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Markets & trends

“The industry must seek new ways to reach the lower socioeconomic classes,” Leonardo Calegaro, Kantar Worldpanel

With a drop in consumption of more than 2% in Brazilian households, sunscreens still struggle to recover from the downturn in sales recorded in 2014 and 2015.

In a tropical country with an extensive coastline and active sun exposure habits, sun protection products should be part of the population’s basic staple grocery list. However, this is not the case in Brazil. The country is the world’s second largest sun care market, behind only the US, but data indicates that these products are bought less than twice per year in Brazilian households.

A survey conducted by consumer behavior consultancy Kantar Worldpanel revealed that sunscreens and tanning lotions have lost ground in Brazil in the past year, both in market penetration and sales volume. In an interview with Brazil Beauty News, account executive Leonardo Calegaro speaks about the drop in sunscreen sales, particularly among low-income populations, and the prospects of reigniting the market.

Leonardo Calegaro, account executive at Kantar Worldpanel

Leonardo Calegaro, account executive at Kantar Worldpanel

Brazil Beauty News - Data from Kantar Worldpanel shows sunscreens fell 2.1% in household penetration in Brazil between October 2016 and September 2017, which is equivalent to at least 900 thousand households. What are the reasons behind the decrease in sales?

Leonardo Calegaro – It is important to understand that with the economic downturn that took place in 2014 and 2015, Brazilians’ buying decision process started to shift towards prioritization and a favorable cost-benefit ratio. Product categories less rooted in the routine of customers have lost relevance, including skin care products, body lotions and even sunscreens. Over a cumulative period of four years, the category reached around half of the country’s population. However, when we look at the penetration rate in just one year, the number drops to less than 20%. With a frequency of purchase of 1.6 times a year, it is clear that sunscreens are present in Brazilian homes, but not deeply immersed in their routine.

Brazil Beauty News - There was also a decrease in sales volume over the same period. Can you point out another reason why sales have dropped?

Leonardo Calegaro - The market is slowly recovering, but it is still struggling to return to the pre-crisis status. Growth is resumed at a different pace for each economic group, starting with those who have the most access to product categories that involve high expenditure – the upper classes. At the other end, low-income people are still not buying sunscreens, which explains the negative results.

Brazil Beauty News - In northeastern Brazil, a region famous for its beaches and high temperatures, sales volume of sun care products dropped 18.7% during the same period. In the South, where the weather conditions are much milder, there was an increase of 18.5%. How do you interpret these figures?

Leonardo Calegaro - About 47% of the Northeastern population is in the D/E classes. In the South, they account for only 14%. Since the performance of this category also relates to the population’s economic status, we can clearly see that it is less about the location than it is about the demographics.

Brazil Beauty News - According to the survey, sales of sunscreens have increased by 22.9% in pharmacies, but decreased for direct sales (-17.6%) and traditional retail (-24.4%). How is consumer behavior changing?

Leonardo Calegaro - The data shows what segment of the population is buying sun care products. As the upper classes recover more readily, channels that are popular among them tend to record better performance.

Brazil Beauty News - According to a survey by Euromonitor, the market for sun protection products is expected to grow 22.3% in Brazil in the next five years. Do you agree with this forecast?

Leonardo Calegaro - It is still too early to predict future growth by looking at the latest figures. A much more sophisticated analysis is required involving several factors, including political ones. However, it is possible to forecast two outcomes given the current scenario – sunscreens should continue to recover among the wealthier classes, and the industry must seek new ways to reach the lower socioeconomic classes.

Brazil Beauty News - Since 2014, the Brazilian Society of Dermatology has been carrying out the annual “Orange December” campaign, alerting the population about skin cancer, which is the most common type of cancer in Brazil, accounting for 30% of all malignant tumors. Do you believe that this type of action can contribute to the increase in sunscreen consumption?

Leonardo Calegaro - I strongly believe so, but it’s vital to understand your target market and their willingness to spend. It will come down to how the industry will take advantage of this trend.

Renata Martins

© 2018 - Brazil Beauty News -

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