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Latin Beat: Import Activity in South America

Cristina Kroll

The Argentinean beauty industry exported approximately $300 million in product in 2006, paving the way for sustainable growth to position Argentina as a top supplier to the Latin American market. Argentina’s main selling categories to the external markets are: hair dyes, deodorants, hair products, beauty creams, aftershaves and makeup.

According to the Perfumery and Cosmetic Industry Chamber, the previous two years were remarkable. In 2005, beauty exports reached $256 million, and grew an additional 35% in 2006. With 41% of export sales, Mercosur—the economic trade alliance between Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela and Argentina—lead the region’s success, while the NAFTA region achieved only 9%.

Aromas del Tiempo Looks Toward New Markets

The Argentine beauty company Aromas del Tiempo, eight years after its founding, is striving to go international. The company seeks to raise $50,000 in investment capital to open new franchises in markets outside of Argentina. The company currently operates four in Argentina, and, according to Leonardo Guttman, CEO, “started with innovative ideas focusing on the manufacturing of personalized products.” The main objective was to market beauty products that could also be used for bathroom decoration. Guttman, who has experience in the textile industry, developed the concept of “getting the bathroom dressed.” The company’s product line features bath salts, bath bubbles, body creams, shower gels, soaps, body splashes, aromatherapy products and bathroom accessories.

Specialized Foot Care

The “spa pedicure,” a portable set for foot care that includes reconditioning creams and accessories, is the latest from SáraC. The beauty enterprise specializes in hand and foot care, and owns and operates a spa center in Buenos Aires City. The company began selling its portable foot care set to provide consumers with an at-home alternative to spa-only treatments. The firm is currently negotiating the exportation of the product to Brazil, Chile, Bolivia and Uruguay.

Revlon Argentina on Road to Success

New Revlon Argentina announced $8.5 million in sales for 2006, representing 15% growth over 2005. According Hugo Van Zandweghe, director general, the firm successfully turned a negative financial situation into positive net and operative gain, making 2006 the first time the Revlon subsidiary posted positive results since 2000.

“This improvement was based on successful launchings of new products in (Revlon’s) cosmetics lines, as well as Charlie, Nate Naturals and Pink Happiness fragrances” said Van Zandweghe. The company stated that development of new products will continue, and support of its brands during 2007 will follow the consolidation trend begun in 2006. Van Zandweghe highlighted the fact that the company will invest approximately $1 million in 2007 toward introducing a new fragrance created through local development and manufacturing.

Strong Competence in Retail

The Chilean Cencosud group bought an American movie theater located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to build its first point of sale under the umbrella Almacenes Paris. The retailer has a large focus on beauty products, and the new location marks the brand’s launch in Argentina; it operates 21 stores in Chile that post a cumulative turnover of $500 million. In the context of the increased competition in the retail market, the Chilean department store Falabella opened its first point of sale in downtown Buenos Aires City in late 2005. The company, which debuted in the country in 1995, had already been operating other doors in Argentina, but had not previously been involved with mass retailing.

Cosmetic Sales Growing Through Consumer Push

According to ACNielsen, sales in the personal care and toiletries categories grew 10% during 2006 in Argentina. The report describes the performance of 14 categories of beauty products retailed in supermarkets, kiosks, pharmacies, perfumeries and other specialized point of sales. The largest increase was posted by the toiletries categories, which showed growth of 12%. ACNielsen also concluded that body deodorants, body and hand creams, shaving creams and foam and toothbrushes were the highest selling products.

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