1 – What is the growth of Pierre Fabre’s brands in Brazil?
Pierre Fabre works in Brazil with 3 brands. The main one is Avène, a premium brand known all over the world. The second no less important mark in billing – and even more important today – is Darrow (Darrow Laboratory), a Brazilian brand,aimed at a wider audience, that wants to bring more social classes and more diversity to the cosmetic market. And the third brand, which is still smaller, is under construction, is the brand Ducray, the only brand of dermocosmetics specialized in hair pathology, which we call Dermocapillary, which offers hair treatment through dermatology. This brand already has reference lines in Europe, such as Anafase and AnaCaps, to reduce hair loss, as well as exceptional anti-dandruff lines … It is the only brand dedicated to hair, an essential area in Brazil. The brand does not have total coverage in the country, we focus on medical visits in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas, Brasília, in the South. It is under construction, but has a very strong adhesion among dermatologists. Today one of the trends of dermatology, the specialty trichology, which takes care of the scalp and nails. Thus PF operates with three d and its 9 brands in Brazil.
2 – Are the general public prepared to use dermatological products?
Many people enter the pharmacy today and do not dare to advance until the dermocosmetics session. They think it’s not for them, or that they’re very specific, expensive products. There’s a barrier. But once people find out, that products are no more expensive than products sold in other sales channels. So we believe that there is a great potential for the category of dermocosmetics, for this public that attends pharmacies but does not visit this area of dermocosmetics. So that’s the role of Darrow.
3 – Does Darrow’s model of commertialization require visits to dermatologists? And it only sells in pharmacies?
Yes. Our dermocosmetics commertialization model was invented by the founder of our company in the 60’s and that accompany the patient consumer, sincethe visit to the dermatologist, to the point of sale, where he will have the advice of a health professional: the pharmacist. This type of product has to be sold with consultants and the ideal environment for this is the pharmacy. So our model is to generate demand through the dermatologist. We do not advertise in magazines or TV, but through a dermatologist, who values our products.
4 – The area of dermatology grows in the country but dermatologists are partners of beauty companies?
Few people know that Brazil is a reference country in dermatology. When the category boom began in Brazilian pharmacies, there were fewer than 5000 dermatologists in the country. Today there are 12,500 and every year 500 new dermatologists appear.
This demand for the dermatology professional is growing. The professional in Europe deals more with pathological diseases of the skin, of all kinds, especially allergies. But in Brazil it is more sought for the solution of problems related to health and beauty, which is the focus and mission of our company, that was born with dermatology, it is dedicated to it and the model of all our brands is to seek partnerships with indications from dermatologists to make our products known to patients / consumers.
5 – How many dermatologists do you currently have?
We have over 100 people visiting dermatologists. We are the second laboratory in Brazil in the number of visitors – we call “medical propagandist” – and who visit offices. We are bringing more as we expand our brands.
6 – But with the economic crisis there are not many people who go to the dermatologist. So how do people access the brand?
In fact, there are not many people attending dermatologists at this time. However, the brand that grew the most, within Pierre Farbre, went to Darrow. Brazil’s economic moment makes people look for effective solutions with reduced value.
7 – As for the Innovation Center being inaugurated in Brazil, will it research and produce for the Darrow brand only? And the other two brands marketed in the country?
Most of Pierre Farbre’s brands are produced in France. The only country in the world with a factory outside France is Brazil, to get a sense of the country’s relevance to us. Our factory here in Brazil, is in Areal, Rio de Janeiro, near Petrópolis. It came along with the acquisition of the Darrow brand in 2006 as a way to accelerate the penetration of the group’s brands in Brazil. She was from a family of Brazilians. At the beginning the brand had a pharmaceutical area of hospital solutions, there was created a line of dermatology and then the brand specialized in dermocosmetics. Pierre Farbre used this structure to also produce Avène and Ducray products making some products more accessible to the Brazilian public.
8 – Pura Inova, Brazilian brand made by French who lived in Brazil, had this proposal to make dermatological products more accessible to Brazilians. It had the same marketing system as Pierre Farbre’s brands in the country, but unfortunately closed. Do you know why this happened?
There are many factors we can think of, but what may have happened is that the level of market maturity was not enough for the brand to grow.
Darrow has already been designed by Brazilian health professionals and already with the commercial team serving the public of dermatologists, residents in dermatology or already practicing in offices. Then ties were created at a time when the dermocosmetic market was taking place. And Darrow knew how to take advantage of this closeness from the start. The acquisition was in 2006, but Darrow already existed, was consolidated and already had this proximity to the health professional. This proximity to the health professional is not easy to create. You can not get this partnership in just one year. It’s something that you have to be present, you have to be in the day-to-day office, in the residence of the professional who is not yet able to work … It’s a long-term job. With persistence, determination. I do not know what kind of formulation the brand had, but Darrow has been attentive to the Brazilian skin problems that are: Oily skin, acne and the climatic condition here, which is very difficult. So our flagship in the country is Actine, from Darrow. Another thing, the Brazilian suffers a lot with dandruff. Our dermatological anti-dandruff Doctor line is the most prescribed and best-selling on the market. This is the result of this partnership with dermatology since the founding of the brand.
9 – Regarding prices, what is the flagship of the brand and its value, for the successful sales that the brand has been getting?
In our flagship for example that is Actine. The products cost around 20 to 25% more compared to the international reference brand, to put it that way. So that’s the kind of referential we’re talking about.
10 – Ducray is already being sold in pharmacies, is already happening?
Yes. We had a distributor until 2016. From 2017 PF took over the distribution and we ended up choosing to work with a more concentrated geographic distribution – São Paulo-Rio de Janeiro-Minas-Sul axis of the country. North-Northeast and Midwest, but the reception has been exceptional. The brand is already in pharmacy networks and there are 15 visitors traveling around the country to make the brand known in other regions. Ducray is already highly regarded. The moment of dermatology and this concern with hair are growing more and more. So the search and adherence of doctors has been very good. These trichology events (association of hair and nails to dermatology) have made the area more popular.
11 – What are the flagships of Ducray?
Ana Caps, which helps a lot in the hair loss, because it is a vitamin supplement based on biotin, iron n addition to all the minerals necessary for the strengthening of the hair bulb and the brand also has the products of daily treatment Ana Fase, with shampoo and conditioner, which are excellent in fixing Minoxidil, the most used active in dermatology for different types of fall, to strengthen the hair. These products help in the fixation of Minoxidil inside the capillary bulb.
12 – How about the brand Avene is established as a premium brand for skin also here in Brazil?
Yes. Avène is a dermocosmetics brand for skin sold worldwide. But people associate it with a luxury brand because it is imported, which is not true. You go to a pharmacy in France and there is always brand products. It is not expensive. Now, for the tax issue, in the Brazilian market it has a higher price, even so, prices are not absurd. People get even surprised.
13 – Does the Darrow brand also includesThermal Water?
No. Only Avène is one of the first brands to create a whole line based on an active: Thermal Water with dermatological properties, which is not Darrow’s proposal. Darrow works with energizing actives and of proven efficacy for the skin . So they are very different lines.
14 – Do the formulations of the Pierre Farbre brands seek greater sustainability?
Yes. We have a philosophy of looking for minimalist formulas, especially for the brand Avène which is a worldwide specialist in sensitive skin – everything is done to minimize the risks of allergies and skin irritations. So for example for sunscreens, Pierre Farbre has a patented complex of filters that are reduced to the maximum, like silicones for example, which are not good for the skin or for nature, too much alcohol can also irritate the skin.
Another example of this is a product, which has already been released in the United States and will be launched next month in Brazil: an anti-aging vitamin C, whose formula only delivers Vitamin C when the product penetrates the skin. Our product, called Avène’s A Oxitive, brings a very innovative combination of Vitamin C and Vitamin E that are released continuously into the skin.