What’s driving this dynamic growth? It is the increased buying power of the emerging middle classes. Once only purchasing the very basic products for day-to-day living, Brazilians are spending more and more on creams, lipsticks and perfumes. The aging population and the growth of women in the workforce have also boosted cosmetics sales.
And the competition is fierce, as more companies make big investments. The retail sector changed dramatically last year with the arrival of Sephora, which brought several new brands to Brazilians. Bare Minerals also entered the country last year and more brands are expected to follow, which should only make competition even more fierce. But local companies are fighting back. In 2011, the Boticário Group, which has more than 3,600 stores, launched its second brand, Eudora, via the direct sales channel. In 2012 the company achieved turnover of R$6.6 billion ($3.2 billion) and launched three new units: the Skingen Genetic Intelligence in facial skincare; franchise network Quem Disse, Berenice? in the makeup category, which inspires women to find their own way to become more beautiful; and The Beauty Box, a multi-brand retail network, which offers 60 of the best brands, including domestic and imported products. Just last year, 1,600 products were launched, including 500 within Quem Disse, Berenice?
According to Artur Grynbaum, executive president, Boticário Group, the company’s gains coincide with Brazil’s growing clout on the global beauty stage. For example, he noted that Brazil is about to surpass Japan as the No. 2 beauty market in the world, trailing only the US, according to statistics compiled by the Brazilian Association for the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrances Industry (Abihpec).
“Our economy has reached a stable level, with a robust financial system and is ready to face crises. The growth and the entry of new consumers meant more opportunities offered by the sector and the Boticário Group is aligned to this scenario challenges,” explained Grynbaum. “Our goal is to take part, in a relevant way, in the country’s growth. Our way to reach this is to meet the consumer needs at every opportunity. Hence, the launch of new business units, with different value propositions for different consumers, as well as new products, which reached 1,600 in 2012.”
Fragrance remains the flagship product category at Boticário Group, but considering the recent launch of Quem Disse, Berenice’s 500 SKUs, the new Beauty Box business and the partial acquisition of Frajo (a Brazilian cosmetics importer whose brands include Revlon, Artdeco, La Perla, Lolita Lempicka and others) and it appears that the next step for the company is toward makeup and premium categories.
“The histories of Brazilian perfumery and O Boticário blend themselves, and we seek a strong performance in this category,” noted Grynbaum. “But we understand beauty as a matter that involves multiple categories.”
Company executives are determined to consolidate these new business units and continue to invest in the categories that are already on the market.
Meeting Consumers’ Desires
“The Boticário Group wants to answer all consumer needs and desires when it comes to beauty,” he explained. “The consumer is multifaceted. We need to be in people’s lives with different brands, products and channels. Each of these operations brings its own value proposition. And that is how we intend to maintain the Boticário Group as a leading organization in the world of beauty.”
For now, much of O Boticário’s efforts are focused on its home market. Grynbaum told Happi that only makes sense since, for the moment, Brazil is one of the top performers in the global economy. But the company also has operations in eight other countries—Portugal, US, Japan, Angola, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Paraguay.
For the sixth year, Boticário is sponsoring São Paulo Fashion Week, Latin America’s most important fashion event.
The company also acquired shares in Scalina Group, which owns lingerie and pantyhose brands. While the link between beauty and fashion is strong, the company has no plans to enter fashion directly.
“The São Paulo Fashion Week sponsorship is aligned to the proposal that beauty and fashion go together, embodied in our line Make B., and the SPFW is a place that expresses this concept in a creative and democratic way,” according to Grynbaum. “Boticário has been the master sponsor of the SPFW since 2011 and this partnership has shown very relevant to the brand consolidation, reinforcing that we are always connected to the fashion market trends.”
He called the 2011 acquisition of a minority interest in Scalina Group, Brazil’s largest manufacturer and retailer of women’s intimate apparel, part of his company’s diversification strategy.
On the subject of active ingredients for skin care, Grynbaum noted that O Boticário owns Labim, a molecular biology laboratory, in partnership with the University Positivo, to develop formulas that will expand the company’s portfolio and delight consumers who, he pointed out, are more informed than ever before and are eager to search out new options and new brand experiences.
“The Brazilian cosmetics industry is experiencing a great moment, which puts us in the global spotlight,” he told Happi. “This drives us even more to continue investing in quality products and services. Brazil has a very large market potential in this segment, which only makes us dream about ever greater conquests.”
News from Natura
Natura is another heavyweight in the Brazilian direct sales arena. Last year, the company had revenues of R$6.34 billion ($3.1 billion), doesn’t rule out opening stores in some countries to diversify operations outside of Brazil. According to Natura CEO Alessandro Carlucci, the acquisition of the Aesop brand, at the end of 2012, diversified the company’s portfolio, due to the fact that the brand has concept stores in different regions.
“There isn’t a specific plan, but the opening of shops or concept stores in other countries can be a strategy adopted to grow abroad,” he explained in a conference call. “In Brazil, we don´t have this intention, here we will continue working in direct sales.”
Natural actives are a part of the company’s DNA. Natura recently added five new hair care products to the Homem line. Their light texture and refreshing fragrance are sure to appeal to men. The formulas contain the complex Invigorating NH, a compound which combines Pro-vitamin B5, moringa extract and bio-amino of quinoa. These natural and technological actives promotes a protective film on the hair, preventing breakage and ensuring nourishment, according to Natura.
Speaking of natural actives, the L’Occitane Group has just launched L’Occitane au Brésil, whose products are manufactured locally and inspired by Brazilian biomes. The new brand is considered a milestone for the French group, and was developed by Brazilian subsidiary team in partnership with Olivier Baussan, the founder of the French brand. The products will be marketed exclusively in Brazil for a year beginning this month, before rolling out in other countries. The first to debut are Jenipapo do Cerrado and Mandacaru da Caatinga.
Cerrado is the second largest biome in South America, located in the heart of Brazil. It has rich top trees, sugary fruits, vigorous wildlife and fantastic sunsets. In this sumptuous scenario, the Jenipapo tree blossoms large sunny flowers and radiant golden petals that illuminate the landscape and perfume the air with a fruity floral fragrance. The Jenipapo extract moisturizes, repairs and protects the hair and skin. The line will include cologne (100- and 300ml), body lotion, oil liquid soap, bar soap, shampoo, conditioner and hair mask.
Unique to Brazil, the Caatinga biome is one of the most populated and biologically diverse semi-arid regions in the world. It occurs in the Northeast region of Brazil and covers 10% of the national territory. The beauty of Brazilian Caatinga is captured by its giant flowers, which symbolize hope by resisting Hinterland aridity.
The line, with Mandacaru extract, typical of Caatinga, celebrates the strength and beauty of this rebirth symbol. The product line will include cologne (100- and 300ml), body scrub cream, cream liquid soap, cream body repair, hand cream and two bar soaps in scrub and regular versions.
As in Provence, the ingredients were carefully selected to ensure sustainable development. The production of Mandacaru, is being developed in Uauá, located in the countryside of Bahia state and production is in Jenipapo in Paraibuna, countryside of São Paulo state. I’ll have much more news to share in the months to come.
Daniela Ferreira is a marketing and communication professional in both consumer and B2B cosmetic markets. With a degree in social communication and postgraduate work in business administration, her expertise includes managing and launching products, communication planning, market studies and analysis, and identifying new business opportunities. She also has beauty blog (www.circulodabeleza.com.br), and is a makeup artist and image consultant.