Integrated to Swiss group Sulzer in 2016, German company Geka developed know-how in beauty packaging solutions as soon as 1925. Driven by make-up market dynamics, they achieved a EUR 150 million turnover in 2019 and count 1,000 employees around the world, four production sites based in Bechhofen, Germany (headquarters), São Paulo, Brazil, Elgin, near Chicago, Illinois, and Shanghai, China, and two sales offices in France and Poland.
“We are present on four continents, because it is crucial to be in line with our customers’ needs,” explains Geka CEO Florent Lafont, who considers developing an additional solution for the African continent in the long run.
Global industrial investments
In light of the growing demand of the American market, in particular of indie brands, the company completed its full-service offering, already operational in Germany, in the Elgin plant. Since 2019, the site has provided production, decoration, and filling services thanks to a new automated filling and capping machine with a capacity of 15 million units per year.
The Shanghai plant, shared with Sulzer, was also enhanced by integrating Geka’s unique expertise in injection moulding, decoration by printing, manufacturing, and product development in colour cosmetics. This way, the company got closer to their ever-increasing client base in Asia and to the Chinese market, which is booming again in the post-COVID era.
Lastly, major investments were made to extend the main site in Bechhofen: 10,000 m2 will be added to the current 12,000 m2 to concentrate all activities and divisions, which used to be spread across several sites in Germany, including the former Oeka site in Bamberg, purchased in 2015. “We aim to create stronger synergies, gain flexibility, and reduce delivery lead times,” says Florent Lafont. The production tool will be operational as soon as January 2021: it is being enhanced with new technologies, decoration capacities, and improved automation.
Towards a completely sustainable company
In addition, Geka endeavours to focus their strategy on all areas of improvement as regards carbon footprint and sustainability, both in terms of production processes and products. “We are more than ever focused on digitalization, innovation, development, and environmental issues,” highlights the CEO.
Last September, the company won the Platinium prize awarded by Ecovadis, which certifies companies’ sustainability, so they are now ranked among the 1% best companies assessed around the world.
As for alternative packaging solutions, the Reborn collection unveiled last June offers eye and lip makeup products with sustainable packaging containing 93% recycled materials or biosourced alternatives.
An expert in mascara brushes, and even a pioneer in moulded brushes, with 122 million units produced in 2019, Geka also boasts know-how in the development of applicators, containers, and finished products for all beauty segments. “From nail varnish to hair accessories and lipsticks, we are definitely equipped to offer our added value to a large number of categories. It is our strategy for the future,” concludes Florent Lafont.