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BRIC: Promises and Caveats

By: Irina Barbalova, Euromonitor International
Posted: November 5, 2008, from the November 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

With a combination of underdeveloped consumer markets, growing economies and vast populations with increasing disposable incomes, it is easy to see why cosmetics and toiletries manufacturers are drawn to Brazil, Russia, India and China (the BRIC countries) when growth is slowing in the West.

Fulfilling its Potential

The BRIC countries were identified early in the 21st century as the emerging giants of the global economy. It was predicted that together their economies would overtake those of the current six richest countries within 50 years.

In line with predictions, BRIC’s economy has recorded impressive growth in the last decade. According to Euromonitor International figures, during 2001–2006, BRIC accounted for more than one-third of total global growth in the cosmetics and toiletries market, while Brazil topped global beauty growth in absolute terms in the same period. BRIC has been the focus of many multinational manufacturers’ long-term strategies, and cosmetics and toiletries market values are growing at a level well above the world average. It is predicted that during 2007–2012, BRIC will contribute $23 billion to the sector, or half of its absolute growth.

Booming Sales in Brazil

In terms of total value sales in BRIC, Brazil leads the way. In 2007, its cosmetics and toiletries sector was worth $22 billion, third in the global market behind the U.S. and Japan. From 2002 to 2007, the country achieved double-digit growth each year, averaging out at 24% a year, three times the global average. While growth is predicted to slow to 2012, Brazil is still expected to be the largest contributor to world growth, adding $9.5 billion to global sales, according to Euromonitor International.