Recommendations and word of mouth promotion are important purchase drivers when it comes to dermatologicals in Ecuador. Consumers are loyal to brands that have been recommended by their family or friends and which have proven effective in treating people they know.
Domestic companies saw growth over the review period, especially in specific categories such as medicated shampoos. Nevertheless, it is expected that this trend will change in the future as import restrictions are slowly being eliminated, especially for products from the EU, due to the commercial agreement signed with Ecuador, which came into effect in 2017.
The stigmas associated with certain dermatological products such as vaginal antifungals, haemorrhoid treatments, and antiparasitics/lice (head and body) treatments are still present in many consumer groups. Even though these stigmas have been reduced thanks to the communication efforts and marketing investments of brands, there is still an element of shame felt by consumers when searching and asking for these products at retailers.
Despite losing its leading position to GSK Consumer Healthcare in 2019, Schering-Plough del Ecuador remains strongly positioned in dermatologicals, with its main brands including Mexana, Triderm and Quadriderm, which enjoy consumer loyalty due to their high quality image and long-term presence in the country. Also, these brands are perceived as being very effective in treating dermatological problems, while the company has a wide distribution network, with its products being easily accessible at main retailers.
International brands accounted for the majority of value sales in dermatologicals in 2019. Nevertheless, domestic brands saw important growth over the review period as they benefited from the protective domestic production policy established by the previous government.
During the forecast period, it is expected that leading brands will continue to focus on providing information about dermatological ailments and their treatments in order to tackle social stigmas and make the category more dynamic. Recommendations from health specialists will also be critical to boosting consumer purchases, with mass media advertising being key to accomplishing these objectives.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health market research database.