The 5.8% annual growth (ex-factory price) is well above the 1.1% forecasted in August. According to ABIHPEC, this impressive rise can be explained by several factors, starting with the intensification of hygiene habits in order to reduce the risk of contamination by the new coronavirus. With sales up 808% compared to 2019, sanitizing hand gels are the best illustration of what the trade association calls the “Covid-19 basket”, which also includes paper tissues (+77%), kitchen towels (+33.2%), liquid soap (+22.3%), bar soaps (+9.5%) and toilet paper (+12.7%).

Skin care records double digit growth

Other product categories, also linked to hygiene habits, took advantage of the situation, such as bath products.

However the performance of the skincare category, for body and face, is one of the most surprising, with sales up 21.9% from 2019. Indeed, all the products in this segment recorded a double-digit growth!

Facials and face care masks recorded growth of 91% and, for body care, scrubs performed the best, with an increase of 153.2%.

Perfumes do better than just resist

Sales of the perfume category increased by 8.4% in 2020 (ex-factory price again) compared to the previous year. Despite a relatively long shutdown and the operating restrictions to which they have been subjected, perfumeries have been able to reinvent themselves and invest in alternative sales channels to attract distance buyers. Online shopping, experience sharing on social networks and virtual interaction with brands, have allowed perfumery shops to keep in touch with consumers.

The other explanatory factor for the growth of perfume sales is the increased interest in in local brands. On the one hand, restrictions on foreign travel have limited the opportunities for duty free shopping and, on the other hand, the increase in the price of imported items, linked to the rise of the dollar against the Brazilian currency, boosted the competitiveness of local brands.

Hair care products benefit from the self-care trend

The intensification of personal hygiene habits also led Brazilian consumers to increase the frequency of baths and showers and, consequently, the occasions for washing their hair.

According to ABIHPEC, sales of shampoos increased by 7.9% in 2020 compared to 2019. Sales of conditioners increased by 18.6% and those of hair care products by 12.6%.

Note that the Brazilian cosmetics and hygiene industry recorded its first trade surplus in 2020 (USD 23.4 million), after a decade of deficit.