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Bath products get new attention.

Manufacturers reformulate, relaunch lines

NEW YORK--So far in 1992 the sales of shower gels are up 64%, a point not lost on Neutrogena Corp. and Colgate-Palmolive Co.

Earlier this year Colgate-Palmolive relaunched and reformulated its Softskin body wash in its Softsoap line. The body wash is now available in four varieties: aloe vera foaming cream, moisturizing foaming cream, baby oil foaming gel and deodorant foaming gel.

This fall the company began a TV campaign in spot markets supporting the brand. The positioning of Softskin body wash is unique in that the brand takes aim not at other shower and bath products but at bar soaps. The firm says that cleansing bar soaps made from animal fat and lye can dry skin--while moisturizing bars can leave a greasy residue. For its part, Softskin promises a cleaner rinse than bar soap and more skin softening benefits.

Neutrogena's positioning, on the other hand, is more that of a soap for use in the shower. This September it began promoting its repackaged Rainbath shower and bath gel as a way to turn cleansing the body into a "skin pampering experience"--one that the company has tagged "Neutrogena showering" in its advertising.

Multiple-page ads also introduce three new products creating what the company calls an entire shower care line. The three are: Rainbath splash-on silkener, at $7.50 for 8 ounces; Rainbath skin-smoothing powder, $6 for 3.5 ounces; and Rainbath spray-on dry oil, $8.50 for 3.5 ounces.

Clearly, Neutrogena's intent is to give time-pressed consumers a way to maximize the pleasure of the minutes spent daily in the shower.

Time-pressed or not, more consumers are bathing too. And with the incidence of bathing on the rise (60% of females now bathe at least once a week, while 40% of males do), more companies are introducing full bath and body lines that offer everything from foam bath to bath and shower gel, soaps, moisturizers and talcs.

As consumers turn their bathrooms into miniature spas to escape the outside pressures of hectic lifestyles, retailers are becoming more aggressive in merchandising the product category. Such chains as PayLess Drug Stores and Drug Emporium are now offering special sections devoted to the category.

In February Yardley of London Inc. products, marketed by Maybelline Inc. in the U.S., will include a line called Yardley Bath Shoppe, which combines the upscale look of such imports as Terra Naturals from England with strong retail and consumer support programs.

Beginning in May 1993 and continuing through April 1994, Maybelline will spend $6 million on advertising on network, cable and syndicated TV--and in fashion and lifestyle magazines--to back the line. In addition, the company will use trial programs, including in-carton packettes and trial-size offers.

Products in the line, priced from $3.50 to $8, include Yardley cleansing bar, shower and bath gel, foaming bath oil, bath salts, bath splash, body talc, body lotion and hydrating hand cream.

At the same time, Yardley has reformulated its bar and liquid soaps, which range from 89 cents to 99 cents and $1.59 to $1.69, respectively. And it is streamlining its Yardley Classic line of soap, talc, cologne and bath salts to 10 SKUs, at prices ranging from $6.95 to $9.95.

Yardley isn't the only company with new activity in bath products. Conair Corp.'s Jheri Redding is getting ready to introduce Beverly Hills Spa, a line of soothing bath oil, bath foam, bath and shower gels and silkening skin conditioners.

In January Freeman Cosmetic Corp. will introduce Beautiful Bath, a collection of eight products that include bath foams, oils, lotions and shower gels. And Del Laboratories Inc. is expanding its successful Naturistics bath products line with loofahs and sponges.

Undoubtedly, there will be many more new brands looking to feed off the category's growth, which has doubled from seven years ago to $500 million.

While entries proliferate in bath additives, established brands are likely to become more aggressive as well. Benckiser Consumer Products' Calgon--the leader in the $148 million bath sundries market, according to market researcher Towne-Oller & Associates--has been running a unique fall promotion that combines beauty advertising with a value-added message.

Designed to build brand awareness and attract new users, the promotion combines a Calgon ad on one side of an insert with a scratch-and-sniff panel and multiple 25-cent coupons on the reverse side. Additionally, there's a free product mail-in offer above the coupons.
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Title Annotation:retail industry
Publication:Chain Drug Review
Date:Dec 14, 1992
Words:736
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