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EU CONSUMERS LINK COSMETICS PRODUCTS TO QUALITY OF LIFE Cosmetics products are widely perceived by consumers as being a source of health, self-confidence and contentment, as shown in a recent European survey performed by Cosmetics Europe.


survey this year by Cosmetics Europe,1 the region’s main cosmetics and personal care trade association, found that the overwhelming majority of consumers thought the sector’s products gave them a more satisfying and happy life. “Our products do matter to European consumers – 71% of consumers surveyed see them as important or very important in their daily lives” said John Chave, Director General of Cosmetics Europe, which issued in June the results of the survey covering 4,000 consumers in 10 European countries. The 72% of respondents who thought that their cosmetics and personal care products improve their quality of life extended across every age group. When asked to prioritize the most important aspects of quality of life, they valued good health and personal hygiene the most, and placed cosmetics and personal care products as key means to achieving them. 80% of respondents believed these products play an important role in building up self-esteem and enhancing social interactions every day. This direct link made by consumers between a sense of well-being and cosmetics – covering skin and hair care, decorative products, fragrances, oral care and toiletries – presents an opportunity to the European industry, with confirmation that cosmetics offer meaningful benefits to consumers. The strong reliance on cosmetics among Europeans helps give the region its global leadership in the sector. It is a dependence that is not just confined to women. Men are also increasingly seeing cosmetics as being a key to a good life. The industry’s continued growth will stem from constant innovation and emphasis on sustainability based on products that protect health and, at the same time, safeguard the environment. Modern consumers expect their cosmetics to be in harmony with the environment by consisting predominantly of natural ingredients. Cosmetics manufacturers look to their ingredient suppliers to help them meet all these challenges. As a result they work closely with producers of speciality chemicals and biologicals to maintain a steady stream of innovative products for reformulations and new cosmetics, all of which have to meet rigorous sustainability standards. The industry’s ingredient suppliers are mostly based in Europe, with a concentration of them in the main national cosmetics markets of the region. There are around 100 companies in Europe making cosmetics ingredients. They include the major multinational chemical companies like BASF, Evonik, Croda and Clariant which is currently merging with Huntsman of the US. Otherwise, most of them are SMEs, supplying ingredients to around 5,000 cosmetics manufacturers, the vast majority of which are also small or medium sized.

30 Speciality Chemicals Magazine 37.04 August 2017

In 2016, the 28 member states of the European Union had cosmetic and personal care retail sales of €74 billion, around €10 billion more than the next biggest market of the US and equivalent to around a third of total world sales. The total for the whole of Europe, including non-EU countries like Norway and Switzerland, was €77 billion, according to Cosmetics Europe 2016 Market Statistics.2 Skin care and toiletries accounted for around a quarter each of European sales, hair care 19%, fragrances 16% and decorative products 14%. Around 70% of these sales were in five countries – Germany, France, UK, Spain and Italy – which are also Europe’s main producers and exporters of cosmetics. Other relatively large cosmetics producing countries include Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Sweden and the non-EU state of Switzerland. France is, by far, not only Europe’s leading exporter of cosmetics but also the world’s. In 2016 France’s total exports of beauty and skin care products amounted to $7.3 billion, equivalent to a share of 17%, according to the Canadian research organisation World’s Top Exports (WTEx).3 This was more than double the exports, in the same categories, of Germany, Europe’s next biggest cosmetics exporter. Across Europe clusters of cosmetics businesses have been emerging consisting of manufacturers of finished products and makers of ingredients and ancillaries like packaging. The largest of these is France’s Cosmetic Valley which stretches across six departments in three adjacent regions in the north of the country. It has 800 businesses, 90,000 employees and a annual turnover of €26 billion.4 Among its leading global companies are L’Oreal, Europe’s No. 1 cosmetics brand, LVMH and Shiseido of Japan. The cluster has been able to pool its resources to back research schemes. At the end of 2015 it was supporting 175 R&D projects worth €280 million. Cosmetics production, as well as exporting capabilities, in Europe has tended to be located in areas with a high cosmetics and personal care sales often dictated by degrees of wealth and levels of population. But in recent years centres of production have been broadening out in response to different growth rates in demand, particularly in Eastern Europe. In Poland, for example, stronger increases in domestic demand have helped the country to become a leading exporter of cosmetics. In the four years 2011-2013 its exports rose by an annual average of 4%.

Speciality Chemicals Magazine August 2017  

Volume 37 Issue 04

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