An award-winning manufacturer

Based near Parma, where the Italian culture of perfumes has been flourishing since the 19th century, Cosmoproject was founded in 1993 and, so far, it has been constantly growing and devoting its investments to research, development and quality: the strategy proved successful.

At the latest Cosmopack event in Bologna the Italian cosmetics manufacturer Cosmoproject was crowned with the The Wall award in the Formula Skincare category for the excellent properties of its Snow Cream product line. A most prestigious achievement, witnessing the attention that the company has always paid to quality, and that also represents a recognition of the efforts it dedicated to research and development throughout the decades.

Cosmoproject, managed today by Chief Executive Officer Primo Tortini, was established in 1993 in Casale di Mezzani, near Parma, and its revenues have been growing ever since. In 2015 its activities generated a 27.8 million turnover, thanks to a 30 million pieces yearly output. But as the CEO himself considered in a recent interview, published by one of the most influent Italian newspapers, «research and development are the very backbone of the firm’s work» and allow it to always provide clients with innovative formulations. This is also the reason why Cosmoproject, which employs a workforce of 193 professionals, including 26 graduates, never refrained from investing in new facilities and products. In fact, whilst planning to enlarge its production plants, the provider has recently completed a new chemistry laboratory and is looking forward to inaugurating another microbiology lab. The nature of Cosmoproject is that of a typical third-party manufacturer, although the company is proud to serve such brands as Beauty Spa and Il Tempio della Salute in the wellness business. «My aim is to become a creative producer», is one of founder Primo Tortini’s statements, «believing our offer has always managed to address the market trends, and anticipate them».

How would you describe your company’s points of strength today, mister Tortini?
As an Italian producer, our recent performances displayed satisfactory, the cosmetics culture is solid and widespread and this is something we can benefit from, especially when it comes to make-up or colour cosmetics, topical use and skin-care products. A home to the colour cosmetics industry is, for instance, the town of Crema, only 100 kilometres far from our headquarters in the Parma province. We do deal with make-up, in fact, but most of all Cosmoproject operates in the skin care arena with its emulsions, based on a combination of water and oil, suitable for multiple applications. Then again, the company plays a remarkable role as a supplier of a large number of gels and cleansers top-notch producers in Europe.

Primo Tortini

You are also devoted to innovation: how does this commitment affect Your business?
Of course, to play as a small-medium sized company in a highly competitive scenario requires a constant commitment to innovation and research. For instance, today we are focusing on new structures and unprecedented methodologies of application. We must take organoleptic characteristics into account, in first place, but furthermore consider a series of possible sensory effects, such as tactile or olfactory experiences. Our aim is to achieve a form of structural innovation with different formulations than the traditional creams or moistures.

What are your major customers’ most frequent and challenging requests, currently?
Cosmoprojects works for some of the most successful multi-national companies worldwide, in the personal care industry, and sometimes these top players show scarcely flexible, although they can rely on entire teams of researchers and developers. Therefore, what they ask us for is flexibility, the ability to deploy the most ambitious and challenging projects in a shorter time. The world is changing rapidly and to meet our customers’ needs we have to always keep our workforce updated, and always allow them to receive the most effective training. For instance, some of our employees have attended special training courses in Japan. Our point of strength is creativity, fantasy and our added value is to catch up with the latest trends immediately.


Has the overall number of your clients grown too, in recent times?
I am not interested in the enlargement of our customer base, to be honest, because I am much more interested in their positioning on the global markets, which grants us a wider range of opportunities too. Thanks to the reputation we acquired we now manage to deal with the European leaders in the cosmetics scenario, who appreciate our flexibility, but also the quality we ensure and, last but not least, our organisation. Cosmoproject’s formulations undergo a series of rigorous analyses and controls because our duty is complicate, but this is also the reason why our genuine competitors are very few. Complexity is something intriguing, in my opinion, and challenges fascinate me. I am an Italian citizen and Italy must compete in terms of quality and innovation, not in terms of prices. And this sounds exciting.

Which other international markets are you planning to approach?
We are now to approach such regions as Russia and the Far East nations, namely Vietnam and Korea in first place, paying the highest attention possible to the economic development in the APAC area. Cosmoproject already runs a flagship showroom in Vietnam and is also moving towards Iran, hoping the geopolitical situation will prove favourable, because stability is a fertile humus for business. For instance, Syria is still one of our most important markets, that we manage to reach via Beirut, but of course our activities there are threatened.


What are the most attractive European markets and which could be the next big thing?
Germany and France are genuine and consolidated heavyweights, but as opposite to Great Britain, whose growth pace is slowing down, Sweden and Spain are gaining importance and ground. We cooperate today with the majority of market leaders in Italy, but this country still remains challenging and to develop a remunerative business here is no easy duty at all. Of course, due to the poor economic performance, I cannot avoid to point out a certain lack of enthusiasm. Our activity is then negatively impacted by demographic trends, but it must also be noticed that a few sectors are experiencing an impressive growth. Discount stores are most dynamic and quality is becoming always more important to them: thanks to quality they can now compete with traditional supermarkets and this is something that Cosmoproject, with its skin-care portfolio, is largely benefiting from. Furthermore, we expect great results in the medical devices and pharmaceutical segments, that still prove to be very lively in Italy.

Cosmoproject also plays in the beauty salon sector with a proprietary product line…
We do have a beautician oriented Cosmoproject-branded portfolio, with a professional product line directly delivered to beauty salons or available to private clients in beauty salons. They represent a niche in our overall business but they are important because they allow us to experiment new formulations and products that could be later launched on the mass market. Here, we put our creativity to the limit and establish the foundation for our future business. Our internationalisation efforts also concern the beauty salon offering, with the goal to reach a larger critical mass of customers. The Far East is attractive, from this point of view too, thanks to the added value that the made in Italy label still ensures in those regions.

The company is a member of the HIGG Index for the management of human resources, in terms of remuneration and work environment, concerning both employees and subcontractors worldwide. This is what they call sustainability, and it goes along with the initiatives for water depuration and energy monitoring they are carrying on. Certifications are a matter of competitiveness, indeed, and a quality proof, and they require heavy investments. But they also give them forms of competitive advantage on rivals worldwide.