‘Just a matter of time’: Italian glass maker eyes potential growth in Asia’s skin care market

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Bormioli Luigi banks on skin care in APAC. ©GettyImages
Bormioli Luigi banks on skin care in APAC. ©GettyImages

Related tags: Packaging, Sustainability, Glass

Glass specialist Bormioli Luigi is looking to expand its business into Asia Pacific in order to capitalise on its strong skin care market.

A bulk of the company’s business is derived from the luxury fragrance market, which mainly involves European companies and brands.

However, it has recently observed growing opportunities in Asia Pacific’s skin care market.

“At the moment, we don’t have much business in Asia. However, we are starting to grow a little in the skin care market. Our customers are doing well mainly because they sell their skin care product in Asia. Skin care is very strong in Asia, the growth is certainly higher and stronger than in Europe,” said ​Federico Montali, business development and marketing manager, Bormioli Luigi.

This development has led the company to turn its attention to Asia, particularly, China.

“The European retail market is flat, and the US retail market is nearly flat. All the growth our customers are seeing comes from Asia. That’s why we are looking into local brands from China,” ​said Montali.

“We believe the Chinese brands will certainly be requiring, at some point, high-quality glass, innovation and all the added value that we can bring,” ​he added.

The price of innovation

However, there is one hurdle that has proven hard for local brands to overcome – price.

“Like it or not, its at a European price. At the moment, Chinese brands find the price gap too much, but we will continue. We are already serving the market through a distributor who is doing some business with our glass, that’s good news,”​ said Montali.

He added that the demand for personalisation, decorations and innovative solutions in general plays to the firm’s favour.

“We bring, and this is true for all the markets we are in, the added value that a company like Bormioli Luigi has.”

Montali highlighted the Lancôme Idole perfume bottle, which the company manufactured.

“If you look at the Lancôme Idole bottle, it’s extremely thin, at the limit of the feasibility of glass. You see no decoration, very simple. Making a bottle look thin, elegant and simple is complex too. It’s more difficult to make a thin bottle than to make a heavy bottle.”

Innovations can also come in the form of finding sustainable solutions.

“Sustainability is not a trend anymore, I think that’s been established. We have to propose to the market technology that is energy-saving, lightweight, use less CO2,” ​said Montali.

EcoLine is the company’s range of ultra-light glass packaging. The decrease in weight and external volume per item limits the impact on the environment by reducing raw material use, overall manufacturing impact and transport carbon footprint along the supply chain.

Aside from eco-design, the company also takes steps to make its production as sustainable as possible.

For instance, it uses electric furnaces for glass melting, allowing them to utilise renewable sources.

Additionally, it also utilises recycled glass. Around 50% of its input is glass recycled internally.

“Production rejects are reintroduced into the furnace so bottles we produce either go to market or back in the furnace, its not wasted. This is already a closed loop,” ​said Montali.

He added that the company is putting in place a step to use post-consumer recyclables (PCR) as well, allowing it to make a greater impact on sustainability.

Montali concluded that the company was confident in its expansion into China and Asia despite the issue of price. “It’s just a matter of time.”

Related topics: Packaging & Design

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