Rebeca Duran

Rebeca Duran

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Spa and Well-being Market

Rebeca Duran

Rebeca Duran

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


The spa and well-being market is becoming a very lucrative trend in Brazil. Concerned with a better quality of life, Brazilians are answering more and more frequently to this type of services. Find out how this market is organized and how it works in Brazil.

The first spas originated in Europe with the large concentration of pools and baths inherited from the Roman Empire. Nowadays, these places remain closely linked to treatments involving water, but also offer increasingly different services, such as medical treatments and massages. The evolution of modern medicine proved the benefits of various types of therapies and the evolution of these techniques made this sector larger, more profitable and competitive.

Brazil isn't out of this market, on the contrary, the country is so involved with the beauty and well-being market that it's one of the countries that spends the most on personal hygiene, perfumes, cosmetics, spa services and plastic surgery. In total, the so-called Brazilian beauty or vanity market has a turnover of more than 50 million BRL per year, coming just after the United States and Japan.

Economic Information/ Industry Type Personal Hygiene, Cosmetics and Perfumes Spas and Well-Being Clinics Beauty Sallons Plastic Surgeries
Revenue (By Billion BRL) 27. 500 0.991 25.000 0.600
Number of Companies (By Thousand) 1.7 1.1 710 4,975 plastic Surgeons
700 Surgeries

Are Brazilians Trying to Look Better?

Obviously it wasn't because Brazilian people simply decided to become more beautiful that the beauty market in Brazil has increased so much in the last decades. The true reason for this market constant evolution and economic growth is the pursuit of activities associated with well-being and life quality.

Brazilians are looking for life improvements, mainly the ones living in urban centers. The constant upheaval, mental fatigue and stress present in large cities lead to greater demands for spas services. Many studies have proved the many health benefits brought by body therapies; they show that physical well-being could be a factor in the prevention of diseases.

Spa and Well-being Economic Boom

The Brazilian Association of Well-Being Clinics and Spas (know as ABC Spas), responsible for several spas and aesthetic clinics throughout Brazil, recently presented the first "Statistical Report of the Brazilian Market Spas". The report aims to promote a conscious development of the market, helping businesses to set up and attract new investors to the country.

With little more than 25 years in the country, the market for spas and well-being is dominated by small businesses. More than a thousand establishments can be classified as spas. 88% of them invoice, on average, 40,000 BRL per month. Altogether, it is estimated that today the segment moves directly 370 million BRL per year (value for 2012).

Understanding How the Brazilian Market Works

Today's spa and well-being market has been explored mainly by small regional entrepreneurs, who have better knowledge of their area and of what the customers are actually seeking. There are also very small groups of entrepreneurs with national exposure and a network of spas with wider coverage. The vast majority of spas aren't part of a company or a brand. They usually represent a single individual business that tries to stands out with advanced equipment, by presenting a history of impeccable performance or by innovating or differentiating more and more their techniques.

Spa Evolution: from the Country to the City

The earliest spas and well-being centers appeared in the 1980s, and were confined to a few states with greater purchasing power, such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul. However, with the growth of this sector, most spas and beauty clinics emerged in Brazilian urban centers and took many other capitals.

Spa Type Definition Participation Number of Attendances (per month) Average Price of Massages (BRL)
Urban Spa Places inside large cities, usually small clinics, turned to a day treatment. These places offer a lot of services, but not as many as the resort/hotel spas. 75% 255 80
Resort/Hotel Spa Places out of the cities, normally located in beautiful landscapes, with a very unique and luxurious infrastructure and many services offered. These places offered longer stays varying from one weekend to one week or more. 18% 150 100
Spa de Destino Places turned to body renovation, inspiring clients to have a more healthy life, through educational programs, physical activity, professional services and by the consumption of a healthier food. These places are normally located in areas outside the city centers and offer longer stays than all other types of spas, since the main objective of it is to teach new life habits to their clients. 7% 90 100

There are now over a thousand spas in the country most of the new units are opened in large cities, attracting a different audience, who can not be away from their work and that includes people under 30 years. Treatment for an hour usually cost between 90.00 to 120.00 BRL, a value that has attracted the class B.

Spa's Concentration

The Southeast region represents 64% of the geographical distribution of spas in Brazil. The State of São Paulo, for example, is recognized as the national center of spas establishments, not only in number, but also in innovations, trends and investment volume. The southern region, appears in second place with 15% of national participation. From these 64% of spas located in the Southeast:

  • 43% of the spas are concentrated in São Paulo
  • 14% in Rio de Janeiro
  • And 7% in Minas Gerais.

Foreign Brands Landing in Brazil

Currently, internationally renowned companies are settling in the country. With extensive experience in the international spa market, such companies have seen in the Brazilian market an unparalleled opportunity to develop their brands, given the extremely embryo situation that this market present in the country.

Some brands have already sought partnerships with major hotels in large cities or resorts, especially in the Northeast, where the tourism industry is large. The differentiation and professionalization that these brands are bringing to Brazil are very important for the development of the sector, serving as parameters for many national spas that are still under development.