Innovation are major drivers

aperturaEstablished in San Pietro Viminario, near Padova, at the end of the last century, Claire Spa proved able to fulfill its customers request for new formulas and technologies thanks to the efforts and investments it dedicated to research and development; and states it is now poised for further growth. Claire spa was founded in 1997 in San Pietro Viminario, in the Italian province of Padova, in the Veneto region, with the aim to produce cosmetics, aerosol and medical devices for third parties. The combination of professional expertise and skills acquired by its founders, Maurizio Perazzolo and Giovanni Baldon, in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical markets, has enabled the company to soon gain many national and international clients. Claire Spa can rely on a 7,000 square meters plant equipped with advanced and up-to-date technologies and facilities, and on an organization able to ensure the quality of each and every production process, respect for natural resources as well as for safety in the workplace. The company’s recent evolutions, together with its near-future goals were explained by Claire’s vice president Maurizio Perazzolo in an interview to KosWorld.

What are Your company’s major points of strength, in Your opinion. Mr. Perazzolo?
Claire Spa can provide its customers with a complete portfolio of products and services, ranging from the development of new formulas to packaging, supporting its clients in the choice of the most convenient package. Customers can immediately select the standard packaging they need for jars and tubes; while when it comes to aerosol and sprays, Claire’s advice about the technical characteristics of the containers, followed by customers’ approval, proves to be most appreciated. We run an in house quality control laboratory where we can carry out the most relevant part of our research and development activities, but we can also rely on third party specialized players for clinical, safety and tolerance tests. Claire employs a workforce of 30 people but more professionals are temporarily hired in case of necessity, as it happens with sun care products, during the first part of the year.

Which are Your average customer’s most demanding and frequent requests, nowadays?
Customers generally ask for novelties, new releases and formulas that can assure them a remarkable visibility in terms of marketing, advertising and communication. But of course they also look for the maximum available reliability and the highest possible quality. We decided to heavily invest in the aerosol sector because when we realized that this kind of products was undergoing a series of important changes, not just because of its different and wider range of applications but also due to its eco-compatible and green nature. Today people look at aerosol as to a sustainable product: this evolution opens up new opportunities in the cosmetics arena, where this technology was only used for shaving foams, hair sprays, deodorants. Claire uses aerosols for personal hygiene products too.

Maurizio Perazzolo.
Maurizio Perazzolo.

Is the idea of sustainability becoming a critical factor of success in the contemporary market?
Of course the issues of environmental safety and eco-sustainability are becoming always more important with time, but a personal care product must also fulfill different kinds of needs: it has to provide users with a feeling of physical, sensorial and psychological well-being. Today, cosmetics must make feel people good and comfortable and they play a prominent role in people’s well-being. Thus, they surely have to be based on natural and safe raw materials, in first place, and this is surely an aspect that Claire strongly takes into account; and they need to be completely harmless, for individuals and environment. It has also to be pointed out that the emerging markets express a stronger request for traditional products; while mature markets pay a greater attention to innovation.

What are the other characteristics that make a release successful, in Your recent experience?
As I said, a sense of pleasantness and a perfect functioning are crucial for a cosmetic formula, but the market is also asking for easy-to-use articles. Today customers are rediscovering the importance of dedicating a greater amount of time and money to personal care and wellness, but on the other hand they want their cosmetics to be easy and fast to use. Claire is in fact working at a new line of hair care solutions that can be dubbed as an hair-make up, able to immediately restore their original hair dye color, in order to preserve the sense of well-being and looking good and comfortable we already mentioned earlier on. Available as sprays, they can be compared somehow to self-tanning creams and they represent a form of what we call no-stress product; that customers often require.

Is the made in Italy label still appreciated by customers worldwide as a synonym of quality?
In my opinion it is, indeed, and the made in Italy brand remains an icon of excellence. But Claire does deal both with Italian and multi-national manufacturers in our country and abroad, given their leading position in the global scenario. The local market still plays a prominent role in our overall business, but of course our customers distribute their products worldwide and this is the reason why we always strive to follow the major international market trends, together with their constant evolution. Our research and development unit can manage to provide traditional, standard products, that client industries can finally customize. Claire Spa can also offer a wide portfolio of medical devices and professional trichological solutions addressed both to hair specialists and beauty salons.

Is then Claire intentioned to carry out further operations and investments in the near future?
We have already invested in new productionlines and we are planning to double the size of our plants in the next three years, in terms of facilities and productionlines. At the same time, Claire’s capacity will increase as well, with new generation filling lines for the Bag on valve technology, and new lines for polyethylene and aluminum tubes. But so far, we do consider our business as satisfying, considering the ISO 9001, ISO 22716 and ISO 13485 certificates we have achieved.

Could You finally spend a few words about Your most recent business performance?
In 2014 we posted revenue of 4,7 million euros and our goal, for 2015, is to reach the peak of 6 million. In fact, we already gained 4 million euros earnings in the first two quarters of this year. 75% of our business comes from the cosmetics market while on the other hand the medical devices arena rocketed from 17 to 25% in terms of value. But that does not mean cosmetics is not growing: last year it achieved a 20% growth and our forecasts predict it could climb to a +40% this year. The Bag on valve technology (see the box) represents a significant boost, since it is used in such sun care products as sprays and self-tanning or tanning treatments. It proved to be comfortable and effective, thanks to the nebulizers that make this line of products one of the easiest and quickest to use. But an element of success is that of having the most correct and convenient formulas for this kind of solutions and our research and development department can build upon a long time expertise in the optimizing the nebulization technologies. We invest 3-4% of our overall income in innovation and at least four of our employees are entirely committed to innovation and testing.

Claire was established in 1997 by Maurizio Perazzolo and Giovanni Baldon, who still run and manage the firm nearly two decades later. Perazzolo displays a long-time experience in the pharmaceutical segment; whilst Baldon has inherited a cosmetics and trichological family business. Since the very beginning the two managers decided to focus on third party production of aerosol and sprays, that still play a prominent role in Claire’s business, alongside with traditional cosmetics. Sprays are possibly one of the company’s most important distinguishing elements, since only 50 out of the numerous Italian cosmetics-oriented manufacturers in the industry can include spray-filling technologies in their catalogue. Claire has the expertise needed to utilize such propellants as LPG in a traditional form, pressurize them with azote and treat them with the so-called Bag on valve technology or BOV, with compressed air operating a balloon contained inside a spray can. The BOV technology does not allow any contact between the propellant and the product and this innovation proved to be most appreciated by customers worldwide, thanks to its capability to serve both the cosmetics and the medical devices’ industry. The most relevant part of Claire’s overall business comes from the cosmetics arena, although the medical industry is growing significantly.

Claire Spa’s aim is that of providing its customers with a rich portfolio of innovative products and services and in order to reach this target the Padova-based company has developed an outstanding expertise in choosing the top-notch raw materials available and gain the highest accuracy of its production processes. The attention it pays to reliability and environmental safety and sustainability, together with the counselling and advice it is able to offer, turn Claire Spa into one of the best possible partners for companies in the personal care, pharmaceutical and medical devices scenario, worldwide. Turbo-emulsifiers and blenders of various capacities; filling lines at high speed and flexibility, latest generation safety plants; air and water treatment systems; large areas for storage of semi-finished and finished products are only a few of the specialties the Italian company can offer.


by R.Carminati