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New products keep shoppers coming back.

NEW YORK -- Even though it is a highly consumable category, the diverse field of soaps still relies on new items to spark consumer interest.

For example, Unilever's Dove brand recently introduced a new body wash that delivers skin-moisturizing benefits through its patented NutriumMoisture technology. The new line, which appeared in stores last month, is available in Deep Moisture, Sensitive Skin and Gentle Exfoliating variants.

MZB Personal Care, a leading performer in the children's bubble bath segment, has just launched a collection of hyo poallergenic, nonstinging children's body washes featuring several leading licensed properties, including Spider-Man, Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and Cars.

Director of product development Katherine Magna notes that the children's bubble bath segment is growing briskly, enabling MZB to double its sales in the last three years. Despite the current downturn, MZB's holiday business in food, drug and discount stores is up by about 25%, she adds.

MZB's strategy of leveraging licensed properties has been key. "The reason this works for us is that we choose our licenses very carefully," says vice president of personal care Amy Alperin. "The properties are evergreens, and our licensing partners keep kids engaged with new content, develop aggressive marketing programs and implement targeted retailer initiatives to keep these properties front and center with buyers."

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Date:Sep 7, 2009
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