Located in Normandy, in the North-West of France, the Biopack factory, one of the five European manufacturing sites of the Arcade Beauty group, is facing a surge in demand for its core business: the filling and packaging of samples and mini perfume and cosmetic products. Over the past three years, the company has invested 3.5 million euros to increase its production capacity.

After the installation of five new machines between late 2023 and early 2024, combined with the implementation of a vast operational efficiency program, Biopack should have around 25% additional capacity this year. Enough to take the heat off, after a year 2023 marked by production tensions.

A doubling of sales over the last 5 years

Between 2017 and 2023, Biopack’s turnover doubled to pass the 60 million euro mark. This growth was supported by a strong recruitment plan, with the workforce increasing from 100 staffs in 2017 to 200 staffs in 2023. Furthermore, 3.5 million euros have been invested in the expansion of the site, rationalization and new machines, over the last three years.

In 2023, additional volumes had to be produced even though all the machines had not yet arrived. We have therefore implemented a performance strategy to get the most out of our production tool. This lean production program allowed us to ramp up production in good conditions,” explains Mathieu Guilluy, the plant manager.

Changes in uses

According to Biopack Arcade Beauty, the rapid growth in demand is explained by the strengthening role of samples. “Of course the strong growth in the global perfume market has driven our volumes, but the trend is more general and is linked to less brand loyalty, leading consumers to test more products,” underlines Mathieu Guilluy.

Consumers’ desire that samples provide an experience as close to that of full-size products leads to an increased sophistication that benefits mini products, the production of which has tripled since 2017, while that of mini sprays increased by 20% over the same period. For its part, the production of traditional sample cards has stalled.

Production flexibility

However, the success of mini products and the trend towards premiumization require production to be adapted to a wide variety of formats. “We need very flexible machines, which we can adapt very quickly to industrialize products,” says Mathieu Guilluy.

The Biopack plant can respond to requests from large groups as well as small brands with minimum quantities varying from 5,000 to 10,000 units depending on the type of product. “But we remain flexible, our strength is in finding solutions,” insists the plant manager.

Depending on the brands’ requests, Biopack can carry out packaging, its core business, but also, ensure the sourcing of formulas and packaging, in addition to managing decoration and assembly operations.

Finally, let’s note that the investments in additional production capacity were concomitant to the implementation of a plan to reduce the environmental footprint that enabled Biopack to reduce electricity consumption while increasing production.