A Global View on Specialty Chemicals: The Supplier Perspective

December 13, 2005 | Contact Author | By: Annie Bourgeat-Wax, Noveon Europe
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Keywords: specialty chemicals | trends | consumer perception | outsourcing | innovation

Abstract: Industry suppliers can remain competitive in a saturated market by offering formulators technical support, by taking root in burgeoning sectors and by honing in on cultural needs. This article describes the scope of the cosmetics market and the demands suppliers are challenged to meet by industry formulators.

Editor’s Note: The author offers an overview of the current industry and where it might be headed. R&D experts gave interviews (see sidebars) about what areas of growth will be expected in their fields of expertise. The interviews were conducted by C&T staff.

The cosmetic industry includes both the existing, mature markets in the United States, Europe and Japan juxtaposed with cosmetic markets in their infancy such as Latin America, India and China and other Asia-Pacific markets. Suppliers of cosmetic raw materials need to strengthen their presence in these developing markets and maintain a targeted presence in those established markets by providing solutions to the needs of each specific market.

In each of the three largest geographical areas for cosmetics, Europe, the United States and Asia Pacific c,1 more than 80 small- and large-ingredient companies sell to the cosmetic market. These suppliers do not hold leading market shares. The top five suppliers have 4-to-13% of the market share, while most of them carry less than 5%. In Asia, many of them have a share less than 1%. For most of them, their product ranges are not broad enough, but larger companies keep a strong hold on the personal care industry as well as other industrial businesses, granting them technological leveraging. Smaller suppliers tend to follow a niche strategy, such as the numerous European suppliers specialized in actives.