■ Full-scale launch of research on Oriental medicine and fermentation
■ To increase the number of researchers to 100 by 2010
LG H&H opened a skin science research center specializing in Oriental medicine, which is the first of its kind in the cosmetic industry, and decided to nurture this field as a new growth engine.
Opened on the premises of LG H&H’s Technology Research Center in Daejeon, Whoo Oriental Medicine Skin Science Research Center will focus its research on the fundamentals of Oriental medicine and on fermentation, which has recently been attracting increasing attention. The research organization consists of an oriental research team and a fermentation efficacy development team.
The center currently has about 20 researchers, but will continue to hire additional research manpower. By 2010, it plans to employ 100 researchers and recruit Oriental medicine doctors and researchers specialized in skin science and fermentation.
The Oriental medicine-based cosmetics market in Korea has recently experienced annual growth of over 15% and reached 1 trillion won in sales. However, LG H&H predicts that competition will intensify as products are simply supplemented with Oriental medicine ingredients and multinational companies enter the market. Therefore, through Whoo Oriental Medicine Skin Science Research Center, the company plans to develop Oriental medicine-based cosmetics and fermented cosmetics more professionally and scientifically as core technologies for national competitiveness and to secure leadership in the cosmetics business.
As Whoo and SooRyeHan, key Oriental medicine cosmetics brands of LG H&H, accounted for 40% of the company’s cosmetics sales last year, it determined that distinctive technological strength in Oriental medicine would be a critical factor in determining the future growth of the Korean Oriental medicine-based cosmetics market.
Chon-koo Lee, director of Whoo Oriental Medicine Skin Science Research Center, said, “We will focus on developing traditional new Oriental medicine-based functional materials and conducting research on Oriental medicine-based fermentation and become a Mecca for Oriental medicine-based cosmetics R&D in Korea. We plan to seek cooperation with colleges of Oriental medicine throughout Korea instead of relying on internal research alone. We also plan to invest about 5 billion won each year until 2010.”