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Aircos reaps the benefits of its innovation strategy

Things were far from certain in 2011! But after four years working on research and development, the French firm’s leaders have every right to be satisfied with their new “made in Aircos” back injection technology, a good reason to keep banking and investing on the company’s original core business: powders and by-products. Aircos plans to reach more than €12.5 million in turnover this year, compared to 10.5 million in 2014, for a workforce of 150 employees on its double activity, the production of cosmetic formulas and plastic injection. Here is an update with Frédéric Lancesseur, CEO, and Thomas Sirot, Sales and Marketing Director.

Frédéric Lancesseur

Frédéric Lancesseur

Premium Beauty News - You are one of the only companies in France, if not the only one, to be able to boast about a double activity, plastic injection and formula production, for the cosmetics sector!

Frédéric Lancesseur - Indeed, our operations are fully integrated, and we can assert this double activity. Besides, it is actually thanks to our double expertise that we decided and were able to develop a new back injection process called IPM, which makes it possible for us to put forward our mastery of the container/content compatibility. This technology requires our know-how both in formulation and injection. It was entirely developed by the company. This new process enables not to “traumatize” the ingredients (in particular pigments and pearlescent agents), and therefore obtain amazing softness and brightness.

Premium Beauty News – And you have actually grown enough to offer industrial production in this field, haven’t you?

Frédéric Lancesseur - Absolutely, we developed a high-capacity automated machine as early as last year. And the percentage represented by this new technique in Aircos’s turnover has risen to about 20%. Besides, this only served to reinforce what was already one of our advantages: our ability to guarantee our customers a full service offer.

This new technique presents many advantages for us: optimum results in terms of textures, forms and surface effects, an extremely clean process, and a very competitive technology.

Premium Beauty News – And this technology eventually drove you to refocus on your core business!

Frédéric Lancesseur - It has to be said, our company is organized around three major activities. First, plastic injection is carried out on our site in Ardon, near Orléans in the central region of France, where 33 injection machines and several automated assembly and finishing lines are operating. Then, formulations are developed in two laboratories located in Boulogne-Billancourt, near Paris, and Romorantin, also in central France. Lastly, manufacturing and conditioning are also carried out in Romorantin, where the plant has a production and conditioning capacity of more than 110 million units per year.

We have taken the necessary steps to become full service specialists. This clearly constitutes a cornerstone in the development of Aircos. We have expertise in all phases of makeup production, which, to our customers, makes us responsible for every aspect of the product, including, of course, the packaging part.

However, our main development strategy is focused on powders. Mastering different powder formulation and production technologies represents one of our cornerstones, which obviously makes it legitimate for us to boast about an excellent expertise in the “complexion” segment: eye shadows, loose powders, body powders, etc.

Premium Beauty News – No doubt 2015 will be a year of exports!

Thomas Sirot

Thomas Sirot

Thomas Sirot - Among other things, yes, it will! As an example, we will take part in the MakeUp in New York show for the first time as exhibitors. It is clear the North American market represents a development potential for Aircos. We aim for our exports to reach between 20% and 25% of our turnover by 2017, compared to 10% right now. Today, we are holding all the cards: perfect control in R&D, and unique technologies and processes. In addition, the euro has weakened, and some brands wish to highlight their “Made in France” production.

Premium Beauty News - Which new products are you going to launch next June at MakeUp in Paris?

Thomas Sirot - Our main product innovations comprise a range entirely dedicated to the face contouring/sculpting trend, specific eyebrow formulas, and unique powder sampling concepts, including a “Small is beautiful” range to come out as soon as June 18.

Interview by Jean-Yves Bourgeois and Vincent Gallon

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