L’Oreal opens Jobrug research centre to boost beauty sector growthTINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – L’OREAL, the French-based global cosmetics company, is making the most of the boom projected for the industry in sub-Saharan Africa following the inauguration of its Research and Innovation Centre in Johannesburg’s Woodmead.
The facility, which is the first in Africa and seventh globally, will study African hair and skin specificities as well as the beauty routines and expectations of sub-Saharan consumers.
It hosts product development, evaluation and advanced research team of 20 experts consists of scientists from the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, physiology, cosmetology and biochemistry.
They will collaborate with the region’s scientific community, notably universities, dermatologists and hair stylists.
Alexandre Popoff, Executive Vice-President Eastern Europe and Africa, Middle East, says Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the company’s fastest growing regions for L’Oreal.
Last year, the group generated revenue of €727,9 million (R19,4 billion) in the Africa-Middle East region, representing 12 percent of total revenue and making it the group’s highest-growth area worldwide.
Popoff says the new research arm in Johannesburg will enable the company create the beauty products of the future for African consumers, while drawing inspiration from the diverse beauty rituals and the various needs of consumers in the continent.
Laurent Attal, Executive Vice-President of Research and Innovation, says L’Oreal is showing its determination to go further in innovations for the African beauty market.
“We are starting with hair and our ambitions are much broader and cover the body, hygiene, skin care and makeup categories,” says Attal.
The Chief Director of Cosmetics, Chemicals, Plastics and Pharmaceuticals at the South African
Department of Trade and Industry, Claudy Steyn, says the job opportunities that exports create are well documented and choosing South Africa as the preferred location will support employment creation.
“The sourcing of raw materials and services locally will be a boost for reduction of the adverse balance of payments that we face,” says Steyn.
In a continent seen as the “next frontier” in the cosmetics sector, research indicates South Africa is among the biggest personal care and beauty markets in the continent – valued at US$ 2 billion (R27,4 billion).
– CAJ News
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