L'Oréal adapts global R&D to meet emerging market needs

Knowledge of Chinese, Indian and Brazilian habits and preferences essential

L'Oréal is to adapt its cosmetics R&D operation to meet the demands of newly emerging markets across the globe. Laurent Attal, director general for research and innovation, points out that the world cosmetics market is changing its character totally with the newly emerging markets already accounting for 53% of global business. L'Oréal's R&D would, he said, have as its aim in future to understand and adapt its products for men and women worldwide.

The capacity to innovate in these new markets has to be based on a thorough knowledge of the habits, needs and preferences of Chinese, Indian and Brazilian consumers. Attal said that in order to put the consumer at the heart of the company's R&D a department for international studies and consumer insights would be set up together with regional hubs in these emerging markets. L'Oréal had some 18 research centres in operation in 2009, representing investment of €609m. Patents emerging from this R&D rose from 628 to 674 in 2009.