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Mexico Leads Latin America in Export of Cosmetics

Cristina Kroll

Mexico has become the leading cosmetic exporter in Latin America, directly impacting industry investment and job creation, according to the Mexican Chamber and Association of the Industry of Personal and Home Care (Canipec). The beauty and home care industry, as defined by Canipec, grew 6% in 2012, said Laura Bonilla, president of Canipec, to reach a value of $14 billion—which represents 1.23% of gross domestic product. Moreover, rising exports and imports have translated to a favorable trade balance of $1.763 billion, a growth of 20% over 2011.

Looking to bolster additional growth in the Mexican beauty industry, Canipec is undertaking two international efforts: Trans-Pacific Partnership and Pacific Alliance.

Marketing at the Beach

With the Argentine summer at its peak in January and February, beauty companies implemented marketing strategies tied to summer activities. Maybelline launched its “Beach Nail Art,” bringing a “beauty truck” to Arena Beach, Mar del Plata and inviting women to paint their nails with Maybelline’s latest nail polish. More than 400 women participated, which was also promoted in the company’s Argentine Facebook fan page.

Avon celebrated its annual summer event along Argentina’s Atlantic coast with “patrullas de belleza”—a mini van that toured the bars and nightclubs throughout the region to introduce the Color Trend makeup line. The January beauty patrols would also bring promotions and entertainers to the beach in an effort to reach new consumers.

Meanwhile, Argentine hair care brand Biferdil was one of the main sponsors of the season’s fashion shows on the beaches of Pinamar. The brand also held its own beach party in Mar del Plata, where free samples were distributed to tourists. Also in Mar del Plata, Unilever’s Sedal brand launched Sedal Hair Salon, an “exclusive space for changing one’s look.” The Argentine actress Celeste Cid was the face of the initiative, along with Sergio Lamensa, a Sedal brand stylist.

Coty’s 2013 Growth Projections

Fernando Farré, president and general manager of Coty in Argentina and Chile, noted that Brazil will be the company’s focus in the region during 2013. According to Farré in an interview in business newspaper El Cronista Comercial, Coty will continue investing in its core brands (Rimmel London, Sally Hansen and OPI), its Adidas and Playboy body care lines, and celebrity and designer fragrances—notably Guess, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé scents. Coty is scheduled to launch several new collections in the region, including Guess Girl, new OPI collections and Rimmel London offerings.

In addition, Farré noted that Coty’s primary Argentine exports were antiperspirants and deodorants to Brazil and Chile, among other Latin American countries.

L’Oréal Posts Significant, Steady Growth in Latin America

In its 2012 annual report, L’Oréal noted strong growth in sales and revenue in regions it defines as “new markets,” which includes Latin America. In fact, new markets as a whole became the company’s best performing regions, accounting for nearly 40% of total sales.

In Latin America, L’Oréal achieved like-for-like growth of 10.4% and 8.7% based on reported figures, with increased growth in the second half. Sales in Argentina grew 20%, Uruguay gained 15.4%, and Chile grew 12.2%.

In 2012, L’Oréal also became a market leader in Mexico, and expanded its positions in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. The company also accelerated its rollout in Central America and in Colombia, with the acquisition of the Vogue brand in Colombia. In Brazil, the initiatives of Elvive Arginine Resist hair oils and hair colorants led to growth. The dynamism of the active cosmetics division in the region, according to the company, is also worth noting.

Dynamism in Chile’s Beauty Market

Álvaro Márquez, executive vice president of the Cosmetic Industry Association of Chile, reported that Chile’s annual net sales reached $1.8 billion in 2012, growth of 9.1% over 2011. All product categories, as the association defines them, grew. Sun care was up 33.1%; baby care products, 23.7%; hygiene items, 17.5%; fragrances, 13.8%; makeup, 13.4%; hair products, 11.8% ; and skin care, 0.4%.

Márquez said that the association expects another 8% gain for Chile in 2013. “Our economy is one of the most dynamic of Latin America,” he noted.

Direct Selling Boom in Peru

Direct selling in Peru is a strong distribution channel for personal care. According to the Peruvian Chamber of Direct Selling (Capevedi), the sector sold $1.38 billion in 2012, 15% more than in 2011.

José Ramón Hernández, president of Capevedi, said that 2013 may register similar growth, with projections for Peruvian direct selling to reach $1.590 billion in 2013. Hernández also predicts an increase of sales representatives. Currently, 350,000 Peruvians (90% of which are women) earn income as sales representatives in direct sales. In 2013, the number is expected to grow 15%. Moreover, Capevedi research demonstrated that 83% of Peruvians have bought a product through direct sales, 52% of the survey respondents said that they buy personal care (shampoo, deodorants) and 30% purchase makeup and other cosmetic products.

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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