As sanitary protection products are exclusively used by women, the Constitutional Court ruled against charging VAT on products in this category – this was considered a pioneering decision against “discriminatory taxes”. Women’s organisations were able to convince the Congress to reduce the level of VAT from 19% to 16% and then 5% during the review period, but it is now finally set to fall to 0% in 2019.
Despite the growing private label offer, including the lines of major hypermarkets (Cautivia and Ekono from Almacenes Éxito), discounters (Rosé from Ara) and supermarkets (Colsubsidio from Colsubsidio), they have not made a dent in the shares of traditional brands (Nosotras, Kotex, Carefree, Stayfree and o b), which dominate sanitary protection. This is due to the confidence that traditional brands have gained in the market, which is very important for consumers.
Products such as the scented towels and pantyliners Nosotras Frescura Extrema are still niche, as consumers still prefer basic unscented products. This brand features what the company calls “Sensacool”, which is based on a menthol-like ingredient to simulate freshness.
Productos Familia Sancela with its brand Nosotras remained the dominant player in sanitary protection in value terms in 2018; a performance which is related to tradition, innovation and brand extensions for Nosotras. During the review period, Nosotras expanded its portfolio to offer intimate washes (which are seeing very strong sales growth) and intimate wipes.
Johnson & Johnson, manufacturer of the leading brand in tampons (o b) and owner of Carefree and Stayfree in towels (which are commonly offered in reduced price combos), streamlined its Stayfree portfolio and launched a new brand image, featuring a blue pack and offering just three formats: standard, slim and adapt. According to trade sources, this change has led to good results, as the brand now offers a simpler and more understandable portfolio – a criticism made of leading brands such as Nosotras is that they have very varied but also confusing product offers.
After Nosotras, Kotex from Colombiana Kimberly-Clark was the second brand in sanitary protection in 2018. The brand recently focused on offering more educational and useful content for women, depending on the stage of their cycle.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Tissue and Hygiene market research database.