Thomas Sirot, Commercial Director, Aircos

Thomas Sirot, Commercial Director, Aircos

Recognized above all for its expertise in the manufacture and packaging of make-up powders (free, compacted or multi-compacted powders, or back-injected powders), Aircos has seen its sales jump from 13.5 million euros in 2015 to 25 million (forecast) in 2019. A performance linked, according to Thomas Sirot, Commercial Director, to "the success met by the formulas designed in-house, in particular powders developed thanks to our IPM [1] back-injection technology, which allows obtaining a new generation of formulas, which are a lot more creamier and with a high content of nacres, but also to the concomitant opening of new export markets". Today, exports account for 47% of the company’s sales (mainly to the United States and the Middle East).

6.5 million euros invested in three years

The company offers its customers operating mainly in premium and luxury segments, eye and complexion products, blushes, bronzers and also body powders, but Aircos also knows how to hot-fill lipsticks, glosses and concealers, using formulas made by partners.

To meet a challenging growth, Aircos integrated, at the end of 2017, the Anjac Health & Beauty Group and invested both heavily in its production tool with, in 2018, a 50% increase in the size of its make-up site in Romorantin, dedicated to the manufacture of powders, and in the construction of controlled atmosphere rooms, not to mention the acquisition of new equipment for the Ardon site, near Orléans, more specifically dedicated to packaging production. "Today we have a fleet of 35 injection machines. We mostly manufacture custom products, but due to high demand, we are starting to offer standard products in ready-to go mini formats. We are actually going to expand our standard offer to better meet the expectations of brands," specified Thomas Sirot.

In total, more than 6.5 million euros have been invested over the last three years (2017, 2018, 2019) mainly in new equipment and for the plant expansion, with the aim of obtaining the ISO 22716 certification (Good Manufacturing Practices in Cosmetics) in the first quarter of 2020.

To note that the company currently has two R&D laboratories, one in Paris, focused on innovation, and the other in Romorantin, which specializes in the industrialization of new formulas.

"We are investing heavily in formulas. At the level of Aircos and of the Anjac Health & Beauty Group, where Innovation Committees meet suppliers, share their information on raw materials, on processes," emphasised Thomas Sirot. "We recently launched, under the name Crystal Fusion, formulas mixing creamy and matte textures, as well as matte powder bases with a very strong metallic pay-off".

The teams were also beefed up with the arrival of Philippe Proust, (formerly Sanofi), who took over the management of the Romorantin plant in November 2018, of Nathalie Soulard, who was appointed Supply Chain Manager in February 2019, and of Éric Hoisnard, former Nuxe Packaging Development Director and who was appointed Project Development Manager in January.

Naturalness and a CSR approach

Finally, to meet the expectations of the marketplace, Aircos has engaged since mid-2018 in a CSR approach led by Frédéric Lancesseur, CEO of the company. A strategy structured around three pillars : More sustainable products, a positive contribution to the territories, and the development of employees.

In a context clearly oriented towards naturalness, the creation of more sustainable products is undeniably a key strategy. This involves a sustainable purchasing policy, a ’clean formulation’ offer based on an Aircos list inspired by the Cosmos label. We can also offer natural formulas to customers wishing to go one step further in the area. In our laboratories, we master and adjust the level of naturalness in our formulas, as of the conception stages. We are also focusing on the eco-design of our products and packaging," detailed Thomas Sirot.

At a time when brands, especially young emerging and promising start-ups in North America, rely more and more on their suppliers but with rising levels of requirements, the integration of Aircos in the Anjac Health & Beauty Group has helped consolidate investment capabilities and meet the challenges of a rapidly growing market along with a strong international development. Next stage? "A sales office backed by new production resources in North America," revealed Thomas Sirot. More information on the above will probably be disclosed at the upcoming MakeUp in New York trade show, next September 11 and 12, 2019, where Aircos will present its new products to its American customers.