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Packaging & design

Compressed aerosols are now available in Brazil, the world’s leading market for deodorants

Both Unilever and Natura have invested in the new technology, which claims to reduce the environmental impact of aerosols while offering the same benefits as the conventional packaging.

One in every five deodorants manufactured worldwide is sold in Brazil. The nation’s large population, combined with a predominantly warm climate – which requires extra care to minimize perspiration –, makes Brazil the world’s leading market for deodorants. According to data from Euromonitor, in 2013, the segment recorded US$4.8 billion in sales. Aerosols are the fastest growing deodorant category in Brazil, having jumped from a market share of 31% in 2009 to 50% in 2013.

When it comes to consumer feedback, around 40% say that aerosols provide greater protection against perspiration, 29% say they are more effective against odor, and 28% say they leave a fresher feeling. This gives an indication on why aerosols are so popular among deodorant shoppers,” says Alessandro Mendes, director of innovation and product development at Natura. However, the company – which ranks second among Brazil’s deodorant manufacturers – spent years with one single aerosol
deodorant in its portfolio.

Natura's Ecocompacto line

Natura’s Ecocompacto line

Aerosols are typically viewed as having a higher impact on the environment if compared to other packaging formats. Therefore, we looked for alternatives prior to entering this segment,” says Mendes. The solution was introduced in August 2014, as a result of about three years of research. Deodorants from Natura’s Ecocompacto line last the same time as regular aerosols with only half the size.

This innovation was made possible through the use of a valve developed by Germany-based Lindal Group, which requires less propellant gas to operate. In partnership with Colep, a global player in the consumer goods packaging industry, Natura has tested different combinations of concentrated formulas before getting to the final version. The product’s packaging use on average 15% less aluminum, which reduces the environmental impact by 48%, according to Natura.

Almost a year after the release of Ecocompacto, it was Unilever’s turn to introduce its compressed aerosols into the Brazilian market. The nation’s leading manufacturer of deodorants had already launched them in Europe in 2013. “We believe that Brazil is now ready for this unique concept,” says Rexona’s marketing manager, Caio Arnhold. Rexona and Dove were the two brands selected by Unilever to showcase the compact version.

The new packaging took 10 years to be developed in European laboratories. Offering the same benefits and lasting as long as regular aerosols, the compressed technology claims to use 30% less aluminum in its production process, cut the carbon footprint by 30% throughout the product’s life cycle, and reduce propellant gas emissions by 50%.

In 18 months, compressed aerosols have reached eight million European households, resulting in a saving of 800 tons of aluminum. Figures from Nielsen show that in the UK compact cans account for 60% of the aerosol market. In France, which was previsously dominated by roll-on deodorants, the new technology contributed to a 90% growth in aerosol sales, while the conversion rate from traditional to compressed aerosols was 40% in six months. “The introduction of this technology in Brazil is too recent to be assessed, but the indicators are positive. Consumers have been quick to understand and embrace the new concept, and we are confident in the success of this project,” says Arnhold.

Natura welcomes Unilever’s initiative – “we understand that the greater the range of products with less environmental impact, the better it is for the consumer and the planet," says Mendes. Likewise, Unilever has made the guidelines for applying the compressed aerosol technology available on its website. “We want both manufacturers and retailers to have full access to this information because we believe that compressed deodorants play an important role in the evolution of the category and the planet’s sustainability,” says Arnhold.

Renata Martins

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