"Recovery was strong in 2021, both in the domestic and overseas markets," stressed Renato Ancorotti, President of Cosmetica Italia.

According to the association’s estimates, the Italian industry closed the year 2021 with total sales of EUR 11.7 billion, up +10.2% compared to 2020 when sales in value had fallen to EUR 10.6 billion. A significant but partial recovery, since the Italian industry only recovered EUR 1.1 billion out of the EUR 1.5 billion lost in 2020.

Estimated turnover of the Italian cosmetics industry in 2021 (Source:...

Estimated turnover of the Italian cosmetics industry in 2021 (Source: Cosmetica Italia)

In 2021, recovery was first driven by external demand (+13.0% for exports, which reached EUR 4.7 billion), while the domestic market (+6.5%) remained disrupted by the restrictions linked to the pandemic.

Cosmetica Italia expects to return to - and even exceed - the pre-crisis level (EUR 12.1 billion in 2019) later this year. The trade association anticipates closing 2022 with a business volume of EUR 12.5 billion (which would represent a +6.5% increase compared to 2021). Contract manufacturing, one of the strong points of the Italian industry, should even see its activity grow significantly with a growth forecast of +15% in 2022 (compared to an estimated +8% increase between 2020 and 2021).

A survey conducted among the association’s member companies, however, shows several concerns among manufacturers, in particular, due to supply chain disruptions (more than 80% of the companies surveyed believe that difficulties will persist in 2022) and rising production costs.

"Despite the significant growth at the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, several indicators are worrying players in the sector," Cosmetica Italia underlines.

Nevertheless, the association considers that the Italian cosmetics industry has proven its resilience and that investments in innovation will continue to pay off, in particular by strengthening the competitiveness of Made in Italy products on global markets.