The increase in inflation has led lower-income Brazilians to have to make choices not only when buying food, but also when using basic personal hygiene productsas soap and shampoo. In the second quarter of this year, the number of showers without using soap increased by 9% among those who take the second daily shower, compared to the same quarter of 2018.
The data was revealed by a national study on hygiene and consumption habits made by the consultancy Kantar and exclusively obtained by ‘Estadão’. Through an application, the consultancy monitors the behavior of 4 thousand people. The hygiene habits of this group represent a universe of 115 million Brazilians, just over half of the country’s population. Today, almost 70% of the population takes two baths daily.
“It’s not that Brazilians are abandoning soap, but one in five baths is just water, and these occasions are done by about 31% of the population,” he says. Jennifer F. Novaes, senior executive of the consultancy and responsible for the research.
I’m saving on shampoo.”
Nayalla Mendes de Carvalho, makeup artist
The monitoring of this item, which started in the second quarter of 2018, shows that, Since 2019, soap-free bathing occasions have been on the rise. O peak was reached in the second quarter of 2021, with a 28% advance compared to the same period in 2018. “The situation had been getting more complicated before the pandemic, it got worse at the height of the pandemic and now it has run out of steam. But it still remains at a high level compared to 2018″, highlights Jenifer.
From the last quarter of last year to the second quarter of this year, the trajectory of the amount of baths without the use of soap is ascending and increased by 3.9%, according to research.
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The increase in inflation and the worsening of the economic scenario led consumers to have to make choices.”
Rafael Couto, director of Kantar
The growth of baths only with water occurred only among Brazilians from classes D and E, a segment in which the average individual income is BRL 791.63, equivalent to 65% of the minimum wage. The Southeast region was the main driver of this growth, where 54% of individuals with this routine. Of these, more than half (53%) is a womanmost mothers who work full-time and are responsible for providing for the household.
“The increase in inflation and the worsening of the economic scenario have led consumers to have to make choices, whether by cutting products or rationalizing their use so that they last longer”, he says. Rafael Couto, director of advanced solutions at the consultancy.
This is the case of Ulysses dos Santos, 38 years old, kindergarten teacher. “Personal hygiene products have gone up too much, especially razors, deodorant and soap. Don’t even talk to me”, he observes.
Santos did not cut the soap, but is rationalizing its use in the two daily baths. The way found to spend less on the product was to change the way you shower. Today, first he gets wet, then he turns off the shower faucet, soaps his body. Only after these steps does he go back under the shower. “That way I save a lot: 50% on soap and I also spend less water and energy,” he says.
The prices of the trio – soap, water and electricity – also put pressure on the company’s budget. makeup artist Nayalla Mendes de Carvalho, 35 years old. But she has maintained the routine of two baths a day and both with soap. Nayalla emphasizes that the quickest shower today is due to the expense with the electricity and the water. Despite having noticed the rise in the price of soap, he says that “he is paying what he has to pay”. “I’m saving on shampoo”, says the makeup artist.
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In recent months, Nayalla has observed a 24% increase in shampoo price that you usually use. In this case, it is risky to switch brands. Therefore, the way out to save was to reduce the frequency of use of the product. “I washed my hair four times a week and now it’s two. The rest we disguise and wear our hair up.”
Bernardo Remus, 29, art director, is another that chose to reduce the frequency of use and the amount used each time of the hair styling cream. In recent months, the cream for curly hair up 33%. “Now the price of the bottle is approaching R$40,″ she notes.
To circumvent the rise in prices, Remus, Nayalla and many consumers have chosen to buy economical packaging of hair products. This movement is clear in the results of the study. In the second quarter of this year, the consumption of hair products in packages from 400 milliliters (ml) to 599 ml grew 6.8% in units compared to the first quarter of 2022.
Bottles with more than 600 ml registered an increase of 4.1%, on the same basis of comparison. Together these larger packages accounted for 31% of the market, with an advance of 2 percentage points between the two periods. On the other hand, the consumption of packages with up to 399 ml was stable in the second quarter of this year compared to the first.
Soap rise equals soy oil rise
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Despite food being the focus of inflationary pressures, the prices of personal hygiene products register increases equivalent to those of food. In 12 months until August, the price of soap rose 27.97%While high in soybean oil was 27.52%according to data from Broad Consumer Price Index (IPCA)-15the preview of official inflation in the country.
This year, until Augustthe readjustment of the soap (20.95%) surpassed that of soybean oil (19.76%), according to the IPCA-15. In the same period, inflation personal hygiene products (11.85%) and food at home (12.79%) were practically equivalent and more than double the general IPCA-15 (5.02%).
THE Brazilian Association of Personal Hygiene, Perfumery and Cosmetics Industry (Abihpec) says, through a note, that he ended last year with sectorial inflation of 3.1%, 7 percentage points below the IPCA. According to the note, “in this period (2021), there was no room to pass on price, as the consumer continued with his growing and committed monthly expense. The current situation (2022) is different, there is a certain ‘income breather’ with deflation in some items”.
In 12 months until July, the entity points out that the IPCA accumulated a high of 10.1%, while personal care inflation was 8.5%. “This result of the sector’s inflation in the last 12 months was strongly impacted by the soap inflation (27.2%); skin care products (16.9%), hair care products (12.4%) and oral hygiene products (11.8%). Last year, manufacturers made a lot of effort not to pass on price increases. Such movement has a limit, and 2022 has been the year to gradually operationalize the recomposition of margins in favor of the financial sustainability of the business”, says the note.
According to the entity, the reasons for the increases of these products are related to the high prices of inputs, mainly imported ones, which have gone through moments of scarcity in the market. As an example, Abihpec cites animal tallow, which had a reduced supply for the production of hygiene and beauty items due to greater interest in supplying the biodiesel market.