Jean-Christophe Van Geem is a Belgian citizen, but his Minas Gerais accent reveals a long-standing attachment to Brazil where he has been living for about thirty years. He has been representing Cosmogen in Latin America as Commercial Director for four years now.
As close as possible to customers
“In Latin America, the cosmetics market includes a wide range of local businesses of varying sizes, from start-ups to giant multinationals. As sales manager, my main mission is to follow these companies and to listen to their expectations", explains Jean-Christophe Van Geem.
According to Van Geem, customers in Latin American have a different approach than in other parts of the world, such as Asia and the Middle East, where Cosmogen is also doing business. “The difference lies in the proximity to the customer. We are used to connect and interact quickly. If you don’t have that more personal approach, it doesn’t work.”
Cosmogen currently sales in seven countries in the region, with Brazil accounting for approximately 60% of the company’s Latin American turnover. However, according to Jean-Christophe Van Geem, there is still a lot to do. “It’s a huge market. It would be risky to pretend that I know it entirely. But Cosmogen’s product offering is very broad, so I can navigate the main segments of the cosmetics market, from skin care and hair products to makeup and perfumes.”
Partnership with C-Pack
For greater proximity to local customers, Cosmogen has entered into a partnership with C-Pack, a Brazilian manufacturer of plastic tubes for the cosmetics segment. “As part of this collaboration, C-Pack locally produces the tubes for which we can use our various applicators,” says the sales director. "Local customers can rely on a local supplier and thus purchase a complete, fully assembled solution."
The disposable tube is made with green polyethylene (PE), a raw material from a renewable source. However, the applicator can be reused with another tube.
Jean-Christophe Van Geem points out that the choice of a local partner like C-Pack is also strategic in terms of sustainability. “The future is sustainability. There is no other way.”
Cosmogen has recently developed numerous solutions in line with this market demand. Dedicated to solid cosmetics, the ReUse Stick, for instance, is the only single-material (PP) stick packaging on the market to be recyclable, waterproof and refillable. Each refill can save up to 56% plastic material. Another example is the patented R-Brush, a 100% mono-material brush, with no glue, and entirely made of recycled PET. “Sustainability is a major concern of the Latin American cosmetics industry. For this reason, our growth depends on these sustainable products,” highlights the manager.
Without citing any figures (the company belongs to an investment fund that does not disclose this information), Van Geem emphasizes that Latin America is a "relevant market" for the French company. “If you look at everything we’ve done since 2017, it was a real success for all parties. We are on a growth dynamic and we intend to continue at this pace,” he concludes.