SCA sees huge potential for incontinence care in Brazil, as Brazil's population comprises about 7% currently aged 65+; government's reimbursement program for healthcare necessities, including incontinence care, should increase sales, executive says
January 26, 2012
– Brazil represents a new market for SCA. In September 2011, SCA acquired Pro Descart, a family-owned manufacturer near São Paulo with the No.2 position in Brazil’s incontinence care market.
Although compared to Europe, Brazil’s population is aging, with about 7 percent currently aged 65 or older. That’s a completely different picture from 20 years ago, when the elderly population was only a tiny minority.
Looking for fast growth
“We think that, in Brazil, the category with by far the biggest potential is incontinence care,” says Jan Schiavone, president of SCA South America. “Now that we have our own company, we intend to start growing fast.”
As a factor in SCA’s favor, Brazil’s market for incontinence products remains fragmented, divided among many small companies. A typical family operation might manufacture incontinence care products for a limited local market, using a secondhand machine.
Another key factor is government support. “The Brazilian government has launched a reimbursement program for healthcare necessities, including incontinence care, and this should help increase our sales,” Schiavone says.
SCA selling to individuals
In terms of sales focus in Brazil, SCA is looking to individuals rather than to institutions like nursing homes. “In Latin America, most elderly people are cared for at home by their families,” Schiavone says. “That means most sales of incontinence care products are made through pharmacies and retail chains.”
Besides incontinence care products, other areas with strong sales potential include baby diapers and AFH professional hygiene solutions, such as restaurant napkins. “Brazilians are starting to spend more and more time out of their homes,” he says. “Big chains like Starbucks and Applebee’s are coming, and that means this category will grow.”