Why Poland? Because we know how to do it.
Sixth biggest market in Europe
The value of the Polish cosmetics market in 2011 was 3.3 billion Euro, which gave it the 6th place in Europe – and the market is growing. The annalists of Euromonitor International have estimated that it will attain the value of almost 3.4 billion Euro in 2012. That means a rise by around 3% and situates Poland among the top most dynamically developing markets in Europe, despite the world-wide slowdown in the cosmetic business branch.
Stable market structure
The structure of the Polish cosmetics market does not differ from that of other European countries. The largest portion of the market are hair-care products (611,5 billion Euro – 18,5% in 2011) and skin-care cosmetics (563,1 billion Euro – 17%), which altogether constitute over 35% of the market. Other important categories are : perfume (13,5%), cosmetics for men (10,5%) and colour cosmetics (9,7%).
Strong position of local producers
The appearance of international cosmetic concerns in Poland had an important effect on the growth of the competiveness of the whole market and on the quality of the products. Local producers, wishing to remain in the game, were forced to fight hard, not only competing with one another, but mainly with the big concerns. They raised the quality of their production out of necessity, invested in new technologies, in research and growth departments and in staff training. In effect, despite tough competition from world brands, the position of local producers in Poland today is very strong, which is unique on the European scale. Suffice it to say that 50 % of the Polish market of body and face-care cosmetics belongs to… local Polish brands.
The fragmentation of the cosmetics market in Poland exerts an influence on its flexibility. Small and medium producers can easily adapt to the changing market demands, as they have short production lines and the possibility to introduce quick changes into the production process. The times when Polish products competed with foreign ones only with their attractive price have passed for ever. Today, in order to compete effectively with cosmetic concerns, Polish producers have been investing in modern production lines and research programmes whose outcome are innovative products. Every big Polish cosmetics company has its own research laboratory and invests significant resources in development studies. It is not only the products themselves that are improved, but so is the packaging and market communication.
Research and development
There are many independent research laboratories in Poland. They form a large and developed base where many studies are conducted, among others microbiological, physics and chemistry, dermatological and applied ones, as well as a lot of other specialist research connected to the cosmetics industry. According to the Central Statistical Office, there are almost 82 000 people employed in the Polish research and development business. That is still ten times fewer than in Japan and over 6 times fewer than in Germany, but many more than in the other countries of the region, such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia or Hungary.
Educated and qualified staff
There are about 19 000 people employed in the Polish cosmetics industry. The staff of the Polish companies is very diverse, as it comprises both experienced employees as well as young scientists educated all over the world (and in different fields). A long-standing experience in cosmetics production is additionally supported by a developed scientific and educational backdrop. Poland is the only country in Europe, apart from Lithuania, where cosmetology is taught at university level. Altogether, cosmetology and cosmetics chemistry is taught on different levels at 54 academic centres, including 9 state universities. There are several dozen colleges and universities offering related fields of study such as: chemistry, biochemistry and biotechnology (24 colleges of higher education) and pharmacy (11 colleges of higher education).
Excellent geographic advantages
Poland is situated in the very centre of Europe, creating a geographic and cultural bridge between the markets of Western and those of Central-East Europe. Such a location brings notable benefits to Polish cosmetics producers, who have found they can operate perfectly in market conditions and meet different consumer demands. The central, from the European perspective, location has also been very advantageous for the chain of supplies, facilitating access both to clients and to the raw products used in cosmetic production. The latter only to a very limited extent come from Poland, mostly being brought from the European factories of international chemical concerns. Global producers have also appreciated Poland’s geographic assets by placing their factories there or by taking over the local ones.
Well used EU membership opportunities
With Poland’s membership of the EU, the Polish cosmetics industry gained easier access to EU markets, which were the traditional directions of Polish cosmetics exports. Producers did not waste the opportunity and made advantage of the enormous potential present in the tightening of economic relations with EU countries. The benefits of EU membership lay not only in the facilitations at the border, but also in the unified law for all business people, the lack of a discrepancy between national and union legislation and the common notification of cosmetics.