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Markets & trends

Children’s personal care product sales to exceed R$ 6 billion in 2021

Data from Euromonitor reveals that the kids’ personal care market grew by 52% between 2011 and 2016 in Brazil, with hair care being the highest performer category.

The market for personal care and cosmetics for babies and children is in continuous expansion, but the bureaucracy involved in the regulatory process, as well as the low supply of organic ingredients poses challenges for the sector, according to industry sources.

The sales value of the children’s category increased 52% between 2011 and 2016, reaching R$ 4.85 billion last year. The average growth per year was 9%, and up until 2021, Euromonitor estimates that this market will reach R$ 6.1 billion in sales, not including inflation.

Maria Claudia Pontes, Director of Weleda Brasil

Maria Claudia Pontes, Director of Weleda Brasil

Children’s hair care products drove market growth in 2016, accounting for 27% of total sales. According to Euromonitor, the positive figures were boosted by new licensed products from brands such as Barbie, SpongeBob and Snoopy. The category has also seen the release of product variations such as shampoo and conditioner for curly hair, mirroring trends observed for adults.

Children’s skin and hair differ from those of adults in many aspects and need to be treated with gentler products. “A baby’s skin is five times thinner than an adult’s and absorbs products much faster. When making cosmetics for babies, it is crucial to select high-quality, preservative-free ingredients, dyes and fragrances, as well as oils from vegetable sources”, says Director of Weleda Brasil, Maria Claudia Pontes.

Weleda’s portfolio for this niche market includes nappy change cream, fluoride-free dental gel specially developed for deciduous teeth, shampoo, vegetable soap, body wash, bath moisturizer for newborns, vegetable moisturizing oil and face cream. Weleda claims to use more that 500 different raw materials and each line is named after its main plant material. Calendula is the hero ingredient of the baby care line and all products contain its extract. “We only use pure oils of 100% vegetable origin, including almond, jojoba, sesame and wheat germ. Other common ingredients in our products are lanolin (sheep’s wool fat), which is suitable for skin care, and beeswax, which creates a protective layer on the skin,” says Pontes.

Despite the growth seen over the past five years, she claims that the market for children’s personal care products is still dominated by conventional cosmetics, which use artificial and chemical substances, as well as preservatives in their formulations. “There are still few companies operating in this category. As a result of the relatively low production volume, there is a shortage of suppliers specializing in organic production. The few that do exist are not large enough to provide competitive shelf prices,” says Pontes. “In other words, it is hard for consumers to identify products that are legitimately organic. When they compare the price of a product containing chemical substances – even when it claims to be natural – to an organic one, most people don’t perceive the value and importance of this category, which ends up costing, on average, 20% above regular prices.

To address children’s unique needs, this market has its own rules and regulations, as outlined by the Brazilian Association of Toiletries, Fragrances and Cosmetics (ABIHPEC). Kids’ personal care items have specific restrictions of substances in their formulations to reduce the risk of sensitization. According to ABIHPEC, the current process of regulating and approving these products takes approximately six months for new launches and even more time for label amendments. However, ABIHPEC claims to have a proposal to improve the regulation of children’s products and maintain standards that ensure their effectiveness and safety, whilst also simplifying bureaucratic procedures.

Amanda Veloso

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