After an atypical increase (compared to the rest of the world) of 5.8% in 2020, sales of the Brazilian industry of personal hygiene, perfumes and cosmetics recorded a 2.8% drop (ex-factory prices) between January and December 2021, compared to the same period of the previous year. According to ABIHPEC, the sector faced multiple challenges throughout the year.

Personal hygiene up 4.7%

Personal hygiene products were the best performers of the sector last year. The good results of this category limited the overall decline. With sales growing by 4.7% (ex-factory prices) compared to 2020, the category benefited from the intensification of hygiene habits as a protection against Covid-19 contamination.

On the other hand, cosmetics (-15.4%) and perfumes (-2%) recorded significant drops compared to 2020.

Rising costs

While the consumer price index (IPCA) rose by more than 10% in 2021 in Brazil, the sector limited the increase in the price of its products during the year, ending the period with an average inflation of +3.1%, i.e. 7 percentage points below the general national index.

Although it is essential for society today, hygiene and beauty products is the third most taxed sector in the country. The heavy tax burden it bears demands enormous efforts from companies to absorb constant cost increases and avoid an even greater contraction in demand,” highlights ABIHPEC.

Bath, shower and toiletries

Generally speaking, hygiene and grooming products were the industry winners in 2021.

Among the best performing products is soap, with a growth of 9.7% compared to 2020. Bar soap continues to be the main segment of the market, with 80% of sales, while liquid soap, one of the symbols of the fight against Covid-19, has gained popularity.

Shampoo sales remained stable, rising less than 1%, while the haircare category saw sales growing 5.8% in 2021.

Fall in skincare and fragrance sales

The skin care category, which had grown by 21.9% in 2020, indicating greater interest from Brazilian consumers in well-being products, especially during times of greatest social isolation, fell by 12.4% in 2021.

According to ABIHPEC, this result is linked to the reduction in the time available for skin and body care rituals, due to the gradual resumption of outdoor activities. It also shows the opportunity to educate Brazilians on the long-term benefits of taking care of their skin.

Finally, with regard to perfumes, ABIHPEC data show sales down 2%, despite the investments made by companies in the sector.

Despite this overall drop in sales, it should be noted that the Brazilian trade balance of the health and beauty sector remained in surplus in 2021, for the second consecutive year.