Cosmetic renaissance: Italy’s cosmetics industry thrives in 2023 amid global challenges

Cosmetic renaissance: Italy’s cosmetics industry thrives in 2023 amid global challenges

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2023 has officially been a golden year for the cosmetics industry, with estimated revenues of €14.4 billion (+8% vs 2022), domestic demand at €12 billion, growing by +8.5%, and exports reaching €6 billion, a +10% increase compared to 2022. Despite conflicts and challenges related to costs and sourcing materials (glass, paper, plastic, and metal components), the forecasts for 2024 are promising. End-of-year 2023 forecasts show cosmetics as a steadily growing sector, driving the Italian economy, with companies capable of adapting based on market trends.

Regarding investments, in 2023, the focus was primarily on: R&D, sustainability, training, and digitalization—essential investments to bridge the gap generated during the pandemic period and address the recovery marked by new consumer behaviors and needs.

Positive news also concerns exports. The search for new markets for Italian-made cosmetics places East Asia at the top of the list, followed by North America. While China remains a key destination for beauty products, interest is growing in Latin America as well.

In terms of products, domestic demand has concentrated more on skincare products (face and body), accounting for about 35% of consumption, followed by hair products, perfumery, and makeup. There is a growing demand (and sales) for organic and environmentally friendly products.

Linked to this context is “safe beauty,” alongside the demand for “organic” and/or “green” products. The demand for safe and transparent products is increasing, starting from sourcing activities, manufacturing methods, and packaging, which is increasingly scrutinized for its crucial role.

Circular Beauty and upcycling are also growing trends, transforming food waste into valuable cosmetic ingredients, fostering collaboration between companies across different sectors to create a circular economy and sustainable beauty while combating food waste.

In addition to sustainability, other important consumer concerns include diversity and inclusivity, with brands increasingly aware of how attention to sustainability, environmental impact, individuality, and social responsibility can influence consumer choices.

All these demands can be met by the companies within the Polo della Cosmesi, the leading association of the cosmetic production chain (from raw materials to the final product, from primary to secondary packaging, from automation to brands), comprising nearly 100 companies representing ideal partners for those aiming to network and stand out in the international cosmetic landscape with innovative “Made in Italy” products.

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