France is more than ever being recognized by international investors looking for opportunities in the perfume and cosmetics sector. There has been an increase recently in the number of companies seeking to invest in this sector, such as the American giant Estée Lauder, which is keen to expand its operations in France,or the Japanese company Adan Silk which has opted to locate its first international operations in France.
An historical expertise
The success of perfumery in France is, of course, not something new. During the Renaissance, the techniques devised by glove and perfume makers in Grasse had already contributed to the reputation of France in this field. Over the centuries, practices were refined and, with the rise of the great glassmakers, gave birth to the art of perfumery as we know it today.
The leading French operators in the cosmetics and perfume sector are also keen to draw attention to France’s unrivalled know-how. L’Oréal, L’Occitane en Provence or Vichy Laboratories, as well as luxury brands such as Dior and Chanel, are national emblems of French expertise.
French know-how is thus recognized and acclaimed by investors worldwide. The main advantages of the “Made in France” label are, first and foremost, impeccable quality due to both the highly specialized craftsmanship and the ingredients that are produced by world famous suppliers.
An innovative sector
But this is not all. In addition to its undisputed historic know-how, France continues to strive to ensure that it remains at the cutting-edge of innovation in the sector. French manufacturers are constantly creating innovative products without ever forgetting the requirement for them to keep their formulae secret. The products created must fulfill extremely precise criteria and are subjected to a series of stringent tests designed to eliminate all risk of skin irritation. “Dermo-cosmetics” is, moreover, a procedure that was invented in France by the Laboratoires Pierre Fabre in the ‘60s, and without which no current product would be authorized on the global market.
We can also cite the example of the “Cosmetic Valley” innovation cluster situated between Chartres and Orléans, which brings together almost 800 international companies associated with research organizations and which by itself accounts for one cosmetic product in ten sold around the world. “In so far as concerns innovation, there can be no doubt, France is the global center for cosmetics. It is very important for Natura to have operations here. In fact, France is the only European country in which we have offices,” said Carla Barrichello, Head of R&D Europe for the Brazilian company Natura, which has been operating in France since 2005.
The French know how to take advantage of new trends
Finally, the French are very good at decoding trends and at quickly appropriating for themselves the innovations that will ensure their continued success. Such as, for example, BB Cream, which originated in Korea, but which Garnier turned into a global success. Some brands also focus on products associated with the world of gastronomy, such as Nuxe’s “Crème Fraiche de Beauté” or Dop’s shower gels with tartlet fragrances. Cultural traditions and a return to nature are some of the trends which French manufacturers are currently riding.
“The cosmetics industry is one of the French economy’s major assets. 81% of the companies involved being SMEs, distributed over approximately 80% of France. It is the 3rd net export sector, and thus offers numerous business opportunities for foreign investors who target not only the French market, but also the wider European market, thus benefiting from the strong reputation of French expertise.
They are also offered the greatest possible support in so far as concerns innovation via the most generous research tax credit in Europe, as the cosmetics industry is continuously innovating, with regard to both the manufacture and the marketing of its products,” said David Appia, Chairman and CEO of the Invest in France Agency, in connection with the recent decision by the Japanese company Adan Silk to set up operations in France. Adan Silk focuses on the use of high-quality natural ingredients and considers France to be the most important country for cosmetics in the world.
This therefore is a flourishing French industry at the cutting-edge of innovation, a success that will continue for the many years to come!