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Sales in Small Latin American Markets Remain Positive; Offer Potential for Foreign Brands

By: Cristina Kroll
Posted: March 3, 2010, from the March 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

Highlighting both the challenges to and promise of even the relatively small Latin American markets during the current economic climate, Ariel Saiz, spokesman for the Uruguayan Cosmetic Chamber told GCI magazine, “Expectations for [Uruguay] in 2010 are moderate at 6–8%, in comparison with the growth of 16% in 2008.” Further, Saiz noted, “Some of the main challenges to the sector are attracting new investors and partners, as well as enabling the local industry to compete with products from other markets.” In fact, a large number of beauty products in Uruguay, where annual beauty sales are estimated to be $220 million, are imported.

Cognis Expands Mexican Facility

Global specialty chemicals supplier Cognis opened a new sulfation unit at its Ecatepec, Mexico, facility in November 2009. The expansion enables Cognis to increase both the facility’s capacity and product purity, as well as target new markets in the region. “This new unit complements our existing plants and sulfation departments in Argentina, Brazil, and the United States perfectly, and enables us to cover the entire North, Central and South American surfactants market,” said Roland Spörer, site manager and director of care chemicals and supply chain, Cognis Mexico. According to a company report, “The new reactor uses crystalline sulfur instead of chlorosulfonic acid as the basis for the sulfation process, and, as a result, the products are now purer than before. In addition, the facility enables Cognis Mexico to provide items into the market with low 1,4-dioxane concentrations matching worldwide benchmarks.” These ingredients are used in products such as shampoos and shower gels.

Nail Care Brand Launches in Argentina

Impala, which offers nail polish products and treatments for hand and foot care, launched in Argentina in December 2009. The brand is available through Brazilian distributor Mundial, which has had a presence in Argentina for 12 years. “The main goal is to become a leader in the market of hand and foot care in the next five years,” Pablo Maggi, Impala’s sale manager, told GCI magazine. The products will be available in pharmacies and in high-profile locations in supermarkets, perfumeries and speciality retailers.

The brand was introduced to Argentina’s media at an event held in the Fortabat Museum, in Buenos Aries’ Puerto Madero neighborhood. Local celebrities such as Dolores Barreiro, Marcela Klosterboer and Mike Amigorena—along with models from the famous Argentine Dotto Models agency—were on hand.

Impala, which has been available in the Brazilian market for more than 30 years, offers more than 150 unique colors. Products for the Argentine market will be imported from Brazil and China.

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