This month Evonik opened a production facility in Brazil, which will cater to the company’s South American customers.
"Our new plant now enables us to satisfy the growing demand for local, sustainable products in South America more quickly and directly," said Dr. Claus Rettig, head of Evonik’s consumer specialties business unit. 80% of the company’s South American consumer specialties business is in São Paulo; so opening a plant there makes good business sense.
At present, the company operates production facilities in Europe, the US, and Asia.
North American investments
Evonik’s expansion in the Americas includes recent investments in North American facilities and partnerships. This spring the company bought a large facility in Greater Richmond, Virginia, to house a new Business & Innovations center. The 18-arcre site is close Evonik’s pre-existing ingredient manufacturing plant in Hopewell, Virginia.
“With the new facility, Evonik doubles its laboratory space in Virginia, providing the opportunity to undertake special research and development projects including joint operative research for customers. This is something we could not do previously. It will open up a number of entrepreneurial opportunities for us,” said Dr. Reinhold Brand, then senior vice president and general manager of Evonik's Consumer Specialties unit in North America.
David DelGuercio has since replaced Dr. Brand, who retired in June of this year, as Evonik’s Consumer Specialties business lead.
More recently, Evonik teamed with Univar for technology solutions and personal care product distribution in the US.
Specialized attention for growing markets
The company has an eye for growth, not just by region, but in specialized markets as well. To better target the male grooming market, Evonik ran a thorough survey of the grooming practices of men in North America.
“From this study and our continued research, we have realized the importance of ensuring that we meet the demands of the male grooming sector in the US by producing ingredients that are effective, while also maintaining ease and speed of use—ultimately that they are simple to use,” said VP Paul Washlock this summer in an exclusive interview with Cosmetics Design.
Evonik recognized the need to highlight for manufacturers the chemical ingredients that will best meet the expectations of male consumers, based on their analysis of the survey findings.
Chemicals in Brazil
Growth in the Brazilian consumer market, especially in cosmetics and personal care, have drawn other chemical suppliers to the region.
Surfachem announced its partnership with Vitrine Quimica to distribute surfactants this summer. “We have been evaluating the potential of the Brazilian market of the past few years,” said Dr Richard Smith, managing director of Surfachem.
That new subsidiary, like the Evonik plant, is based São Paulo, known for its economic relevance in the region. “This is exactly what we need to fulfil the needs of our market. From our side, Vitrine brings deep customer relationships to this partnership and the technical skills required to support our market and its distinct requirements,” said Dr Ricardo Pedro, R&D director for Vitrine Quimica.
Brazil is the third largest cosmetics market in the world, and some experts predict it will soon surpass Japan to be the second largest. No doubt chemical ingredient suppliers will play an essential role in that growth.