Premium Beauty News - How did the lockdown period go for Fiabila? Were you able to keep serving your customers around the world?
Alexandre Miasnik - The pandemic spread progressively, so all our sites managed to adapt quickly, both internally, to preserve our teams, and from an industrial standpoint, since we aimed to keep producing. Eventually, we were almost able to keep our normal level of activity on all sites, except in India, where all non-essential industries were closed by the government.
Premium Beauty News - How are all your different sites doing now?
Alexandre Miasnik - Except in India, all sites are working normally. In France, our packaging sites will be very busy over the next few months, as they have been since May. Overall, the other markets are in a much satisfactory situation.
Premium Beauty News - How do you think the global nail polish demand will evolve?
Alexandre Miasnik - Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic made the global market slow down, since economic activities were partially suspended. But it did not last long.
In many countries, beauty salons were closed at least for a short while, but women still took care of themselves at home, so the market remains extremely dynamic. There are adjustments being made in a few regions, but they are mainly related to distribution channels and use habits (salons, mass distribution, selective network, etc.).
On many markets, women have also grown aware of the hazards of gel and semi-permanent nail polish, so they are turning their backs on them to buy conventional products which can be very easily applied and removed at home. We believe this positive situation will last, and that safe, compliant formulas will be developed on all markets.
Premium Beauty News - In the long term, do you think the nail polish market will enter a significant growth cycle again?
Alexandre Miasnik - Definitely. Besides, Euromonitor confirms this, as they forecast a 16% growth in value by 2024.
The nail polish market is historically cyclical, and it had picked up again at the beginning of the year. It is a cyclical product, because it competes with other makeup categories and, at least on some markets, it depends on passing fads. But, for a while now, some women have moved away from nail polish, because they have grown wary of it – the chemical industry is viewed negatively. Clean and green beauty, which Fiabila has always promoted, helped reconcile these very demanding consumers with this product.
Meanwhile, R&D has been making progress, as products are ever-more efficient, while being perfectly clean and, if needed, featuring ingredients of natural origin. Nail care products are also changing: they are getting more playful and efficient. They have a very high growth potential here.
Premium Beauty News - It seems the crisis has also made consumer expectations shift, or strengthened already strong trends, in particular as regards naturalness and CSR. Do you agree?
Alexandre Miasnik - Absolutely. Today, nail polish should reach extremely high purity levels, and consumers increasingly expect it to be of natural origin.
Also, shoppers pay attention to how nail polish is produced. Over the past few years, Fiabila has invested more than 70 million euros to modernize infrastructures. We are now the only nail polish manufacturer on the main global markets with cutting-edge production sites. Our French plant has even just been rewarded with the Ecovadis Platinum status, which makes us one of the top 1% best-performing sites in terms of environmental protection, out of all the sites audited by this reference body! For example, our plant in Maintenon has acquired a VOC burner to further reduce our carbon footprint, and we have almost finished significant works to automate our colouring solution production lines, as we have already done with bases.
In addition, different, shorter channels are getting more popular. The Made in China era, with products containing low-quality or hazardous raw materials shipped all around the world, is no longer a valid model for cosmetics, especially since the cost structure is no longer advantageous.
Premium Beauty News - The crisis is likely to have repercussions on the different market players, i.e. both brands and suppliers.
Alexandre Miasnik - As far as brands are concerned, the market distribution will undergo many changes – actually, it already did before the crisis. The evolution of consumption patterns is a challenge for all major players facing the competition of very dynamic independent brands.
As for nail polish manufacturers, more than ever, Fiabila confirms its leadership on the global and local levels. This is due to our strong investment and innovation policy, but also to our unique philosophy. And we will keep things this way despite the sanitary crisis. On the contrary, other players did not follow the same path, and obviously, a number of them who seemed pretty solid are now in tricky situations and might disappear in the short or medium term.