The Italian cosmetic market recorded a positive performance in 2010, showing good consumption dynamics. Cosmetics have become an important element in the buying patterns of Italians.
Cosmetics Sector in Italy
The Italian cosmetic market recorded a positive performance in 2010, showing good consumption dynamics.
Cosmetics have become an important element in the buying patterns of Italians.
In 2010, the turnover of the Italian cosmetic industry exceeded ?8.6bn, with an increase of 5.2%
over the previous year.
Domestic demand in Italy generated a positive impact on production volumes, which increased
by 1.3% to a value of nearly ?6.2 bn.
At a closer look, the domestic market reveals positive trends in some retail channels, such as
pharmacies (+3.3%), door-to-door and mail order sales (+6%) and herbalist shops (+5.5%). 2010
ended with moderately positive results also for the perfume shop channel (+1.2%) and with a
slight drop (-0.3%) in mass distribution.
Exports achieved a major success, sustaining overall turnover of the Italian cosmetics industry
with a 17% increase over 2009 and reaching a total value of over ?2.4 bn. Imports also show a
positive trend, with a 11.9% increase that confirms a rise in domestic consumption and
substantial recovery in major areas of the market.
The total value of the cosmetics purchased in Italy in 2010 was ?9.272 bn, up by 1.1% over the
British companies should identify the most appropriate distribution channel. With the exception
of the mass market, all the traditional channels increased their value in 2010:
? Pharmacies showed once again the most dynamic trend, up by 3.3%, whereas herbalist
shops and door-to-door sales both ended the year with increases of 5.5%. These channels
are becoming increasingly important in consumers? buying patterns and are now a well-
established feature of the Italian market.
? The perfume shop channel recorded a 1.2% increase which reversed a previously negative
? The mass distribution market suffered a slight setback of 0.3% in 2010, as it did not
managed to achieve a balance between the nearly 2% reduction of sales in general mass
markets and the increasing trend of specialised mass distribution.
? Professional channels ? beauty and hairdressing salons ? ended the year with a modest
? Mail order sales were the most successful channel with a 20% increase.
Latest export opportunities ? Clothing, Footwear and Fashion
Latest export opportunities ? Italy
Getting into the market
In addition to the usual barriers that a company has to face when entering a new market, in the
cosmetic sector there are many restrictions for health and safety purposes.
Companies introducing perfumes/cosmetics into Italy must have a technical consultant upon
whom they can rely to examine products, take any corrective action (e.g. additional labelling)
and register all alcoholic products and toiletries that come into Italy.
You can find further information on the Ministry for Health website:
More about doing business in Italy
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market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
in country - or contact your local international trade team.
? Alessandra Macagnino, British General Consulate Milan. Tel: +39 02 72300216 or
Contact your local international trade team
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Date: 9-12 March 2012
Date: September 2012
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