Latin America’s hygiene and cleaning industry is going through one of its finest moments. For example, the magazine Semana de Colombia, recently indicated that bleach solution (sodium hypochlorite) is the new protagonist of spending on household cleaning, growing at rates of 50%, while the purchase of detergents grew close to of 24% in 2020. The hygiene category has a 30% share of the cosmetic market in Latam. The liquid soaps market has a growth projection with a CAGR of 14.07% for the period 2020-2025. In the region, these segments have grown, partly due to the pandemic but also due to impulse purchases of supply by consumers.
In Latin America, we can see two different buyers. First, the restricted (those economically affected by the pandemic) and secondly, the protected buyers (those who did not experience financial impact). These two groups have different purchasing behaviours and priorities, resulting in different habits in the hygiene category. Next, we will look at some of the most interesting trends in this category.
Low-cost stores: These formats are booming throughout the region and present very interesting concepts. In Bogotá for example, it is now common to find low-cost stores in the more exclusive sectors and shopping centres of the city. For restricted shoppers, these stores offer affordable product alternatives and accessible sizes from different categories, such as sanitisers, disinfectants, soaps, shampoos, and other hygiene category products, while for protected shoppers, the opportunity is in the development of family-size packaging and containers that have a good price/quality relation.
Generation C (Coronavirus): On February 8, Kantar published an interesting article on how the consumption habits of millennials and centennials will change. Financial concerns are clearer among young people. Studies show 43% of this generation feel the need to be more proactive in financial planning, which influences these segments to pay more attention to prices. To reflect this, brands must innovate in new consumer experiences, particularly digital and personalised offers. Personal contact has been drastically limited for this population, they have not been able to travel and perhaps do not know personally their study or work colleagues. That is why there is an opportunity for brands to increase their level of emotional contact with this generation and this is a determining factor for the new concepts in the hygiene category. Brands must act as a role model.
Soap without soap: This claim will gain popularity in the intimate cleansing category since it is related to products designed for sensitive skin and with a high content of prebiotic, probiotic and postbiotic agents in some cases. Lactic acid is still popular in formulations for this area.
Intimate moisturiser: We are seeing the launch of special moisturising formulas for the female external genitalia to help improve their texture and appearance, relieve dryness and itching, and increasing well-being.
Covid-proof hair: The Latin American hair market is one of the most prestigious globally. New formats are trending, such as leave-on sanitisers that have antiseptic properties. Immune hair is a new concept in which we will see in quite a few innovations this year.
Disinfection 360: In the region, we are seeing innovation in the disinfection-360 concept, which includes disinfectant products that can be used for the soles of shoes, clothing, containers, food, fruits, hands … this type of format is gaining popularity, since they allow practicality.
Safety obsession: Consumers demand non-contact services, exceptional sanitation standards, and products that improve hygiene and immunity. Skin immunity is a concept with a great opportunity for innovation for products in the hygiene and cleaning category.
Intimate cloths: New launches of intimate cloths for the intimate cleaning of men and women. In this region, we also see differentiated products, such as the launch of panties for the menstrual period, which are eco-friendly, can be washed and allow a certain number of uses.
Aroma-cleaning: Disinfection, cleaning and sanitisation are claims that will begin to be more present in the launches of perfumes, fragrances and body splash.
You are showering too much: Recently the BBC news portal published a note where James Hamblin, a specialist in preventive medicine and a professor at Yale University, questions how we bathe and how often. Hamblin is 37 years old and five years ago he made the decision to stop showering. In 2016, he wrote the article “I quit showering, and life continued” in the American magazine The Atlantic, in which he indicates that we spend two full years of our lives bathing and questions how much of that time, money and water is wasted. In 2020, he followed up with another article titled “You’re showering too much”. However, Hamblin is insistent that we never stopping washing our hands with soap. He also released the book “Clean: The new science of skin and the beauty of doing less”. Products which require less water in their production and less water in use, are still all the rage.
Intimousse: Mousse texture is the “new black”. We are seeing how formulas for cleaning intimate areas are innovating in this format. Users are becoming fans of this sensory experience, which becomes necessary acts of greater care towards ourselves as a result of quarantining.
Packaging innovations: This year we are seeing concepts such as sustainable packaging, reusable packaging, grab-and-go packaging (containers to arrive, take and leave, are ideal to spend less time in warehouses, restaurants and other points of consumption) and decider packaging (packaging that helps make quick purchasing decisions).
Hyper-hygiene: The cosmetic industry must be alert to trends being generated by the excessive use of cleaning products. Hygiene habits developed during the pandemic can become a public health problem in the medium and long term and this is a great innovation opportunity for our sector. A recent publication from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research indicates that the immune system is weakened under extreme cleaning conditions. The skin microbiome and virome are being severely affected by excessive sanitization and dermatological problems are becoming more frequent. Projections indicate that constant hand hygiene will remain the norm in the post-pandemic world and in parallel, we will face the dermatological problems that it will generate.
Hygiene and beyond… The projection is that the pandemic will continue for a considerable timeThe opportunity for innovation in the hygiene category is wide, including multiple segments and will be very dynamic in the coming years.