Cosmetics Design recently caught up with Sergio Gonçalves, Chemyunion marketing and international business director, to find out about the company’s recent investment in research and development, its latest product line and its ambitions to expand the business internationally.
Chemyunion is based in Sorocoba, on the outskirts of Sao Paulo and has built its business around a comprehensive portfolio of active and functional skin care ingredients for both the hair care and skin care categories. It also has a life sciences division, focused on pet care, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals.
New phase of expansion beyond Latin America
Its successful business development in the Brazil and South American market has now lined it up for a new phase of global expansion, which was recently marked by the opening of its first sales office in the US, opened in Union, New Jersey, last year.
“We are a manufacturer of a range of hair care and skin care ingredients and with our offices in both the US and Colombia we are increasingly becoming more global, underlined by the fact that we now export to more than 50 countries,” said Gonçalves.
“Talking expressly about our US business, we want to be a big player in the market, which is why we have chosen to establish an office in the biggest cosmetics and personal care market in the world. It is also an open market to work in, with speed to market and great business dynamics.”
Previously the company had worked with distributors in the market, but with the expansion of the business and increased order volumes, executives chose to establish its own sales and distribution network in the country in an effort to grow the business faster.
Next step is the European market
The company’s decision to set up an office in Bogota, Colombia is also highly strategic, and as Gonçalves points out, the fact that the market is, like Brazil, highly foc
used on the hair care category, means that it is a good fit with its business structure and portfolio for the Brazil market.
“We already had a strong business in Colombia, but we believed that existing synergies and the ability to expand our business in Latin America, made Bogota a good choice,” Gonçalves said.
So where is the company targeting the next step in its expansion? Gonçalves explains that at present the company’s decision makers are currently evaluating the European market, to determine which location will prove to be the best springboard to growing the business there.
“We are trying to determine the best spot in Europe to establish our business and start more stategically managing our operations in this enormous market,” said Gonçalves.
Investment in new Brazilian facility
The company recently consolidated its Brazilian manufacturing facilities, compacting its two sites into one brand new facility that was opened in February of this year, thanks to a $4 million investment.
“We have invested significantly in our Brazilian facility as a means of upgrading our manufacturing and R&D capabilities with the ultimate aim of serving the market with higher value products,” said Gonçalves.
The entire new facility has also been awarded Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification, an achievement that underlines the quality standards to which it can now manufacture its ingredients.
Launch of new detoxifying ingredient
To stay on top of the market, Gonçalves explains that it is crucial to be one step ahead of the industry trends, which is why the company has recently invested in upgrading its research facilities in an effort to maintain a healthy product innovation pipeline.
“One area we have been looking at closely is detoxification, but we wanted to do this in a very natural way, which is why we decided to focus our research on coconut water, which has the properties to clean and detoxify skin cells,” said Gonçalves.
“In response to this research we have developed MitocClean, a dehydrated coconut water that stimulates better energy efficiency of cells, while also strengthening the antioxidant properties of the skin, while also providing moisturizing properties.”