In 2013, Brazil was ranked as the second strongest consumer market worldwide in the hair care and hair coloration segment(1). That same year, L'Oréal, based in the country since 1959, achieved a 13.3% growth rate and revenues of 2.2 billion real (or 973 million USD).
L'Oréal Brazil employs 2,700 people and has two factories - in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo - that produce 95% of the products sold in Brazil. In 2013, these plants produced 422 million units.
Major investments will finance the construction of a new Research and Innovation centre in Bom Jesus, Rio de Janeiro. The laboratory, which is expected to be finished in 2016, will intensify the development of innovative products adapted to the Brazilian and Latin American market in conjunction with the Group's research centre in Rio, opened in 2008. The number of researchers will double from 100 to 200, and the centre will be the 5th hub of its kind in the world. The other centres that are located in the United States, Japan, China and India, also aim to develop new products adapted to the specificities of their markets, which may also become innovations for the global market.
Brazil's population, one of the most mixed in the world, represents a human scale laboratory that inspires L'Oréal to innovate and to invent products that may be sold around the world. For example, local researchers developed the Total Repair 5 shampoo six years ago. The product placed first in the Elsève range of products in Latin America before conquering the European market. The Rio laboratories also developed the Absolut Control range, featuring murumuru butter, a local Brazilian ingredient, which is currently being launched in the United States and Japan. Another example of Brazilian innovation is the Garnier Bí-O deodorant, launched in different countries of Latin America.
L'Oréal Brazil, the Group's Latin American Engine of Growth
With a strong portfolio of 25 brands, of which two are Brazilian, Emporio Body Store and Colorama, L'Oréal Group is a leader in the professional products, luxury and dermocosmetics sectors. The Group's products developed for the public at large rank second.
In order to sustain the growth of its Professional Products Division, L'Oréal has innovated in Brazil by creating six professional training centres - L'Oréal Professional institutes - in four Brazilian towns. These institutes aim to train and develop a new generation of contemporary hairdressers. The Group has also staked a large part of the professional hair care market with a number of brands, including L'Oréal Professionnel, Redken and Kérastase.
L'Oréal's true spearhead product on the hairstyling market is Matrix. In 2010, the brand launched a micro-distribution project to work with hairdressers in "favelas", where 2/3 of Brazilian hairdressers are located, to use their products.
L'Oréal Brazil's Social Engagement
The Matrix project is not limited to boosting product sales. It aims to develop women's entrepreneurship in underprivileged neighbourhoods. Participants receive technical and management training that includes prospecting about fifty salons in her "favela". This activity provides stable revenue that is sometimes several times the average income for families in favelas.
The result: by the end of 2014, over a thousand women in Brazil are estimated to be delivering Matrix products to tens of thousands of salons.
L'Oréal Brazil is fully engaged in the Group's corporate social responsibility mission. By implementing a veritable corporate citizenship policy to serve communities, the L'Oréal Foundation has also set up a number of education programs in Brazil. Projects such as "Hairdressers Against Aids" aim to increase knowledge on HIV / Aids prevention; "Beauty for a Better Life" is another initiative that provides training for youths with low incomes in order to open doors on work opportunities. Brazil is also a beacon for the L'Oréal Unesco "For Women in Science" programme: the international prize has been awarded to five Brazilian women since its launch, and 54 women have received grants for their research.
(1) Euromonitor, 2013