Cosi eyes full service contract manufacturing worldwide

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Personal care Cosmetics

Creative Outsourcing Solutions International (Cosi), one of
Europe's leading contract cosmetics and toiletries producers
recently announced plans to expand its presence globally. We spoke
to CEO Bob Tolan to find out more about the plans.

"Cosi has been in contract manufacturing for 12 years now, but it has evolved to become a full service provider,"​ said Tolan. "When the company was first established we were primarily focused on product development. Now that focus has developed to include sourcing all componentry, product manufacturing and distribution."

Tolan believes that where Cosi can bring added value is the fact that the company works with a broad spectrum of suppliers, allowing it to stay on top of all developments in the industry, including latest ingredients, packaging concepts and raw materials.

"As a service provider we have a good perception of the whole market, which gives us the most up-to-date and current information about the latest technologies and developments,"​ said Tolan. "On top of that we also have economies of scale on our side, which is a considerable financial advantage to brand owners."

With a £100m (€145m) turnover the company's 1,200 staff are increasingly turning their attentions to reducing the product time to market, as Tolan explains.

"There is a definite shortening of product lifespan these days and in turn this means that new products have to be brought to the market far quicker. We can help speed up this process by immediately responding to the rapidly changing dynamics of the market."

The huge growth in the market for luxury personal care items as well as products that cater to an ageing population is also leading to new opportunities.

"Right now we are becoming more involved in developing products related to the anti-aging and spa markets,"​ said Tolan. "This falls in line with the increasing desire for consumers to pamper and treat themselves. As brand owners are drawn into this area we can add value by supporting them with our broad experience."

But as these kind of trends pick up on a global basis, Cosi is increasingly finding its business horizons are expanding beyond Europe.

"Our UK production base is very efficient, but it can't remain our sole manufacturing source,​" said Tolan. "We need a global footprint to meet the needs of other markets, with Asia and the US being our primary objectives."

The company already has representative offices in the US and China, but the plan is to now concentrate on developing manufacturing facilities in these two markets.

Tolan says that the company is now actively looking for a site around Shanghai, where it intends to construct a brand new facility. In the US the plans are not so advanced, but the aim is to either look for a new site or else acquire an existing facility.

The company's manufacturing covers the complete spectrum of personal care products, with the only products it does not currently manufacture being eye pencils, aerosols and nail varnish.

The main focus has traditionally been the face and skin care market, reflecting the two biggest market categories in the market, but research and development is still a significant part of the business.

"We focus on global major brand owners, which means that are business dealings with private label manufacturers is fairly limited,"​ said Tolan. "Our main focus is the main global players such as P&G, L'Oreal, Mary Kay, Body Shop and Unilever, but in total we work with over 60 companies."

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