International Imports has been exploring the Spanish market in 2015 for products that could be suitable for the UK market.
Driven by the strong pound, but ultimately searching for long-lasting opportunities, the project has led representatives to explore products in sectors such as food, raw produce, cosmetics, clothing and children's toys, to analyse long-term, stable opportunities.
International Imports agents based in Barcelona have identified the first supplier in Spain that they believe offers a great opportunity for the UK marketplace, and the company has now now signed its first Exclusive Agent Agreement for the UK market with a Spanish manufacturer.
Representatives of International Imports visited the manufacturing plant on 9th July to sign an agreement to exclusively represent the full 'Dicora' range of cosmetics, hair care and personal hygiene products in the UK.
100% owned by Prolimsa (full name: "Comercial Productos de Limpieza S.A."), the Dicora brand is well-known in Spain with a 40-year history and products retailing in every major supermarket chain in the country, as well as in many smaller outlets.
The decision to work with Prolimsa and represent Dicora in the UK came after negotiating with many Spanish companies in order to select the right partner.
Specific brand criteria for Spanish products to introduce to the UK market were clear for the agents:
- Proven market demand for product(s)
- Proven international export potential & experience
- Capacity to satisfy demand
- Proven track record with national/multinational retailers
- Flexibility re packaging / labeling for UK market
- EU GMP Certification (Good Manufacturing Processes)
- Full in-house production control
- Long-term potential
These areas are briefly covered below, to outline the reasons for International Imports' belief that this partner is the right one to work with for our first Spanish contract. More specific details of the products themselves will follow in a series of later articles.
DICORA (by Prolimsa)
Proven Market Demand for Product(s)
Founded almost 40 years ago in 1976 and based just outside of Barcelona, Prolimsa owns and manufactures the Dicora brand exclusively. For several decades, the company's range of products has sold across Spain, and a selection of the 80-plus products in the full Dicora range can be found on the shelves of most major supermarkets in Spain today.
The full range includes popular, desirable ingredients such as keratin (hair) and argan oil (skin), and includes hypo-allergenic options. They are branded and packaged attractively (such as their salon-style 'Professium' hair treatment range), and are well-priced and compare well to some premium brands already retailing in the UK.
Proven International Export Potential and Experience
The Dicora range already exports to Italy, Portugal and France in the EU, as well as some countries outside. The product information from the manufacturer contains specific cargo dimensions, weights and details, including details after products are shrink-wrapped for shipment. The Export Manager who oversees Dicora export for Prolimsa's parent company, Nuvaria, has been overseeing product exports in the same role for 10 years.
Capacity to Satisfy Demand
Prolimsa 100% own their manufacturing plant and warehouse facility, where ingredients are stored, mixed, bottled, labeled and packaged. The plant already supplies Dicora products to a large national and international market, yet could triple production for sudden increases in orders simply through an increase in staff shifts - a step guaranteed by Prolimsa and underwritten by parent company Nuvaria should an increase in volumes of orders dictate the need.
The site can also accommodate a large level of expansion in machinery and processing lines should any sudden increases in demand sustain over a period of time - again, a step guaranteed by the company and underwritten by the parent company.
Proven track record with national/multinational retailers
As well as retailing the Dicora brand through many major high-street retailers in Spain, the plant also manufacture a selection of 'private-label' products for two large retailers, Dia and Bonpreu.
Dia (Distribuidora Internacional de Alimentación, S.A.), is Europe's 3rd largest food franchiser with 6,914 stores and a turnover in excess of €11billion (2013) after separating from Carrefour in 2011. After listing as a public entity in Spain in 2012, the Dia Group purchased the operation of Schlecker (including its 1,127 stores in Spain and four distribution centers) for €70.5 million. Dia markets up to 7,500 Dia branded products internationally, including in countries where it has no stores such as Bulgaria and Senegal.
Bonpreu is a premium grocery store chain that operates exclusively in Catalonia in Spain, and reports a turnover in excess of €800million (2013) with an estimated 7.3% market share in the region and with new hypermarkets being developed despite the recession in Spain.
Products such as shampoo, hand soap and various other cosmetic and personal hygeine products are provided under contract and labeled at the plant by Prolimsa for these retailers, who trust in the manufacturing quality and reliability to represent their trading names. The manufacture of these products is conducted in the same place and with the same processes as for the entire Dicora brand.
Flexibility re packaging / labeling for UK market
Prolimsa already produce the Dicora range with English and Spanish branding on the labels, and all instructions for products are in multiple languages for international sale.
For all Dicora products that are in demand in the UK, tailored 'in country branding' is available to produce labels that display only the English product names and descriptions.
All labels are applied to packages at the plant, and the option to amend these is one that we are pleased to offer our clients. Additionally and subject to volume agreements, rebranding and different-sized containers and bottles can be produced to achieve In-Store presentation and Brand loyalty.
Prolimsa produce a range of private-labeled products for large retail chains, and the mixing of ingredients, bottling, packaging and labeling are all carried out at the same location as for the Dicora range, making Prolimsa an experienced and capable partner if packaging or labeling needs adjustment for larger customers.
EU GMP Certification (Good Manufacturing Processes)
Prolimsa hold a current EU GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes) certificate, in dual-language and covering the manufacture of all their products, both the Dicora brand and private-label products.
The certificate specifies the manufacture of aerosols, solutions, emulsions, gels, perfumes, oils for skin and hair dyes.
Full in-house production control
All of Prolimsa's Dicora range and private-label solutions are entirely mixed, made and prepared for wholesale at the company's plant outside of Barcelona, in Castellbisbal. The company are in 100% control of the manufacture of all of their products.
The Dicora brand has proven sustainability, and has been positioned as a high-quality, premium brand available at affordable prices for many years.
The range is not a collection of sudden or new 'fads' or crazes, and although they contain many ingredients that are currently popular due to nutritional or health benefits, the products are the kind that will always be in demand, and that will always have a market.
See our new Dicora section for a more detailed guide to Dicora corporate details and products.