Portuguese Cosmetics and Toiletries Market

An Expert's View about Medical, Health and Cosmetics Products in Portugal

Posted on: 26 Nov 2011


This report is meant to facilitate the entry of American manufactured cosmetics in to Portugal. If you are an American manufacturer and/or exporter of cosmetics or any kind of hygiene or skin care products please make sure all your products are ready to be exported into Portugal. Infarmed is the Portuguese institution, under the Ministry of Health that inspects all documents and releases the products from Customs. Infarmed and Portuguese Customs are known for being of the most demanding in Europe but everything may be simplified if the right documents accompany each order.

Market Demand

Portugal is a small country located on the Iberian Peninsula, in southwestern Europe. Portugal is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the West and Spain on the East. Its total area is 92,391 sq km and the coastline is 1,793 km. The Portuguese population is around 10.5 million.

In general, imported cosmetics have a great impact on the local market. Until 2008, the increasing disposable income was responsible for the emergence of a young urban elite which changed life styles and the need for luxury products as well as demand for lifestyle enhancement products. Retail stores adhered to this tendency and several brands sell their products in local supermarkets - in 2010 Portuguese consumers favored the mass market for purchasing their beauty products, as they preferred to do their shopping under the same roof and at convenient prices.

A number of specialty stores opened doors over the past 10 years and have been extremely successful, that is the case for MAC Cosmetics, Douglas, Perfumes & Co., and Sephora. Natural Products are also very popular as Portuguese consumers believe that natural products are healthier and have been around for longer. Stores such as the Body Shop (UK), O Boticario (Brazil) and L’Occitanne (France) are very successful and have stores in most of the shopping malls.

U.S. manufactured products are trendy and well rated. A specific awareness for “made-in-America” is installed and American cosmetics are in high demand. U.S. cosmetics and skin care products have a very high reputation in Portugal and many brands have successfully settled in the market.

Cosmetics for men have also been introduced in the market and are a good subsector.

The European Cosmetics, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (COLIPA), considers Portugal as one of the smallest markets for cosmetics in the EU. In 2008 Portuguese sales totaled !1.2 billion, representing 1.8% of the whole EU market. COLIPA rated Portugal as the 12th largest market in the EU, even though demand for cosmetics increased noticeably between 2007 and 2008, by 10%.

Unfortunately the worldwide credit crunch has affected all sectors across the board and cosmetics and toiletries are no exception. The 2008 crisis impacted negatively the Portuguese economy and the Portuguese population has opted to buy what they consider essential – fragrances and color cosmetics within the cosmetics sector were badly affected as these are considered as dispensable during times of financial pressure.

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Posted: 26 November 2011

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Expert Views    
Portuguese Cosmetics and Toiletries Market   By U.S. Commercial Service