Whilst bath and shower is approaching maturity in Costa Rica, value and volume growth increased in 2018 over that seen in the previous year. However, price-based competition is having a considerable impact on value growth in this category, as major bath and shower players are engaging in more aggressive promotional and discount activities.
In view of current trends across most bath and shower categories, the category’s performance over the forecast period will be determined by the development of additional levels of segmentation and product specialisation. In this context, major domestic and imported brands will continue to rely on added-value proposals to meet the quality expectations of higher-income local millennials.
On the other hand, we expect to see an expanding offer of generic value-for-money options capable of competing with similar top-of-mind mass-orientated brand proposals, such as Walmart’s private label brand Great Value. Such options should continue to promote family packaging sizes of 3-5 units and above 500ml presentations and more aggressive value relations capable of meeting the budget capabilities of average middle-income and even low-income families.
Benefiting from their consolidated participation across multiple personal care categories, the international competitors Colgate-Palmolive and Unilever continued to capitalise on their strong manufacturing and distribution capabilities. They were the clear bath and shower sales’ champions in 2018, together accounting for close to three quarters of retail value sales, benefiting from the strong brand awareness that enabled them to hold similar leading roles in other personal care categories.
All major players keep using their global flagship brand extensions to increase segmentation and penetration capabilities amongst middle- to high-income consumers. Category players on the other end remained relatively fragmented in 2018, although global retailer Walmart ranked third with its private label and domestic competitor (fifth ranked) Bioland kept developing and posted higher value growth over the year.
As the Costa Rican economy is expected to slow down over the forecast period, most players within bath and shower are expected to focus on priced-based competition and product availability, with major players such as Walmart, Procter & Gamble and even the domestic manufacturer Bioland striving to gain additional volume and value sales share from the leaders Colgate and Unilever. In this context, the dominant category leaders will respond with similar value proposals, using their strong manufacturing and logistics muscles to remain on top.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Beauty and Personal Care market research database.