This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 4/17/2016

Cosmetics & Toiletries Statistics

The overall cosmetics, skincare, and toiletries market in Panama is expected to grow by approximately 13%, to $238 million, in 2015.  This strong growth is expected to continue over the next few years, presenting excellent opportunities for imported products.  Local production is limited, and is mainly geared towards low-cost products for hair and personal care.
The leading supplier countries are the United States (American brands are well-known), Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia, and France.  A significant amount of imports also enter from the Colón Free Zone (CFZ).  U.S. imports totaled $32 million in 2015 and accounted for about 15% of the overall market.  With the U.S.-Panama FTA in place, U.S. manufacturers and distributors should see increased market opportunities.  While the U.S. enjoys a 15% market share, the number is likely much higher due to imports entering the CFZ from countries with U.S. manufacturing plants (e.g., Guatemala with Colgate-Palmolive, and Mexico and Colombia with P&G).
The main features consumers seek when selecting cosmetics and toiletries are quality, prestige, product prices, and product variety.  Domestic production is mostly related to hair treatments rather than perfumes and cosmetics, many of which are low-quality and targeted at low-income sectors.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects                                                       
The following sub-sectors represent the best sales potential for U.S. products:
  • Perfumes and toilet waters
  • Make-up products
  • Cosmetics or skin care treatments 
  • Body/hands skin care products
  • Skin care soaps
  • Hair care products: shampoos, conditioners, lotions, hair oils, treatments, straightening, waving, coloring, and creams
  • Beauty treatments, facial creams
  • Organic preparations
  • Manicure and pedicure treatments
  • Sun care (sunscreen and suntan lotions)
  • Personal care products
Market segmentation is evident in the market, with high-quality imported products sought mainly by the consumer market that is both concerned about personal image and commands a higher disposable income to regularly purchase top brand cosmetics and perfumes.  Lower-priced products, including private label products, are marketed toward consumers who, while not willing to spend at the same price points, are increasingly turning to the market as they become more aware of the need for better quality products.
Panama is a small but highly competitive market and it is worthwhile to consider partnering with specialized industry-specific distributors who can provide the expertise to successfully channel products through established retailers/dealer networks.   

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Panama Cosmetics and Toiletries Trade Development and Promotion