Things could have been much worse,” said João Carlos Basilio about the year 2020. With market growth expected to reach about 6% last year, the beauty industry in Brazil has had to reinvent itself to address the challenges - and the opportunities - that emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic.

João Carlos Basilio, Executive President of ABIHPEC (Photo: © Gladstone...

João Carlos Basilio, Executive President of ABIHPEC (Photo: © Gladstone Campos / RealPhotos)

A growing market

To date, the exact results of the year are yet to be unveiled, but according to João Carlos Basilio, “the growth of the sector should be significant, given the difficulties that have arisen in 2020."

With regard to the pandemic, it has been crutial that our sector be considered essential for the country, in particular by the federal government. Our factories have not stopped. As a result, it has been possible to maintain the production and the jobs of the population, as well as the growth of the market.

Sales of items pertaining to the so-called “Covid basket”, such as hand sanitizers and liquid soaps, have sky-rocketed. However, other categories - such as body care - also rose sharply in 2020. “With Brazilians spending more time at home, figures show consumers focused on products enabling them to perform mini spa rituals at home.

"Covid basket" and skin care

From January to October 2020, sales of the body care segment increased by 17.1% (ex-factory price), compared to the same period in 2019. Sales of exfoliators soared 159.9 %. "These data show the strong ritualization of the bathing time, consumers have transformed it as a moment of relaxation and disconnection from the stress of everyday life", emphasizes João Carlos Basilio.

A similar phenomenon has occurred for facial skin care. The category saw an increase of 30.9% between January and October 2020. Skin care masks were the most sought after, with an increase of 102.6%. "Facial masks were already very popular with Brazilians, even before the pandemic, and as people were spending more time at home their interest grew even further."

E-commerce is booming

In Brazil too, e-commerce was one of the main winners of the pandemic. "According to a survey carried out by Go2Mob in November 2020, 35% of Brazilians have started to buy online or have increased the volume of their online purchases after the start of the pandemic and this is a shift that will last."

Digital platforms have notably made it possible to meet consumer expectations during major annual festivities such as Mother’s Day, Lover’s Day, Father’s Day, Black Friday in November and Christmas.

V-shaped recovery

"The current environment is still very uncertain, but we are still optimistic about 2021, after all, despite all the difficulties encountered throughout 2020, we have seen a V-shaped economic recovery curve materialize" , says João Carlos Basilio.

According to him, the waffling of the government regarding income-support for households and businesses, especially SMEs, as well as uncertainties about "structural reforms that the country urgently needs, encourage to remain cautious."