Cosmetochem has been present in the Americas for 15 years, but so far has only managed to find any significant penetration on the Eastern seaboard of the US. Building a strong presence in the Latin American market has proved even more difficult.
The company has appointed Noveon, the global distributor of personal care products, to be the exclusive distributor for its ingredients in both regions.
"Our old distributor has been sold off, which is giving us a good opportunity to start over again and look at new regions and markets," said Dr. Olaf Marks, Cosmetochem CEO. "With the new agreement we are hoping to increase the reach of our ingredients into the Mid-west as well as the west coast of the United States.
"Equally we are also expecting that the deal will significantly increase our presence in the huge Mexican and Brazilian markets, where our market distribution is currently minimal."
Until now, the mainstay of the company's business has been in Europe, where it supplies many leading cosmetics companies, including the most major global producers.
Currently the company has approximately a 20 per cent share of the market for botanical ingredients in Europe. But, according to Dr. Marks, that figure is set to grow to at least 50 per cent in the course of the next few years as the company continues to extend its reach in that market.In the Americas, Dr. Marks says that the aims of the privately-owned company to significantly increase its sales would be built on a much smaller market share.
As a privately-owned company, the company does not divulge its sales information, but it does acknowlege that its sales in the European market are three to four times higher than in the US.
Although there are no specific figures available for the botanicals category, overall the market growth for natural-based cosmetics continues to in exceed that of conventional cosmetics. In Germany, for example, it is currently estimated that the natural cosmetics category has a maxiumum value of €650 million, compared to a total market value of €11.3 billion.
Despite still being a very niche segment, annual growth for natural cosmetics is expected to run into double figures up to the year 2015, whereas growth for conventional cosmetics is expected to run at around 2 - 3 per cent.
Currently demand for naturally derived cosmetics products is helping to spur overall growth for the cosmetics ingredients that last year ran at 5 per cent. However, the biggest growth came from naturally derived active ingredients such as plant acids, which in 2003 experienced global growth rates approaching double figures.