The first time I went for groceries in Brazil, I had a hard time finding a certain item on my list. When I asked my friends who were out shopping with me I got some strange looks. The thing I was looking for was liquid soap (also called body wash).
And although I found a couple of liquid soaps in the store, for most Brazilians it is mainly female product.
Although these soaps are very common in Europe (where 70% percent of the people daily use them), the rest of the world is just catching up with this trend. According to the Brazilian association for personal hygiene and cosmetics bar soaps outsold liquid ones 10 to 1 in 2006.
But trends are changing. In the US, where bar soap are also more popular, men personal care products are starting to take off. And brands such as Axe, and more recently Dove are addressing, or maybe even driving these needs. Most recently with one of the better commercial at the Superbowl:
It is also interesting to see that this is a trend that is not stopped by the recession. Liquid prices are higher than bar ones, their growth has continued. With higher margins for the manufacturers liquid soap leads indeed to better results.