Giovanni Luca Atena
Director of the Office for Mexico, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica
Italian Trade Agency at ITA
/
Expert Contributor

Cosmetics: An Ancestral Industry with a Bright Future

By Giovanni Atena | Mon, 12/28/2020 - 09:00

The use of cosmetics goes back to our ancestral cultures. Archeological and documented traces are common in the Mediterranean area, where the use of substances to modify appearance was usual in almost all cultures of the area and among men and women. It is a tradition that we find even in pre-Hispanic cultures, where, just to give an example, Aztecs used a variety of substances for cosmetic purposes.
In the course of thousands of years of evolution, the cosmetics industry has always sought to follow and guide the needs of its users. Today in Italy, it is a sector that stands out for its quality, innovation and high safety standards, as well as being one of the leading players in international markets. On the basis of these pillars, and following the emergence of COVID-19, the sector is looking to its guiding principles to overcome economic stagnation and to re-launch the industry.

In this context, the BEAUTY MADE IN ITALY project is being launched by Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the ICE Agency and Cosmetica Italia, the association representing the national cosmetics industry and its supply chain. In recent weeks, an exclusive catalog has emerged, translated into nine languages (in addition to the Italian version, it is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Thai, French, Arabic, Chinese and Korean). The catalog brings together 800 companies exhibiting at the 53rd edition of Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna, representing a total of 3,500 brands and more than 15,000 products, and has become a commercial tool to enhance networking and relations between Italian companies on the one hand and international buyers, retailers and distributors on the other.
Among the key markets involved, Latin America stands out. As part of our effort, we held an online webinar to present the BEAUTY MADE IN ITALY project to stakeholders in Mexico. The webinar was an opportunity to take stock of the evolution of the cosmetics universe, with new trends and reactions in the post-pandemic international markets, thanks to the contributions of the Beautystreams trend agency and Euromonitor International, a market research firm.

The project created to support our companies during the emergency linked to the pandemic is becoming a strategic vehicle for business development, and is part of a program of initiatives from Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna, with new specific tools to relaunch the sector. In recent months, we have defined new digital technologies to facilitate the match between supply and demand, making use of the support of international institutions and key players to offer operators around the world the best services.

Our guiding principle is to help Italian companies to modernize their processes, to adapt to the new paradigms of world trade and technological innovation. As ICE, we are strongly committed to digital and to strengthening support for companies and the exhibition system, in light of this new scenario. Within this framework, we are working on a major campaign to promote the Italian brand and accelerate it with a series of actions, including agreements with numerous marketplaces with the aim of attracting Italian companies through 59 trade initiatives and large-scale distribution channels, offline to online, in 28 countries; the Smart 365 Fair project that will allow the event to be experienced 365 days a year; and many other actions aimed, for example, at directing training toward digital export managers and ongoing projects for the use of blockchain technology for the protection of Made in Italy. In short, these are support measures and new tools to unite reaction to the emergency and vision so that our country can once again be a market leader. 

The Italian cosmetics industry is recognized in international markets for the high standards of its products and in recent months, our companies have demonstrated that they know how to react quickly to the emergency, identifying the most effective strategies to proactively face constantly changing scenarios and taking advantage of the importance of creating systems. The Beauty Made in Italy project is an example of how fair trade, industry and institutions can work closely together to overcome this phase and how we have a strong interest in strengthening our presence in the Latin American market, with a particular emphasis on the Mexican market with which we have a myriad of cultural contacts.

Photo by:   Giovanni Luca Atena