brand appearance to attract more consumers.

The company also explored opportunities in the maternal, infant and child consumer markets. In order to build brand awareness among consumers, 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, Runben’s mosquito repellent product revenue reached 114 million yuan, 169 million yuan and 278 million yuan, accounting for 40.88%, 38.21% and 39.14% of total revenue, respectively. company, he said.

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