Beauty becomes more visible

Prodotti Gianni

Prodotti Gianni2018 is a most remarkable year for Prodotti Gianni, the Milano-based cosmetic raw materials distributor that will soon celebrate its 70th anniversary the best way possible, since it was recently awarded with the most prestigious Prix Coup de Cœur du Jury at Cosmetagorà Paris

Over its 70 years long history, Prodotti Gianni has developed a sound expertise in the fields of pharmaceutical, to which it delivers a broad offer of actives and excipients; food, provided with dedicated ingredients; last but not least cosmetics. The company’s focused on hair and skin care, toiletry and make-up and began to operate in this very segment in 1980. Beauty is now an important part of its portfolio, thanks to the network of partners that the firm was able to build over the years and all over the world, especially in the United States and Japan. General manager Luigi Bondurri explained KosWorld how it manages to stay competitive.

First of all, would you comment on the Coup de Cœur prize you were awarded with?

Our winning formula at Cosmetagorà, in Paris, is a clean-label baked highlighter containing only 10 inci ingredients, with a soft texture and a delicate glow. This talc-free, silicon-free and paraben-free formula is based on Ingredion’s Farmal CS 3757, a corn starch that enhances the texture making it creamier. EFP Biotek’s Vegetable Alternative to Silicone – an Ecocert and Cosmos-approved olive oil derivative – is used as an alternative to silicon binders, whilst Presperse’s Bismica pigments manage to give the powder its highlighting sheen. We believe that the formula impressed the jury thanks to its thrilling sensory.

The firm has undergone a series of changes: could you name the most important ones?

In recent times we invested in the enlargement of our laboratories and this was a major step ahead. Now, they are not just significantly larger but also much more visible, since they were positioned at the entrance of our headquarters. One is devoted to colour make-up and the other is committed to so-called white products but both can be immediately seen by visitors and this suggests the most critical role they play in our daily activity. Also, this decision is strongly related to our visual marketing strategy: everything we do must inspire to the idea of transparency. This reflects on Prodotti Gianni’s internal organization. Every duty and goal is clearly indicated on dedicated panels that all of our employees can consult any time.

Will your cosmetics business experience a further growth, in your opinion?

There is no doubt that both the food and cosmetics sectors are the most promising, in terms of sales, and this is the reason why we decided to heavily invest in new laboratories and human resources, by recruiting six specialized professionals. We see that the relationship between the pharma, food and beauty industries is becoming stronger with time and we can surely benefit from the trend, although I believe that cosmetics and nutrition must be kept separated.

Prodotti GianniDo you think Italy can still have its say in the personal care manufacturing arena?

Italy hosts a number of top-notch brands and has a deeply rooted tradition in subcontracting activities. But furthermore, Italian players managed to mark impressive results in terms of export, with overseas sales experiencing a double digit growth over the last two years or so. In Prodotti Gianni’s view, the most remarkable aspect is the successful performance of hair care solutions and colour cosmetics, which represent two typical made in Italy specialties.

Could you describe the strategy you use to approach the colour cosmetics market?

We can now launch a brand new colour cosmetics portfolio every three months, building upon a research we carried out about colour-related specialties. This means that we do align to the typical dynamics of salons and franchising but that, most of all, our work begins with a careful analysis of customer needs, especially in terms of texture and nuances. We do not only want to introduce new releases: it is a precise concept, that we want to speak out, by offering our customer base an actual step-by-step journey through hair and personal care.

Has this roadmap proven successful, so far, mister Bondurri?

Our revenue was well above 40 million euros and cosmetics was one of its most important drivers, therefore witnessing that the market is still healthy and domestic manufacturers are highly skilled. Prodotti Gianni itself proved able to follow and anticipate market trends, frequently suggesting unprecedented solutions. Personally, I am responsible for all of our activities, ranging from immunology to cosmetics, just to name a few, and some of the tests we developed for the pharmaceutical and scientific research business are useful for beauty too. Of course, this requires a dedicated approach and a solid, well trained organization.

Will these aspects inspire your forthcoming efforts to constantly innovate your offer?

Undoubtedly, the ability to immediately understand market trends and requirements, and therefore to fulfil them, is one of our most outstanding characteristics. We were pioneers in opening an application lab and hiring specialized product managers in order to better support our marketing and distribution teams. It is also important to have a strong cooperation with Japanese manufacturers, whose devotion to innovation is known and appreciated worldwide. An example comes from the BB Cream phenomenon that we introduced and promoted in Italy when it only represented a niche market, long before they became a bestselling item.


From research to markets

As general manager Luigi Bondurri stated, research activities play a crucial role in Prodotti Gianni’s overall business. Typically, the company starts with studying the behaviour and interactions between different raw materials and ingredients, in order to provide customers with the precise formulation they need. A significant part of the 80 employees that represent the company’s workforce are entirely and directly involved in application tests. Once these tests are completed, the process enters the flow of marketing and promotion, thanks to a team whose duty is to provide clients with a complete dossier about a product’s properties. All of these operations require six months at least, or even one year, to be deployed entirely. In the case that, instead, raw materials are delivered by a third party player or a supplier, a significant part of technical inspections has already been accomplished. But it is nonetheless Prodotti Gianni’s duty to identify the right market target for each formulation and to test such aspects as their stability. The final step, of course, is represented by distribution and sales.

Prodotti Gianni

Prodotti Gianni Cosmetic in figures
2 Product Managers
3 Customer Service experts
1 Sales Manager
4 Sales Representatives
2 Agencies
2 Distributors
5 employees at the Regulatory, INCI, Certification office
2,500 square meters: the warehouse
350 cubic meters: the controlled temperature room

by R. Carminati