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Eurofragance: Partners In Fragrances Since 1990
Eurofragance is an international company with family origins dedicated to the design and production of fragrances for perfumery, personal care, and home care
In this interview we have Laurent Mercier, CEO - Eurofragance and Antoine de Riedmatten, Chief Sales Officer & General Manager IMEA - Eurofragance, share their views on the journey so far and the way ahead.
ParfumPlus: Hi Laurent. What would you attribute, the success of Eurofragance, to?
Laurent Mercier: The response is simple: “aptitude” and “attitude.” Our ambition is to enable those who show great promise, combined with a mentality where service and collaboration with customers are the key drivers. We live our values of passion, performance and entrepreneurship in a way that makes us look at our customers’ business through their eyes and care for it as if it were ours.
We keep on investing in people, products, systems, infrastructures, and sourcing. Not to mention, we could also anticipate the consolidation of the industry to better compete with the leaders. We are also ahead of the competition thanks to our founder’s expertise in oriental perfumery.
PP: What was your driving force during the last 3 years as CEO?
LM: It has been both humbling and rewarding in an unexpected turbulent context due to the worst ever raw material crisis this industry has experienced back in 2018 through 2019 and the Covid pandemic; such events make you stronger.
Beyond these two quite unusual phenomena and thanks to the unwavering support of our highly experienced management team, which many companies envy us for, it is probably the most complete and satisfying times of my professional life.
Again, this is where being surrounded by the right professionals makes a tremendous difference, as well as having cultivated relationships with many people of our boutique fragrance house over the years.
PP: What are the steps by Eurofragrance towards the process of digitization?
LM: Given our fast global expansion, digitalization has been and still is crucial to run our four creative centers, located in Barcelona, Mexico City, Singapore, and Dubai, and also our three factories and network of no less than three contract manufacturing partnerships. Today, we enjoy a robust, efficient, and well-connected network.
The current situation has accelerated many digital projects we had in our pipeline. We are focusing on the optimization of our processes to increase our efficiency and better serve our customers. We are also exploring machine learning solutions, while also investigating new ways to smell through “safe smelling devices”.
PP: The founder Santiago Sabates’ dream is to see Eurofragance as one of the top 5 players in the fragrance industry. How close or how far are you from attaining this goal?
LM: At the rate of consolidation in the industry, we could make it to the top five quite rapidly. As a mid-cap fragrance house, we have established solid bases in most continents. Our only way is up, and in 2021 we should get to where we had expected to land in 2020. This is fueled by high business vitality in recent years, and somehow surprisingly, during the pandemic. The company, and its highly committed team members, have demonstrated a level of resilience which somehow surprised me… and trust me, I am not a person with low expectations.
PP: For the benefit of readers, please share plans that you have for your organizationin the near future?
LM: We clearly ambition to build a company with an inclusive and participative mentality, offering an environment where people grow and make the company grow. A company with a daring and caring culture and where sustainability is a factor for decision making. Business and strategy-wise, we aim to defend our high share position in oriental perfumery and fine fragrance and to strengthen the Home and Body care segments. About innovation we are great believers of co-creating and collaborating with partners. The future also calls for a stronger brand with clearer messages and positions, Eurofragance will surprise you very shortly… stay tuned!
PP: Hi Antoine. Could you please elaborate the Eurofragance sales strategies in the IMEA region?
Antoine de Riedmatten: Eurofragance has created solid partnerships with key players thanks to its early foothold in this region. Beyond Eurofragance Oriental perfumery DNA, we have been developing our expertise and creativity of French fragrances. We want to be considered as a serious and viable alternative vis-И-vis the top international fragrance houses, for all key local and regional players in the Fine Fragrance, Home and Personal Care business.
PP: Could you throw some light on the relation between Eurofragance and Sustainability?
AR: Sustainability is at the heart of our new strategic plan. The Millennials and GEN-Z generations, request products manufactured with circular economy principles. Some clients are asking some form of sustainability certification, for us to be considered a supplier.
We have put in place sustainable activities and action plans, to protect the planet and to take care of people. We joined IFRA’s sustainability charter, as well as part of UN SDGs, and are currently working on publishing this year Eurofragance first official sustainability report.
PP: Tell us something about the recent raw material and fragrances that Eurofragance is developing and promoting in the region?
AR: Within a few months, Eurofragance will announce the launch of its first “captive ingredient.” This is a major step for our company, stay tuned.
What are the future plans for Eurofragance in the IMEA region?
AR: We see a lot of promising opportunities. In addition to Gulf countries, we see big growth potential in countries with huge populations, and a growing middle class, like India and Pakistan. We are also betting on African countries and pursuing our activities and diversification in functional perfumery.
PP: Could you give us a perfume trend forecast for this year?
AR: The fragrance market has become so scattered, that it becomes difficult to identify strong trends. During the last five years, there have been very few new launches that have joined the elite club of classic fragrances.
Sustainability and the pandemic will lead to launches of clean, transparent, natural scents. In the Gulf region, we see a growing taste for lighter perfumes, which is also due to the influence of major international brands in malls.
The expansion of niche and unisex perfumes will continue to grow; they have already created the upper prestige segment. It is beneficial for the industry, it also allows perfumers to be even more creative, using more rare, natural, luxurious ingredients.
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