Cosmetics: a supply chain worth 15 billion euros

The non-cyclical nature of the cosmetics industry is once again demonstrated by the preliminary 2016 figures, which show a global turnover of 10.5 billion euros for the sector, a growth of 5%.

The results confirm the key role of exports in rising production figures, with an increase of more than 12% and a value of nearly 4,300 million euros. Despite the increase in imports, the trade balance has hit a new record, reaching 2,300 million euros.

The overall picture of the cosmetics supply chain as a whole is also significant, and an analysis of the various “links” in this chain (ingredients, machinery, packaging, finished product) reveals a total turnover of over 15 billion euros (+5%). 

“The ongoing uncertainty which still characterises the political and economic situation has not held the cosmetics industry back, and the continued investment in innovation and in the qualification of the production capacity of the supply chain serves to confirm the structural strength of this key Made in Italy sector – comments Fabio Rossello, President of Cosmetica Italia – The consumption of cosmetics in Italy has grown by 0.5%, confirming the fact that these products are viewed as essential. In addition, new consumption patterns have contributed to this growth, generating new purchase options.” 

Indeed, this evolution can be seen in action when we take a closer look at the various channels of cosmetic products, both newer and more traditional channels, prompted by new consumer behaviours. The case of direct sales (both door-to-door and mail-order) is a prime example, with this sector continuing to demonstrate above-average trends, due to the impact of e-commerce: rates of growth in this area reached +8%, with a sales value of more than 750 million euros.

The professional channels are also beginning to recover, following a comprehensive review of the product offering, along with new forms of service. Beauty salons have also seen a rise in consumption of 2.1% for a value of 230 million euros, while hairdressing salons have been subject to 1% growth (563 million euros).

Perfume shops (which account for 20.4% of the total consumption of cosmetics in Italy) have also shown signs of a slight recovery (+ 0.9%), and the value of this channel now amounts to 2,018 million euros; meanwhile, pharmacies (which are just behind perfume shops in terms of representativeness of consumption), appear to have reached a stalemate: sales of cosmetics in pharmacies fell by -0.1% (although the sales figures for this area remain above the 1,800 million euro mark).