João Carlos Basilio, executive president of ABIHPEC

João Carlos Basilio, executive president of ABIHPEC

For manufacturers of personal hygiene, perfumery and cosmetics, the most critical months of the Covid-19 crisis in Brazil have passed. In any case, this is what announces João Carlos Basilio, executive president of ABIHPEC, who has just published the sales figures for the sector from January to May 2020.

The "Covid-19 shopping basket"

Compared to the same period last year, the Brazilian market has increased by 0.6% in turnover and 2.8% in volume. Although modest, this growth is very good news for ABIHPEC. "For our sector, it is a very positive asset to stay in the green," said João Carlos Basilio. “Much of this result is a reflection of the significant increase in purchases of products that make up what is called the ’COVID-19 shopping basket’, such as hand sanitizers and liquid or solid soaps. This group of products contributed 21% of the total growth of market (in value, based on ex-factory prices) during the first five months of the year,” he explained.

Hand disinfection

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are the products that have recorded the fastest growth. Due to the lack of a products on the market, many cosmetic companies quickly reacted and adapted their production facilities to address the demand. Others, who already offered these items, stepped up production. As a result, more than 6,300 tons have already been sold. An increase of 3127% (volume / tonne) as sales did not exceed 200 tonnes during the same period in 2019.

Liquid soap, another key product for hand hygiene, recorded an 18.9% increase in sales (ex-factory value).

Brazilians are used to take care of themselves and their personal hygiene. Amid the pandemic, we have noticed several changes in purchasing habits and preferences between the different segments of the sector,” explains Basilio. Sales of shampoos and conditioners, for instance, respectively grew by 2.9% and 9.2% (ex-works value). "Such figures make us think that consumers probably take more baths and wash their hair more often," said the president of ABIHPEC.

Promotional prices

The skincare category, especially for adult skins, also met a significant success during the first five months of the year. Sales of anti-wrinkle and anti-aging cosmetic products increased by 13.4% over the period.

Additionally, despite social distancing measures and the use of facial masks, sales of lipsticks grew 12% in volume. “We believe that despite the context, people continued to dress and wear make-up at home, in particular to participate in virtual social events, such virtual happy hours and professional video meetings,” adds João Carlos Basilio.

For the president of ABIHPEC, in addition to behavioural changes, the industry’s good figures can also be a consequence of the price cuts made by cosmetics manufacturers in recent months. “This shows how the sector was able to react quickly. By offering products at a lower price, the industry was able to adapt its offer to the new reality. Price cuts helped to create purchasing opportunities for Brazilians who did not have to give up consuming our products.

According to João Carlos Basilio, ABIHPEC forecasts a growth of 1.1% in 2020 for the entire perfume, cosmetics and hygiene sector in Brazil. “We are very careful when we talk about recovery. The pace will perhaps be slower, because the economic context is still quite complex,” he underlined.

However, according to the Executive Chairman of ABIHPEC, the business community has received with great enthusiasm the results of this first part of the year. "For many of them, June was a very positive month, with demand picking up, apparently continuing the process of sectorial recovery already seen in the May figures," he concluded.