Premium Beauty News - The development of the slide-up button tubes for lipsticks is often presented as a technical revolution. Could you explain why

Thomas Weckerle - On the one hand, this development was a true challenge to Weckerle Machines, whereby we needed to adapt to new trends on the packaging side to create an industrial process related to the new way the packaging was conceived. By adjusting tools and modifying existing equipment, we quickly addressed this challenge.

On the other hand, such an innovative process is part of every project we handle. From our point of view, every single project owns its part of innovation and R&D challenges; there is hardly any project without innovation. That’s the reason why we constantly carry on improving our development processes.

This project shows how much Weckerle Machines’ equipment is adapted to innovation. New Weckerle machines are always made considering that enough flexibility is needed to make possible the development of innovative products.

Premium Beauty News - After the launch of airtight tubes for lipsticks did you continue to develop this technique? What kind of improvements were required?

Thomas Weckerle - Airtight components are more and more important due to the fact that we have been moving away from the regular wax and oil formulations. At Weckerle we are constantly improving our processes in all areas particularly packaging, formulations and production process design. This in order to create innovative concepts which don’t look at a single dimension, namely packaging, but also in all the areas involved to make a cosmetics product.

Premium Beauty News - What proportion of your investments does the lipsticks sector represent?

Thomas Weckerle - It is extremely difficult allocate a figure to the development of lipsticks. As I mentioned before, every project implies an R&D challenge and therefore it is difficult measure investments into a specific sector. We are constantly investing into innovation.

Premium Beauty News - So, what about your turnover?

Thomas Weckerle - Lipsticks represent around 40% of our turnover.

Premium Beauty News - Do you think the sector will suffer from the economic climate?

Thomas Weckerle - We doubt about it. Colour cosmetic products tend to be resistant to economic downturns. Just asking a simple question may help to make the demonstration: “will your wife stop buying a lipstick just because of an economic downturn?” Make-up products have turned to be a commodity for consumers and hopefully the impact on an economic slow down is minimum.

In addition, we are very active in the mass-market sector and we believe that this particular sector could even benefit from an economic downturn.

Premium Beauty News - And the alleged competition between lipsticks and the glosses?

Thomas Weckerle - During a couple of years, at the beginning of the decade, there has been a shift in the business from lipsticks to lip glosses but eventually the market realized that both products complement each other and in certain concepts they even work together.

Also there have been new developments in formulation on both sides as well as the development of filling techniques such as the centre core for lipstick, which has brought a different dynamic to both concepts.

The bottom line here is that what we can achieve with a lip gloss we can’t achieve it with a lipstick and inversely, this is a challenge for us and we liked to be challenged!

Premium Beauty News - Concerning the evolutions of European and foreign markets?

Thomas Weckerle - Eastern Europe has become a key market for lipsticks and for the cosmetics industry in general.

Actually, it is increasingly necessary to a have good knowledge of local markets in order to have a better understanding of their specific needs and to develop concepts that are relevant to today’s global trends while addressing local demands. Particularly in growing markets such as Latin America, Eastern Europe and China.