A place in the sun

Woman and girl playing on the beach

As the skin care and sun care industries and markets keep growing, Bregaglio’s goal is to fulfill the needs of a broadening customer base by signing partnership agreements with specialized producers, while building upon the results it achieved since it became part of the Zschimmer&Schwarz group
According to recent figures released by such companies as Transparency Market Research, the global skin care products market is expected to reach a 155.44 billion dollars value at the end of this decade, experiencing a 4.9% CAGR growth between 2015 and 2021. The Middle East will possibly emerge as the fastest growing market, with a +8.6% CAGR development rate until 2021, but analysts forecast the demand will rise in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia too. At the same time, Euromonitor International observed that the global sun care treatments market has generated 9.4 billion dollars revenue in 2013 and witnessed an 8% growth between 2013 and 2014. These are only some of the reasons why Bregaglio, an Italian distributor and manufacturer with headquarters in Biassono, some 20 kilometers away from Milano, can be confident that its business will expand in the near future. Focused both on the domestic and international scenarios, that the 32-years old firm addresses with different and dedicated strategies, Bregaglio strongly relies on its research and development activities, in order to always offer its clients new formulations and ideas. And that’s what Manuela Bertuzzi, appointed as Managing Director, told to KosWorld in an interview.

Manuela Bertuzzi
Manuela Bertuzzi

Could You briefly describe Bregaglio’s activities and structure, Mrs. Bertuzzi?
The company was established in 1984, and has thus celebrated its 30th anniversary only two years ago, and since its debut it decided to focus on the distribution of specialties in the skin care sector, while playing in the cosmetics scenario as a third party producer. But as time went by, we noticed that this dual organization could create uncertainty and confusion among clients; and that, furthermore, some of them could suspect some form of undergoing conflict of interests, to put it this way. This is also the reason why, back in 1989, third party production and trading activities were ultimately separated and our management decided to create two different, and specialized entities.

Bregaglio is part of the Zschimmer&Schwarz group: how did this partnership spring up?
In 2006, the Uniquema brand, that we used to distribute, was acquired by Croda, whose business model was based on direct sales instead of relying on distributors. But when the talks with the German group began, our goal was also to add new products to our portfolio, after losing the Uniquema catalogue. And this is exactly where the agreement with Zschimmer&Schwarz was signed. At first, in 2008, Zschimmer&Schwarz acquired some shares of Bregaglio and 3 years later, in 2011, it acquired our whole stock, while Bregaglio became Zschimmer&Schwarz’s distributor in the skin care market. The synergy between two favorable elements is one of our main characteristics: a recognized experience in the raw materials trade, on the one hand and, on the other, its participation in the activities of Zschimmer&Schwarz, a leading player in the segment.

Could You also give us an idea of the company’s most important goals, today?
In first place, one of our aims is that of signing further partnership and cooperation agreements with players in the cosmetics industry. But in addition to that we also want to focus on the research of new, and most of all, innovative, raw materials, in order to enrich our offer and enlarge our branded portfolio, of which the HelioPro sunscreen label is only one of the possible examples. Of course, we are constantly looking for new principals to work for and to represent on the market. It is significant that in recent times we signed new deals with such manufacturers as Salvona, a specialist in the field of micro-capsules, based in the United States; and with The Innovation Company, a French firm whose focus is represented by the development and production of sun and skin care solutions, that also offered Bregaglio the chance to increase our presence in the color cosmetics market. At the moment we are also planning to activate a new distribution agreement that will be possibly announced before In-Cosmetics.

What kind of strategies are You implementing to succeed on the local and global markets?
Throughout its 32 years-long history Bregaglio has always strived to play both on the domestic and international markets, addressing the Mediterranean area in first place but immediately turning to other countries too. Today, as a part of a multinational company we can rely on our sister companies worldwide in order to sell our products outside Italy too and to serve, at least, some of the most important region overseas. We cooperate with our sister companies by also offering them our experience and competence, but we still develop our business autonomously in such nations as Greece, for instance. Italy still represents our most important market and we always strive to fulfill its needs employing a growing number of resources, in terms of sales employees and investments. An interesting element in our business model is the relationship we have built with such universities and research centers as the University of Pavia, Camerino and Ferrara, which helped us to achieve important awards by some of the most prestigious, famous Master schools in cosmetology.

What does the expression of research and development mean to You and Your company?
Bregaglio is traditionally most devoted to applicative research, which is critical for developing new ideas and formulations to provide our worldwide customers with. The formulations that our laboratories currently manage to carry out have the goal to test our principals’ products, and to verify their capability to respond to our customers’ needs and specific requests. Since the very beginning, Bregaglio has always been a customer-oriented company: this commitment to customers is a key part of Bregaglio’s overall activity and characterizes both our commercial and manufacturing processes. We are also cooperating with our marketing teams in order to promote a different approach to clients. We want to analyze the ongoing market trends to create new formulations and ideas and, thus, actually respond to the market’s needs. Given this scenario, we must point out that raw materials have preserved their crucial role of guest-stars in our business.

Are new products and new formulations already underway at Bregaglio?
Our peculiarity is that of being part of an important manufacturing group without being a manufacturer, and this is the reason why we would like to acquire a different and more specialized status. Our laboratories are always at the forefront of innovation thanks to newly introduced instruments for the preventive evaluation of claims and, more specifically, thanks to recently introduced devices for functional test evaluations and the in-vitro evaluation of sun protection factors, for instance. And this is what allows Bregaglio to provide its customers with an effective pre and after sales support. Our newsroom is called B-Innovative and aims to translate into reality the efforts we make to always pursue innovation. We are constantly looking for new solutions, and innovation will undoubtedly characterize our activities and strategies in the skin care segment too.

What kind of opportunities do the global markets offer today, in times of economic crisis?
We still believe we can build upon the Made in Italy label, having realized that it represents an attractive and most appreciated brand worldwide, despite the fact we belong today to a leading German player. And this is one of the most important opportunities we want to seize today. Obviously, on the other hand, we must be ready, with the rightest structure and organization possible, to respond to our customers’ requests in the most effective and propositive way.

Bregaglio obtained the certificate of conformity to the UNI EN ISO 9002:1994 in 2000, as, as the company states, «evidence of an organizing action aimed both inside, within all its departments, and outside, in the relationship with suppliers and customers, to the spirit of complete clearness, frankness and commercial fairness». In 2003 the Italian producer and distributor was then awarded with the certification of conformity to the UNI EN ISO 9001:2000 rule; and later to the ISO 9001:2008 rule. Finally, in 2005 the SA8000 certificate witnessed the company’s commitment «to creating a system of social responsibility» in conformity to the SA8000 rule itself.

Entirely owned by German-based producer Zschimmer&Schwarz, Bregaglio is also a distributor for such brands as The Innovation Company, a French sun care specialist; Salvona, a North American player in the segment of micro-capsules; Jeen International Corporation (a chemical specialties provider with headquarters in New Jersey); the Swiss biotech and bio-research brand Lonza; and Pq Corporation, from Philadelphia, worldwide producer of specialty inorganic performance chemicals and catalysts. Bregaglio’s portfolio also hosts the names of Asahi Kasei Chemicals, Campo Research, Agrimer Algies Marines, the advanced materials developer Antaria and Chemian Technology.

by Roberto Carminati