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Growth; Exports of Mexico's Beauty Industry Boosting Economy

Cristina Kroll

Despite the general weakness of Mexico’s economy, the beauty industry will grow by 5.2% in 2012, up from the 5% achieved in 2011. Among the contributing factors are constant innovation and new and attractive product launches.

According to CNN Expansion, Mexico is number one in cosmetic exports throughout Latin America. Although Mexico’s own market is not strong, the country’s export capabilities and performance provides growth opportunities. In addition, the National Chamber of Cosmetic Industry (Canipec) noted the development of the beauty industry boosts the economy of the country as a whole.

Currently, the per capita consumption of beauty products in Mexico is US$78 while the per capita consumption in the entire Latin American market is more than US$110 annually, primarily due to Brazilian consumer beauty spending. The Mexican beauty industry has set a goal to grow the per capita spend in Mexico to approximately US$100 over a 5–10 year period.

Vogue Changes Leadership

After 56 years of leadership, María Cortés de Chaves, co-founder of Colombian-based beauty brand owner Vogue Cosmetic Laboratories SA, announced her retirement. Chaves has been recognized for her work and the impact the company has had on the Colombian economy with a number of high-profile awards, including “The Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World” honor.

Chaves told Portafolio magazine that it is not yet clear if the company, co-founded by her husband, will remain under the control of her family, leaving the sale of the company to another corporation on the table. “If I was thinking about selling, it would be to a brand [owner] very familiar to us,” she said, explaining that she would want to guarantee the future potential of the brands she has nurtured.

Vogue has more than 1,100 employees, and it has strengthened itself with significant financials investments and acquisitions over the past two decades, including acquiring the Miss Universe franchise in Colombia. The forecast for the next five years includes an increased presence in other countries—notably Brazil, India and the U.S. In 2012, Vogue expects its full product/brand portfolio will be distributed in Mexico. Currently, it exports to 14 countries.

L´Oréal’s Latin America Performance Notable

L’Oréal’s 2011 fiscal reports show the global brand owner’s sales grew 13.2% in Latin America, its largest regional gain—followed by Asia and Africa/the Middle East. Growth of professional products in the “new markets” is notable, particularly in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, where the company is increasingly investing in hairdresser training and rolling out innovations attuned to local beauty expectations, as exemplified by the launches of Oilthérapie in India and X-Tenso Care in Brazil. The consumer products division had a notably good year in Mexico, Argentina and Chile, thanks to the success of its deodorants and hair colorants.

Decent sales levels in luxury products were due, in part, to the dynamism of L’Oréal’s major brands in Latin America. The active cosmetics division, too, was boosted by good performances in Latin America, among other markets, notably of the Innéov brand in Brazil, the top market for the brand. Broadening of distribution channels and the penetration of new well-being channels, such as drugstores and medispas, also are an important element in the division’s worldwide strategy.

Peru Posts 10% Growth in Use of Beauty Products

Peruvian consumers have become more sophisticated purchasers, and this was evident for the country’s beauty market, where, between January and September 2011, sales grew by 10%. According to the market research firm Kantar Worldpanel, as published by newspaper El Comercio, Peruvian spending by women on feminine products grew while consumers in general spent a bit more on soaps and conditioners, among other products. These consumers, too, are increasingly aware of and are spending on sunscreens, body lotions, styling creams and fragrances.

Dynamism is partly attributable to upsells, with consumers, for example, going beyond shampoo purchases and adding conditioners and styling creams to their regimens. Currently, shampoo has a 98% market penetration throughout the country, while conditioners recorded 40%.

British-owned Brand Celebrates Women’s Day With Book Launch

Hinds, a GlaxoSmithKline brand of body lotions designed to moisturize and freshen skin, celebrated International Women’s Day in Argentina with a book launch and featured both in a television campaign. Argentine Women: Lives • Portraits • Moments was presented to beauty editors in Buenos Aires. The brand also created a blog to share about news, stories and consumer experiences.

The book is the brainchild of Nicole Dunaway, Zhanna Macmillen and Julia Napier, none of whom are Argentine but have all called Argentina home at one time. The book explores the life stories of Argentine women and captures them “in the candid beauty of everyday life.”

Rexona Launches “Clones”

Unilever deodorant brand Rexona launched its new “Clones” campaign in Argentina, which features TV host Verónica Lozano. It is inspired by modern women who are active, free and independent. The spots acknowledge that the lives of professional women are very busy, making the accomplishment of all their daily tasks and routines both difficult and stressful, and show Lozano cloning herself as her activities grow. The company reinforced the 48-hour protection claim Rexona deodorant makes.

The TV spot, the centerpiece of the full marketing campaign, was filmed in Buenos Aires by well-known British music and commercial video director Vaughan Arnell—who directed videos for Robbie Williams, George Michael and the Spice Girls.

Cristina Kroll is a business journalist specializing in the beauty sector and living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has written for the main Argentine magazines related to the beauty business, and was a correspondent for French magazine Beauty Business News.

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