A spokesperson told CosmeticsDesign-Asia.com that despite a recession, it has a 28 percent average yearly growth rate over the past decade, and its R&D efforts has succeeded in bringing production costs down to a sufficient level to make airless technology accessible for the masstige market.
Yonwoo spends at least 8 percent of its turnover each year on research and development, and is made up of a staff of 30 industrial designers and mould and packaging engineers, which it says is unusual for a brand of its size.
Exports are 55-60 percent of sales now, up from 40 percent in 2007, when the company was less than half its current size.
"It's a big number for us," says export sales manager, Daniel Cha. "This is one of the key factors that brings us success — we're never scared to open the wallet. We are really a technology and innovation oriented company."
Looking outside of Korea...
Beyond the main focus on R&D, the packaging supplier has seen its business significantly internationalize since 2008 and is now looking at setting up its first production site outside Korea.
"There is big and serious pressure from our customers, global customers … to have a second operation close to their location," says the export sales manager.
Last year the company made an $8 million investment to expand its production capability of low-cost airless packaging in anticipation of increased demand and has also gone from being focused on its domestic market, to becoming more global in dealing with some of the industry's biggest cosmetics makers.
To date, it has forged close partnerships in product development and marketing, with separate companies in the U.S. and Europe such as PKG and Quadpack.
Recognition for its international success
In recognition of the manufacturer’s international success, the Korean Knowledge Economy Ministry has given Yonwoo a World Class 300 status, an initiative that supports 300 companies considered number one in their industry to help them become worldwide leaders in their field.
In order to be eligible for the initiative, the company says it had to demonstrate its capabilities in various fields including R&D, technology, marketing and its international sales network.
According to the manufacturer, it is the Ministry’s sole choice in the packaging category and as a result of this is set to enjoy government support in terms of finance, human resources and publicity.
“One of the competencies the government evaluated was sales and marketing power. They saw our international sales network – this is one of the great advantages we have – and this contributed greatly towards our selection,” says Cha.