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Latin Beat: Natura Expands in Latin America

Cristina Kroll

As a part of its expansion plan in Latin America, Brazilian direct seller Natura opened Casa Natura, a point-of-sale training and retail facility, in Argentina. A spokesperson confirmed that the company will open locations in Chile and Peru in 2008. Natura currently operates in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.

Located in Palermo—one of the most exclusive neighborhoods within Buenos Aires—Casa Natura provides training for the company’s Argentine sales force and consumers can test and buy products. The facility’s auditorium will also host beauty conferences. With these expansions into Argentina, Chile and Peru, Natura continues its international growth.

L’Oréal’s Mega Show in Argentina

L’Oréal entertained beauty editors and guests with a performance by Argentine rock star Fabiana Cantilo at the launch of its Recital line in Argentina. Taking advantage of the product’s name—which has the same meaning in a number of languages—the French company played on the entendres with a show that included local models showcasing the line’s varietal color palette. The line was introduced in Chile in 2006, with previous launches in Brazil and Mexico.

Silkey’s Big Fashion Event

In October, Argentine color and hair care manufacturer Silkey organized the 2007 International Fashion & Coiffure Baires Room at the Hilton Buenos Aires. The event featured distinguished international stylists, including Brazilian Lucimar Casagrande.

The fashion show included Argentine designers Roberto Piazza, Benito Fernandez and Francisco Ayala, as well as Argentina’s top models, Ingrid Grudke and Julieta Prandi, and legendary Argentine television star and spokesmodel Mirtha Legrand.

The international event was part of the company’s strategy for new external markets. Currently, the company markets in Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru, and exports to the U.S., Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay and Europe.

Oxiteno Disembarks Stateside

Brazil’s Oxiteno opened a commercial office in the U.S. to “strengthen its position in the North American markets,” according to the company. This is the latest step in the international expansion of the corporation, which began in 2003 through the acquisition of Canamex—now Oxiteno Mexico.

The new office is located in New Jersey, and the head of operations is Neil Burns, who has an extensive background in global specialty chemicals. According to Oxiteno’s information, the company—which forms part of Ultrapar—has already experienced success in exportations to U.S. and Canada.

At the same time, Ultrapar Participações has acquired Venezuelan company Arch Química Andina, a subsidiary of the U.S.-based Arch Chemicals, Inc. The local operation consists of a business office and an industrial plant.

Cosmetics Market Growth

During the first quarter of 2007, in Argentina, local and international cosmetics sales grew 23%, over the same period in 2006. Companies exported $178 million, mainly to Brazil, the first destination with 41% of the sales, followed by Chile with 28%.
At the same time, imports accounted for $146 million. In addition, during September, about a hundred companies took part in Cosmesur Beautyworld Buenos Aires, an international exposition that includes companies from Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia and Chile.

World Dermatology Meeting

Taking advantage of the large amount of people on hand for the 21st World Congress of Dermatology celebration—the first to be held in Latin America—P&G Beauty joined more than 400 people in a mega event set in Espacio Darwin, Buenos Aires. The objective was to introduce the important initiatives of its beauty brands: Pantene, H&S, Koleston, Gillette and Olay, the latter just recently launched in Argentina.

Koleston created a color bar where guests tasted colored drinks that represented the variety of colors within the brand. In the Gillette space, men tested the new Gillette Mach3 Power and the Gillette Mach3 Victory. They prepared themselves to be winners by playing the same sports that Gillette Champions play, using a Nintendo Wii. Olay presented to Florencia Raggi—the brand’s local market celebrity spokesperson—as well as to a group of women, the opportunity to learn about their skin using a diagnostic system that compares the state of the skin with a database of 6,000 women from all over the world.

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