Rihanna’s beauty line Fenty seeks to tap into Africa’s growing cosmetics industry

Seth Onyango, bird story agency

Rihanna’s Africa launch of her luxury beauty line Fenty is perceived as a reaction to the growth of the continent’s beauty and personal care industry which is now valued at over US$12 billion.

Latest figures show the market could reach $14 billion in 2022, oiled by a steady rise in disposable incomes among the continent’s middle class.

According to Brookings Institute, growing discretionary incomes will lead to higher demand for high-quality, niche, and foreign-produced goods.

“Africa’s emerging economies present exciting opportunities to global businesses for expansion in retail and distribution,” reads its analysis in part.

“Changing demographics and improving business environments across the continent will be just two of the factors contributing to rising household consumption, which is predicted to reach $2.5 trillion by 2030.”

According to the World Bank, Africa’s young population make it an attractive region for manufacturers, brands and retailers.

In a release on Tuesday, May 10, Fenty announced its African launch was a “natural next step” in expanding its ‘Beauty for All’ notion.

“I am a proud Bajan who also feels a close connection to Africa, and its people,” Rihanna said.

“I’ve had the pleasure and the privilege to spend time on the continent and those experiences never leave you. Now, being able to bring Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin to eight African countries and then hopefully more in the future – means so much to me.”

Fenty will launch in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Botswana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia on May 27.

Fenty is perhaps the biggest and most hyped cosmetic brand to launch in Africa, where multinational beauty brands are already making investments in the region.

Both BASF and Symrise opened R&D facilities in Nigeria focusing on tailormade formulas specific to the needs of regional consumers in that market.

Rihanna’s brand might therefore unlock more investments into Africa’s beauty industry.

bird story agency