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Latin Beat: Beauty Market Grows in South America

Cristina Kroll
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The use of cosmetic and personal care products in Argentina increased nearly 6.9% during the period of Jan.—Nov. 2007, compared to the same period in 2006, according to a report from the Nielsen Company. Sales of personal care products, as defined by the report, grew nearly 8%, while cosmetics grew approximately 5%. The research was based on 15 categories of cosmetic and personal care products available in supermarkets, pharmacies and beauty shops across the country.

According to another Nielsen report, there was a significant growth of 21% in the sale of facial and body creams in Argentina’s supermarket channel in 2007. Body creams show a higher growth in sales volume (70.8%) in comparison to face creams .

French Company Furthers Commitment to Region
Laurent Saffre was named as Americas area director for the DermoCosmetique division of French laboratory Pierre Fabre. Saffre was previously general director for Pierre Fabre Canada, and will now be in charge of the company’s Latin American region—where Brazil, Mexico and Argentina are the primary markets for the company.

The June edition of this column will feature a discussion with Saffre regarding the company’s new plans for the region.

Ebel becomes L’Bel
Peruvian company Ebel Paris was renamed as L’Bel Paris. In a press conference with Argentine beauty editors, Martha Echeverri, the company’s general director, announced that L’Bel Paris is going through a “deep evolution that includes the change in the brand’s name and a series of transformations for all the areas of the firm.” She added that the enterprise is generating new proposals related to the portfolio of the company.

The brand started more than 20 years ago in Peru; currently, as part of international corporation Belcorp, it has developed a strong presence in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Argentina.

Aloe Vera Company Expands
Argentine company Naturaloe plans to expand markets in 2008, with Iran and Poland on its immediate radar. The firm, founded in 2002 by Christian Estrada (who studied advertising and publicity at the Art Institute of California), has a presence in Spain, Peru and the Czech Republic. Naturaloe hair care and skin care lines, composed of seven items, are based on aloe vera, and addressing hair loss is its primary marketing claim.

In its expansion quest, the company is looking for new distributors. Currently distributed through the Argentine pharmacy channel, the company seeks to enter the supermarket channel.

Naturaloe operates its own aloe vera cultivation facilities in the San Miguel del Monte province of Buenos Aires, growing the barbadensis miller variety of aloe vera.

Vz expands in Chile
Argentine beauty retailer Vz will open three new stores in Chile during 2008—including one in Santiago de Chile. The retailer currently operates nine doors in Chile. Vz posted revenues of $2 million in 2007, and expects an increase of 35% in 2008. Created by Argentinean entrepreneur Verónica Zuberbühler in 2002, Vz now has a total of 40 points of sale in Argentina, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama and Chile. Doors in Colombia are being planned.

Botanical line from Avon
Avon launched Liiv, a botanical line of beauty treatments, in Brazil. “Brazil was the first Latin American market in [the launch] because of the importance of this subsidiary for the corporation,” said Alberto Moreau, executive director of marketing for Avon in Brazil. In fact, Avon’s Brazilian sales are second only to those in the U.S. Launches in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Bolivia are planned for October, according to Evangelina Escribano, communication manager of Avon South American.

The initiative includes creating a variety of products—such as liquid soap, lotions and creams—formulated with plant extracts that revitalize and rejuvenate skin. The extracts are obtained through Avon’s Plant Essence Technology.

In additional South American Avon news, Jorge Quiroga Martinez, formerly general manager in Argentina, is now the company’s main chair in Mexico. René Ordóñez, formerly with Avon Central America, is the new general manager in Argentina.

Latin America Highlight in Colgate’s Performance
The Latin American market generated the largest earnings for Colgate-Palmolive in 2007, accounting for 26% of its sales. Europe accounted for 24%, and North America accounted for 19%. Latin American sales and unit volume grew 15.5% and 5%, respectively, in the fourth quarter. The strong volume gains were led by Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina. Higher pricing added 4.5% and foreign exchange added 6%. Latin American operating profit increased 19%, to a record level even after a strong double-digit increase in advertising during the quarter. Worldwide sales growth was 13.5% to $3,642.2 million.

Colgate continued to build on its position in oral care throughout Latin America with its regional toothpaste market share at a record high year to date, driven by market share gains in nearly every country. Strong sales of premium priced offerings such as Colgate Total Professional Clean, Colgate Sensitive and Colgate Max White toothpastes drove share gains throughout the region. In Mexico, for example, Colgate’s toothpaste market share reached a record high at 83.9% year to date, up 230 basis points versus 2006.

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