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Companies & industry

Brazilian cosmetics exports to the Middle East grew 19% in 2015

Hair care products account for most of the sales, but makeup products and fragrances are also increasing their share of the market.

If on one hand Brazilian cosmetics exports to the Arab world still represent just a 3,3% sliver in a pie chart, high growth rates shown in recent years make it a promising potential market.

Gueisa Silvério, Beautycare Brazil's manager

Gueisa Silvério, Beautycare Brazil’s manager

Latest figures by Beautycare Brazil – a project stemming from a partnership between the Brazilian Exports and Investments Promotion Agency (Apex-Brazil) and the Brazilian Personal Care and Cosmetics Association (Abihpec) – indicate a 19% rise in exports to the Middle East and North Africa in 2015.

The companies within the project have been increasing their sales to Arab countries year on year,” says Gueisa Silvério, Beautycare Brazil’s manager. They reported a total of US$ 4.4 million in sales in 2014, and went over the US$ 5.3 million mark last year. The main export destination countries are the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which are placed 35th, 16th and 47th on the world ranking of largest beauty markets.

Middle Eastern consumers are specially drawn towards Brazilian hair care, hair color and hair smoothing products. Anna Zakhour, a Brazilian living in Lebanon since the ‘90s, has owned an import-export business specializing in Brazilian cosmetics for the past eight years. She reports hair products, notably keratin and hair botox treatments, amount to roughly 70% of her sales.

S’Oller Brasil, a hair care company established in 2004, began exporting their products to the Middle Eastern and North African markets five years ago. Today the company markets its over 300 products to nine Middle Eastern countries, having set up its own store in Bahrain last year. S’Oller’s short-term plan is to keep expanding its presence in the region – a Dubai store is next in the pipeline –, which currently adds up to about 50% to 60% of its total export sales.

Another company that has been braving the Middle Eastern market is Sweet Hair. After two years of operations in the UAE, Sweet Hair is aiming for nearby countries by venturing in multipurpose hair care products, such as a shampoo that doubles as a makeup remover and a conditioner that is also a makeup primer.

Besides hair products, which are clearly a major driver of exports to the Middle East, there is great potential for categories such as hair removal products, deodorants, fragrances, makeup, bath and shower products, men’s grooming and baby care,” says Silvério.

Brazilian products are highly regarded in the Arab world,” says Zakhour. She believes a positive cost-benefit ratio is the main driving force behind their success, but Silvério mentions another reason for the good results obtained so far: “Brazil is a continental-scale country and home to a unique mix of races and ethnicities. We have a tradition of developing products that cater to a wide variety of consumer profiles”. She says the rough economic and political patch the country has been going through, along with the depreciation of the local currency, further encourages Brazilian entrepreneurs to seek out for foreign markets. “We believe that committing to an export-oriented strategy will lead to promising results”.

From 15th to 17th May, 23 Beautycare Brazil companies will line the exhibition hall at Beautyworld Middle East in Dubai, the largest cosmetics trade show held in the region, accounting for a 17% increase in relation to last year.

Renata Martins


© 2016 - Brazil Beauty News -

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