An interview with Dario Ferrari, founder and president of Intercos, the world’s largest color-cosmetics manufacturer.
From your last participation of Cosmopack Asia in 2015, which are the major changes you see in the Asian market.
Today, the Asian market is everybody’s priority. This is the place where the highest share of turnover for major beauty multinationals is made, with most of this growth coming from Prestige brands, and actives in skincare.
In the next 5 to 7 years we are going to see 1 billion new consumers. The future belongs to companies that are able to understand what those consumers will need. Anticipating this change is the only way to lead the future.
We’ve been addressing the Asian market for a long time, and have amplified our strengths in the latest years through our local R&D network, Marketing Intelligence, Sales and Operations capabilities,present in China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan – both directly and through partnerships (Shinsegae in Korea and Sumitomo in Japan).
Innovation is always the weapon of Intercos. What are the new products and innovation that you will present in Cosmoprof Asia 2019?
Consumers in Asia are extremely sophisticated, and as soon as they have the opportunity, they buy more qualitative products with a prestige image: with this vision, local brands are evolving by creating a more premium image and are actively seeking innovation as a weapon of differentiation.
As Intercos, we are pushing to deliver innovation with a strong visual impact: Prisma technology created a revolution in terms of 3D & High Definition designs in powders, complemented by the highest color purity and the softest marshmallow-like texture.
Inspired by Prisma, we have globally patented a new technology for Lipsticks, allowing us to achieve – like never before – stunning visual effects, both in terms of dimensional designs, dynamic color impressions, and dramatic sparkle finish. We believe this technology meets the desire of brands to create more animated effects in the Asian fastest growing makeup category.
This is just a part of the story: the real innovation comes mostly from new raw materials, new technologies and processes, reinventing packaging and application techniques.
“Sustainability” becomes the latest buzzword for the beauty industry. How are you addressing this issue?
I personally believe Sustainability is going to be a priority for all of the brands willing to create an authentic connection with Millennials and Gen Z, but it is also true that there is still a lot of confusion in the market about what “Clean” beauty means – it might as well vary brand by brand.
This is the reason why we created the Intercos Clean Manifesto to establish our point of view in the market, addressing not only formula innovation but also sustainability in packaging and the supply chain.
Focusing on the reduction of our environmental Footprint and making our vision of Sustainability and Responsibility a reality by focusing our efforts on three primary pillars:
GOOD FOR YOU: Quality products with high number of natural ingredients and avoiding those ingredients with a disputable reputation in the market
GOOD FOR LIFE: Cruelty free and vegan, sustainable sources of ingredients and use of by-products from different industries
GOOD FOR THE PLANET: Low carbon footprint and high sustainability of packaging options
How do you see the cosmetic markets in Asia? What are the biggest challenges that you were facing?
There is something I always say, that making strategy for the Asian market is like playing a chess game.. and I love chess! The complexity of this market is created by its diversity: Japan, China, South Korea and now India and South East Asia are extremely differentiated in terms of beauty vision, positioning and competition.
We see the rise of indie brands / small brands in North America and Europe. Do you think indie brand is a thing in Asia?
I’ve been going in Asia for more than 40 years, and I realized that somehow the trend is similar country by country: International brands create an appetite for beauty, but in the end, local brands emerge and takeover the market. It happened first in Japan, then in Korea, and I believe in China it will be soon the same. I had the opportunity to meet several Chinese smart entrepreneurs that have been proven successful in the market with a mix of eye-catching products and intelligent social media strategy.
What trends are you seeing in Color Cosmetics?
Makeup is giving new generations the power of expressing their style with great creativity, and social media has been the right platform to make this trend explode. Next year will be the start of 5G, providing incredible opportunities in further evolving color expression and dimension: it will be the new age of makeup augmented reality. Big Data will be the secret weapon, able to really anticipate the desire of beauty of all consumers around the world. By listening to their voices, we are going to create the products they are dreaming of.