The BRIC Factor

In 2011 Brazil overtook the United States as the world’s top fine fragrance market, according to Euromonitor International. In 2010–2011, Brazilian fragrance sales totaled $6 billion, compared to the United States’ $5.3 billion—a gain of 33% year-over-year, according to data gathered by the Brazilian Association of the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Fragrance Industry (ABIHPEC). Currently, according to Euromonitor, mass market sales account for 93% of Brazilian fragrance revenue, led by Natura and O Boticário brands. According to numbers presented by Sergio Gallucci, technology manager at Natura, during the Barcelona meeting of the International Federation of Essential Oil and Aroma Trades (IFEAT), Brazilians spend a bit more than $30 dollars per person on fragrance each year.

Premium fragrances tend to not register significantly for Latin American consumers, explained Gallucci. In fact, 60–90% of top Latin American scents are mass, rather than premium. Masculine scents represent no more than 45% of any major Latin American market. The region’s fragrance sales grew 115% between 2005 and 2010, representing 53% of total fragrance market growth for the period. Today, the region represents 25.8% of the global fragrance market, totaling $10.27 billion.

In Brazil, demand for fragrance is not driven by income levels, noted Felix Mayr-Harting, Givaudan’s global head of fine fragrance, in remarks delivered to the IFEAT delegates. Cultural factors and local realities, not income, rule behavior: hygiene, climate, and religious and cultural traditions. For these reasons, Mayr-Harting explained that it is crucial for the industry to understand and invest in developing markets. This will require companies to leverage the expertise of perfumers in developing markets such as Brazil in order to meet local tastes. He added that in the not too distant future Brazilian products will influence global brands, rather than merely taking cues from traditional markets: “Brazilian creativity has something to say beyond its own market; high quality companies and creation can spread beyond Latin America.”

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