As a broader base of middle- and high-income consumers have become aware of the benefits of adopting more sustainable consumption habits and lifestyles, the demand for functional/natural ingredients and health and wellness-related value proposals continues to increase. This was reflected in the offer of mass-orientated beauty and personal care categories in 2018, particularly in skin care, hair care and bath and shower, which most buyers tend to perceive as essential products.
The search for added value and still affordable beauty and personal care products is expected to continue, resulting in additional innovation of products that incorporate natural and recognised functional ingredients such as pomegranate, coconut, avocado, argan and almond oil. Multiple types of natural antioxidant compounds and essential proteins, such as collagen and keratin, will be utilised in new products.
Consolidated and emerging international, regional and domestic competitors are expected to continue to engage with this trend at different levels. Players such as Bioland and a broad mix of imported brands (such as Bilka and Organix) have been and expected to keep generating additional awareness by offering more specialised mass proposals that target most average middle-income as well as higher-income consumers across the country, by focusing on the sales dynamics across modern grocery outlets.
International competitors Colgate-Palmolive, Corporación Belcorp, Procter & Gamble and Unilever maintained their strong competitive advantages in mass beauty and personal care sales in Costa Rica during 2017-2018. These companies benefit from their widely recognised brands, which are also widely available across modern and traditional grocers, whilst providing affordable unit prices to buyers from all socioeconomic segments, leveraging on consolidated economy-of-scale savings in their manufacturing and distribution processes.
As free trade agreements continue to unfold, in particular with countries such as the US, Mexico and Europe, the number of added-value brands available to local buyers at relatively affordable unit prices continues to grow. This is putting pressure on similar domestic and international proposals with higher unit prices or more standard and generic formulations.
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