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The Purchasing Power of Brazil’s Class C

June 2012

By Glaucia Holzmann , Sao Paulo

In Brazil, there is an increasing need for corporations and retailers to cater to what is called “Class C,” or middle-class consumers, a group that stands at more than 90 million strong. The demographic chooses by brand, loves making small purchases and enjoys price opportunities. Popularly referred to as the “lipstick effect,” consumers tend to massage their self-esteem with small purchases.

Lead by Avon, Natura and O Boticário, the cosmetics sector learned to raise profits by targeting Class C. Thanks to competitive prices, Intense – a popular make up line from Brazilian company O Boticário - pleased Class C consumers with its launch of more than 50 products. O Boticário expects to increase 46% on Intense products this year.

When wandering through streets of Sao Paulo, young women are seen not only purchasing cosmetics in drugstores and shops, but also at beauty salons, where 70% of direct sales are made. The customers also develop a friendly relationship with shopkeepers and buy from them frequently.

But the beauty industry isn’t the only sector seeking to service the middle class with wild success. Chef Checho Gonzales, a Bolivian who has been living in Sao Paulo since childhood, decided to target people who cannot afford expensive restaurants. He and Chef Henrique Fogaça teamed famous Brazilian chefs together and made a street food market with low prices, called O Mercado, this past spring. Checho originally posted his event on Facebook and before he knew it, the event was ubiquitous in national media. The event grew to the point where people waited in four-hour lines to eat dishes priced between $2 and $9. It was a tremendous success and it was impossible to cope with the demand.

Though Sao Paulo is currently in negotiations with Gonzales for a new space, other states in Brazil eagerly wait for O Mercado to come to them, proving that there is a great power in bringing financial and emotional joy to the Brazilian majority.

Food & Drink
Fashion & Style
Sao Paulo

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