How much is the cosmetics market worth in Italy and the World?

Resilient and daring in adopting first and riding soon after the wave of change imposed by the occurrence and unfortunately also by the perpetuation of health, geoeconomics, and geopolitical challenges and imbalances that are not at all facilitating, the Italian cosmetics sector confirms the projected estimates that, although slightly down from the initial ones, still show a positive and upward trend.

This had already been announced by the president of the trade association Cosmetica Italia at the 54th Annual Report released in June 2022: the industry is showing itself to be healthy, responsive, and, above all, proactive in embracing the “new” – which have now become part of everyone’s daily routine – consumer buying and usage habits.

According to the report, the beauty supply chain – encompassing all of its branches: cosmetics industry, raw materials, machinery, and packaging – reached a total of nearly 17 billion euros in 2021, tracking an increase over 2020 of +9.6 percent.

And the industry’s optimism is also supported by consumption data:

  • 10.6 billion euros in 2021 (+8.8% over 2020)
  • +3.3% growth expectation for 2022 (with values comparable to those of 2019)
  • +3.2% the forecast for 2023

How much do cosmetics exports weigh on cosmetics companies’ turnovers?

Despite the positivity of the context seen so far, let us change our perspective. Indeed, we would like to guide your lens of attention to the distribution channels and thus to the relative incidences. Needless to deny that digital and traditional ones rise (again) to the podium with an incidence of 52.8 percent. However, they are closely followed by Export, which contributes 41.1 percent to the industry’s turnover.

(source: 54° Rapporto Annuale – Associazione Cosmetica Italia)
(source: 54° Rapporto Annuale – Associazione Cosmetica Italia)

And the projections for the whole of 2023 are no less.

If at the end of 2022, exports generated a value of 5.6 billion euros (+15.2 percent compared to 2021), a further rebound of +9.5 percent is expected by the end of 2023.

The United States is the top importer of Italian cosmetics, generating a turnover of 330 million euros (+44.1%). In second and third position are France and Germany respectively. Bringing up the rear but with growing interest in Made in Italy, cosmetics are in some non-European countries such as China, the United Arab Emirates, and Hong Kong. (Source: Il Sole24Ore)

Non-European destinations are therefore confirmed as strategic for business expansion and development projects due to their growing weight on Italian cosmetic exports.

The most recent data from Statista, with worldwide coverage, also corroborate these conditions:

  • revenues headed by the Beauty & Personal Care market amount to about US $571.10 bn in 2023
  • global market growth forecasts project a CAGR of 3.80 percent over the period 2023-2027

• in a global comparative analysis, the United States will generate the highest revenue (US$91.41bn in 2023), followed by China, Japan, India, and Brazil.

Cosmetics in Italy: initiatives and opportunities

Staying in our beautiful Italy, of all this wealth of trends and opportunities stimulating the cosmetics industry, Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna (ended last March 2023) gave visibility. Now in its 54th edition, one of the premier events for the cosmetics industry brought more than 2900 companies (+11% compared to 2022) from 64 countries to the runway this year, of which 60% were coming from European countries and the remaining 40% from non-European countries. To sum up: 29 national collectives (up from previous years), with small and medium-sized companies from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, California, China, South Korea, Ecuador, France, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, and the USA.

Thus, internationalization is confirmed as a very important strategic lever of expansion for companies in the cosmetics industry. Opportunities abroad are there and should be seized, as long as a rigorous and precise method is followed to enhance awareness of the market in which one wants to invest. Ours Made in Italy has so much to give to the world, let’s make it happen.


Claudia Spagnolo


At Roncucci&Partners, we help companies develop themselves and their business, embrace change and evolve to thrive as a method and rigor within in a world that is increasingly complicated, treacherous, and requires many skills.

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