A dynamism embodied by one of the jewels of the German industry, Schwan Cosmetics (3,200 employees) whose sales have increased significantly in the 2015/2016 fiscal year, rising by 14.3% to 364.3 million euros including more than 174 million for sharpenable pencils, more than 112 million for mechanical pencils, 62 millions for liquid liners and more than 17 million for mascaras and other products. Investments amounted to more than 30 million euros and were made predominantly in the development of new products and in increasing capacity in Germany and abroad.
“More than half a billion consumers require an enormous product range, particularly as their requirements are becoming more and more individual. Our aim is to create the perfect products for every woman in the world,” said the Managing Director Dr. Jörg Karas.
Schwan Cosmetics is represented by ten subsidiaries across four continents (Germany, Czech Republic, China, Indonesia, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and the United States). A year after opening the Centre of Excellence in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (USA), Schwan Cosmetics can see positive first results: Production has got off to a good start and the integration of the new employees has been completed. The strategy of opening local production sites in the markets is also paying off in Central and South America. After expanding their Mexico site, the Colombia site was in turn expanded.
The dynamics of "digital"
As for the current year, digital will be the hallmark of the year for the German company. Bernd Preuschoff, Schwan Cosmetics’ new Vice President Digital Transformation, will launch discussions in a keynote at the round table on Beauty in the Digital era, at the next MakeUp in Paris. For Bernd Preuschoff, "digital change is on the way. For companies, it is essential to identify these changes and seize new opportunities for innovation."
Recently, Schwan Cosmetics also launched the "Schwan Digital Studio": This unit is central to all themes related to digital transformation in the company; its role will be to collect new ideas, test them and bring them to market quickly.
To deliver a quality digital experience, according to Bernd Preuschoff, digital technology must not only inspire the user, it must most of all satisfy its needs and solve its problems while generating a "wow effect”. At the MakeUp in Paris trade show, Bernd Preuschoff will explain why the use of digital, to inspire the consumer in the field of beauty, is not going far enough. Indeed, other industries that have been considerably "shaken" by the digital wave have had to acknowledge that users expect most of all, solutions meeting their needs. Hence if cosmetic companies focus not only on inspiration but on the user’s experience, they will also have to prepare themselves to deal with "digital perturbations".
Mascara, the "flagship" product!
The Rusi company another player based in the Nuremberg region is just as dynamic; the Company employs 180 people with EUR20 million in sales, i.e., an increase of more than 8% in 2016 compared to the previous year. Its owner and CEO, Klaus Sindel, has every reason of being satisfied. Specialized in the manufacture of mascaras but also lipgloss and eyeliners, the Company after having invested half a million euros in 2016 in its production tool, plans to buy five more injection machines in the twelve months to come, that is an increase in production of about 20%... "Being fully autonomous and integrated at the manufacturing level is indeed a strong commitment of the company,” saidKlaus Sindel.
A few kilometres from there, at Geka, which belongs since last year to the Swiss Group, Sulzer, the finding is the same! The factory in Bechhofen will soon be too small.
"This merger will result in the creation of a major player in the field of precision plastic injection,” stated a few months ago its CEO, Amaury de Mentière. “We must now finalize our integration within the APS Division and make use of industrial and development synergies. Mixpac which is also part of the APS Division is known for its mastery in the management of fluids and mixers. We could certainly use this expertise in the area of make-up and other cosmetics. We are working on it. We also plan to expand our Bechoffen plant and works are expected to begin later this year.”
In addition, Geka has further expanded its Brazil plant and could successfully launch the first local products. Geka has introduced a number of new products such as the pureSENSATION 2K brush, the softSECRET Sandwich brush or the LASH STAR Supernova Mascara with the patented multi-benefit brush, just to name a few...
The other country of "Pencils"
Upper north, between Bonn and Cologne, in the small town of Niederkassel next to the Rhine River, the 100% family owned Company, United Brands Marketing GmbH (UBM). The classic German family Company headed by David J. Kohen (CEO USA) and his wife Ivonne K. Kohen (CEO Europe), remains a model of its kind. With its 60 people from 28 different nations and nearly EUR12 million in sales expected in 2017 - mainly specialized in the manufacturing of liquid eyeliner ink pens and dip liners – including all the plastic parts manufactured in house -, time is more than ever for expansion, investments and diversification.
Over the past few months, UBM have invested the hefty amount of 3.2 million euros only in their headquarters in Germany in the acquisition of eight injection machines, six fully automatic pen assembly machines and six hot stamp printing machines – and the first robotic fully automatic subunit packing machine. The company also set up its United States subsidiary United Brands Manufacturing Inc. beginning of 2016. A new show room will be opened around June 2017 in New York Manhattan because of the massive growing number of US clients and multinationals. The first US factory with 2.000 m² production space is planned for the year 2019 in the State of New Jersey – exactly the same products but Made in USA.
"We are certainly the only manufacturer in the world offering so many models, designs and different sizes of Liquid Ink Liner Pens in every major market segment – mass, middle and luxury premium. We offer pens in 4 different diameters (8 mm, 10 mm, 12 mm and 16 mm), jumbo size; all products are available also with PBT brush nibs," explained David J. Kohen, owner and CEO. And there is more to come! The firm, which already launched in March 2017 the new Dip Liner product line, is now about to launch in the fourth quarter of 2017 a new range of mechanical / retractable wax lead pencils. The next planned step end in 2018 is to enter the niche of mascaras.
"We are fortunate to own over 45.000 m² of land for further expansion around our existing 3 factory buildings," said David J. Kohen. As a consequence, he has already planned the construction of a new 10.800 m² new modern GMP building on two levels for the end of 2018 next to the existing factories. As for the number of new products and innovations that regularly emerge from the Company’s Product Development Department, they are galore...
As for Faber Castell Cosmetics, at the headquarters of the German group in Stein near Nuremberg, smiles are on all faces. Out of a total staff of over 7,500 people worldwide, nearly 800 of them are part of the Cosmetic business unit. A Division that posted excellent results last year with double-digit sales growth.
"Step by step," recently explained the Managing Director Christina Zech, "we adjust our textures to be able to produce them similarly on all our production sites, thus providing us and our customers a high level of flexibility. On the whole, we strive to increase our global reach and to be closer to our customers. In addition, we are working on an extension of our packaging offer, with innovative formulas specially developed for each format; this is as you know, one of our key competences. Our international customers can be sure to find at a ‘one-stop shop’: high quality products, convenience and safety where we stand behind with our reputation.”
Concerning products, the company highlights its Slim Plastic line MAGNETIC, “the perfect pencil for super long-lasting eye- and lip-formulations.” It can easily be customized in any colour and is now available with shiny, matte, pearly and metallic finish. “We developed extraordinary formulations and a striking colour range that varies from classic to electric, matte to metallic. Its gel-like consistency makes it glide-on like a dream then sets to a super lasting finish,” she adds.
During MakeUp in Paris this year, Faber Castell Cosmetics is going to showcase “an extraordinary full colour, wet shine lipstick texture that is super creamy and buttery and thanks to our Jumbo-sized pencil a mess-free and controlled application is a breeze.”
Eventually, for Faber Castell Cosmetics, liquid eyeliners are one of the main drivers in the cosmetics world. “We offer Slim and Chubby Liquid liners with a variety of different tips for different styles. At Cosmopack Bologna we presented two new tips: PEEK-A-BOO eye styler has a paddle tip with integrated peek that provides a double-flow passage around the central opening ensuring a continuous, extraordinary saturated line. And, CANDY BEAD lip tint has a bubble-shaped tip with cushion feel. It glides on easily with a smooth touch and provides a soft and saturated line. We presented it with a 10h lasting liptint but of course, you can also have it in an eyeliner format.”