Brazil ´s own identity in Personal Care and Perfumery – 1st part

Brazil ´s own identity in Personal Care and Perfumery – 1st part

Brazil is a country of continental dimensions, with a population of 209 million people and a cosmetics market that, in 2017, recorded retail sales of USD32.1 billion, according to Euromonitor data. The country is, therefore, the fourth largest consumer market in the world, behind the United States, China and Japan.

The Brazilian fragrances market is a powerful market. In 2017 it sold USD 6.2 million but was already the first in the world ranking in sales in 2014 and 2015. The industry imports only 7%. It could import more, even in a more restrictive economic scenario, as Brazilians are great consumers of cosmetics and fragrances. But the tax burden turns a reasonably cheap product into a luxury product, prompting consumers to seek local brands of good quality or that foreign companies set up themselves in the country, such as Avène by Pierre Fabre and their local brand Darrow.

However, retail beauty in Brazil frequently uses credit sales. So a perfume of US $ 100 can be bought by women of any social class – in up to five payments in the credit card, in any cosmetics store or department store. And it is very common to see people buying more than two perfumes in a perfumery, splitting the payment.

  • In the CFT basket (Makeup, Perfumery, Body Cream, Face Cream, Deodorants, Soap, Shampoo and Post-shampoo) are on average 5 categories and 33 units of products in the year bought for the female user.
  • In the deodorant category, stands out with the purchase of Body Spray and in the body care category, there are a higher average consumption of Body Oils.

Customization as part of the business

Some foreign companies are manufacturing locally – Avon, Unilever, Procter & Gamble and L´Occitane, for instance. In addition to the economic reasons, there is the issue of the product’s customization in the face of climate and ethnic factors.

The population of Brazil is originated from the mixture of races, initially by Indians, Africans, Portuguese and Dutch (the latter in the Northeast region). Later in the twentieth century, this mixture was intensified with the migration of Italians, Spaniards, Japanese and Germans (in the Southeast and South regions of the country), generating an intense mix of races and a very diversified biotype in the country. Another crucial factor for the manufacture of cosmetic products in Brazil is the hot and humid climate in almost all its territory. Thus, weatherize products are an important factor for a foreign company to succeed in the country.

Taking in consideration of this peculiarity, L´Oreal tests its hair products in Brazil and one of the goals of the new Research and Innovation Center of  L’Oreal in Rio de Janeiro, is to weatherize products, since great part of Brazilian women, besides of ethnic factors have skin mixed or oily because of the warm and humid weather. These factors also interfere on the preferences of the Brazilians in relation to the textures and fragrances for personal care products, as well as for perfumes, which takes Brazil to an own identity in Personal Care and Perfumery.

Clime as a factor of identity

Brazilian women have much hair. Most of them have wavy or curly hair, but even those who have straight hair suffer with the humidity of the clime, that leaves the hair creepy. Not by chance the “leave-on” products were first developed in Brazil).

An example that confirms the plurality of this market is that despite ethnic hair have become a strong trend, when assuming proudly the identity of Afro-descendant women, smoothing products or hair straighteners procedures are widely used as well. Combined with straightening procedures, one in four women in the country dyes their hair. Abihpec – Brazilian Association of Personal Care, Fragrances and Cosmetic Industry – realized an increase in hair products focused on treatment. Damaged hair products are launched with every new product line of companies. “This trend underscores the importance of personal hygiene products for the health, well-being and self-esteem of the population,” says João Carlos Basilio, president of the Brazilian Industry Association.

Research with consumers shows that, every two years, about 30% of the industry’s revenues come from launches, pointing out the dynamism and innovation effort that characterizes the cosmetic industry in Brazil, which leads us to the development of marketing, already that the industry is one of the largest advertisers, ahead of the auto industry, second only to the retail.

Personal Care Consume 2017
Hair market is quite strong in value, with USD 20,6 million. Deodorants too, with USD 9,7 million. Oral Care sold USD 9 million in 2017; Bath and Shower USD 8.1 million and Baby and Child USD 4,97 million, considering Current Prices and Exchange Rates, according to Euromonitor.

Multichannel Retail
It is noteworthy that 26.5% of sales in Personal Care in 2017 came from the Direct Sales channel, in which Natura and Avon are their largest representatives. But the market has seen in recent years, large companies and brands such as Natura (Natura & Co) and O Boticario (Boticario Group), medium or small, diversifying their retail channels, operating multi-channel (direct sale, franchise and e-commerce).
Driving Factors of the Brazilian Identity in Perfumery

  • The fact that Brazil has a hot and humid climate has generated a cultural heritage that comes from the Brazilian Indians and that remains among its population in general until today: the habit of bathing twice a day or more.
  • The country does not have many flowers, but it has many plants, it is very green. Thus, the scent of the bush or of the forest is in our olfactory culture. The freshness of plants is in the olfactory DNA of Brazilians.

The Beginning of the Industry Started with Soaps and Deo Colonies

  • Lavender in the Northeast region has given rise to the Seiva de Alfazema fragrance – a success until today, and due to this appreciation, its perfume is in the composition of several modern Brazilian fragrances.
  • The first fragrances were originated from the soaps scents.
  • Unilever (85 years in Brazil) brought the soap Gessy in the 30’s, which was a success until the 60’s.
  • Rastro created the first quality Brazilian perfume in the 60’s and is still admired and desired by consumers.
  • The first Brazilian soap – Phebo was created in 1930 in Belém do Pará, in the Amazon region. It is from there that comes the ‘Aguas de Cheiro’ (scent waters) – a local perfumery that mixes healing and scent herbs – with the beliefs of that they bring luck, love or money. Natura was the first company to understand its cultural importance and invested in the formation of a Brazilian identity in perfumery creating the Ekos line, using scents from different Brazilian biomes, especially from Amazonian.
  • Brazilian Actives Used in the International Fragrance Market
  • Brazil exports to the international market the tonka bean from which is extracted “coumarin,” that exudes a warm perfume, rich in facets: almond…, delightfully balmy.., it also spreads sweet scents of hay and clear tobacco. Its nutty nuances are in Tonka Imperiale by Guerlain. Under a sweet and spicy aspect, we have the example of the Tonka Reminiscence.
  • The absolute of coffee with its accents of dark chocolate and tobacco (with an intriguing twist, gustatory, without being gourmand, appears in praline, dipped in liquorice (spices and patchouli in A-Men by Thierry Mugler, or mixed with flower orange, heliotrope and musk in George, by Jardins d’Ecrivains.


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