When you think of luxurious European cosmetics, I think we’d all look at the French beauty industry. It’s hard not to. With the likes of L’Oréal, LVMH, L’Occitane and Clinique all hailing from the country, it’s clearly a mecca for successful cosmetic powerhouses. However, there seems to be a rumble in the jungle of late, with the Italian government looking at ways in which to push the country forward and showcase the talented brands born from this area, with the Made in Italy marketing campaign in full swing.
Early last year we wrote about the Made in Italy camp looking to make waves in America, with Italian Trade Commission and Cosmetica Italia spearheading the launch of a project to grow Italian exports. The Beauty Made in Italy project aimed to grow Italian exports to the likes of the US, Iran and Columbia through a host of promotional activites, while Cosmetica Italia launched a new directory Buy Italian Cosmetics, giving Italian beauty brands a free profile on the trade body’s website.
Meredith Kerekes, Head of U.S. Beauty Desk at Italian Trade Commission stated, “The purpose of our program is to promote the awareness, availability and excellence of Italian skin products.
“As we know, Italian beauty products are not even in the consideration in the mindset of an American consumer.”
So, has it been successful? How did it fare? Well, such was the take up that the program is now launching for a second year. And with Italian exports sales growing 9 percent to a total of $5.4 billion, it’s clear that the project has made the impact it desired.
Indeed, it seems that the current attention on ‘Made in Italy’, with a definite focus on Italian sophistication and relaxation, is catching on. Valentino, for example, has signed a licensing agreement with L’Oréal Group to produce a range of prestige beauty and fragrances aimed at millennials, set to launch in 2019, while Dutch multinational Unilever has showcased its own interest in the market, having just acquired a 75 percent stake in Italian personal care company Equilibra. Speaking of its purchase, Alan Jope, Unilever President Beauty & Personal Care, spoke of the company’s placement in the wellness space in Italy – another area of the market the Made in Italy tagline could be well placed to capitalize on.
And capitilize they should. The Beauty Made in Italy business inclubator is now set to host 35 companies not yet distributed in the US, while a brand accelerator will boost four bigger brands already in the country and an Italian Beauty Council will help to develop awareness. So it seems after experiencing economic turmoil, the Italian government is stepping up to better support and promote the industry – the world, it seems, its oyster.