clear cut choices

When consumers run out of their favourite shampoo, razors or deodorant, they want to replace it, fast. This provides an opportunity for wholesalers and retailers to take advantage of distress purchase items, as well as the growing trend for top-up shopping that consumers are displaying.

Jane Boret, marketing manager for Dove Men+Care and Sure For Men at Unilever UK, comments: “The male grooming category is currently worth pound;607.8m, and is growing steadily at +1.6% year-on-year. While a number of segments are performing well, male grooming still has a long way to go before maturity, and presents a significant opportunity to brands, wholesalers and retailers, to close the usage gap between men and women when it comes to grooming. The real challenge is to continue to educate and engage men on how and why these products are relevant to them.”

According to Unilever, Dove Men+Care offers high performance products combined with unbeatable skin-caring action, which is targeted at the relatively untapped older male market and the success is reflected in its sales with the brand growing 47.3% year-on-year.

Unilever has introduced a new range to its Lynx brand with Lynx Hair. The portfolio includes five variants, Anti Dandruff, 2 in 1, Intense Clean, Just Clean and Attract Shampoo. There is also a range of styling products.

Richard Whitty, brand manager for Lynx Hair, says: “As the UK’s biggest ‘men only’ brand, with considerable brand equity and a large existing consumer base, Lynx is uniquely placed to untap the male potential on haircare. UK males are increasingly buying ‘men only’ products for which they are willing to pay a premium.”

Also in the Lynx range, Unilever has introduced a limited edition female fragrance. Lynx Attract features a fragrance for both men and women and will be supported with a TV advert.

Kieran Danaher, Lynx brand manager at Unilever UK, says: “This is a historic moment for Lynx as a brand. For the first time in our 27-year history we are launching a male and female variant at the same time. Lynx Attract will unleash the full power of the ‘Lynx Effect’ for both sexes and make the mating game doubly exciting.”

Also in the Lynx range is Lynx 2012: The Final Edition which has been inspired by the Mayan calendar, which is set to end its final cycle on December 21 2012. The adverts feature a Noah’s ark theme to imply the end of the world.

Danaher, says: “Following the phenomenal success of Lynx Excite in 2011, we believe that Lynx 2012: The Final Edition can really take things to the next level. As a brand we continually strive to innovate and push boundaries with creative marketing campaigns.”

In October last year Unilever re-launched its core lotions range with a new look and new formulation. Adding to this, last month it re-launched its hand care range and introduced an anti bacterial variant.

Lauren Brooking, Vaseline brand manager for Unilever UK amp; Ireland, says: “As the nation’s most trusted skincare brand, Vaseline is always working to improve and develop its products to meet consumers’ needs. We want to make our customers feel good while saving them money and time, and the 2-in-1 Hand Cream + Anti Bac is a real innovation to the market.”

P amp;G is adding to its shampoo offering with larger bottle sizes for Aussie. Paul Lettice, head of trade communications at P amp;G, says: “We’re pleased to launch the new bigger Aussie bottles and formula upgrade for 2012. The new larger format will offer loyal Aussie consumers even more of their favourite shampoo and conditoner ranges, and also encourage trial from new shoppers looking for value for money.”

Miracle Moist, Aussome Volume, Mega and Colour Mate Shampoo larger packs will be 500ml and the conditioners 400ml. As well as the new size, Aloe Vera has been added to the entire Aussie shampoo and conditioner range and this is highlighted on pack.

Also in haircare, P amp;G has upgraded its Pantene range with the entire portfolio being restructered in three collections, Fine Hair, Normal/Thick Hair and Coloured Hair.

Lettice says: “Research has shown that 95% of women are not satisfied with the end result of their haircare products and 55% of woman also feel overwhelmed and confused by the number of haircare products available. The new Pantene range aims to tackle these issues head on with its product upgrade and restructure.

“We expect to continue pleasing our loyal fan base with our best ever conditioning formulas and entice new users to the brand with the promise of bringing out the healthy looking hair they want a solution that goes beyond a temporary fix to deliver lasting results with regular use.”

Last year P amp;G gave its Always brand a makeover as well as launching three new products, Ultra Long Jumbo, Simply Fits Long Plus and Simply Fits Maxi Normal. The new pack design aims to increase stand-out on shelf and features a larger Always logo for increased brand recall.

This year it has re-launched its Always Dailies Panty Liners, now called Always Dailies. Lettice says: “The innovative launch of Always Dailies will excite the category and create a whole new occasion for panty liners. As category leaders we continue to invest in our product offering, providing the highest quality product to consumers.”

P amp;G also launched the Irritation Defense range in the Gillette Series. It has been formulated with an active soothing complex designed to work alongside the Gillette ProGlide razor.

The Irritation Defense shaving gel and foam work in three ways to help protect skin against shaving irritation: hydrating to soften hair, lubricating to help protect the skin, and cooling to soothe the skin. After the shave the moisturiser and balm are designed to hydrate and relieve dryness and cool to soothe just shaved skin.

Lettice says: “The new Irritation Defense range from Gillette will provide a complete shaving solution to consumers who experience shaving irritation. This new and improved range will ensure that consumers have the best possible products to provide them with the Gillette shave experience that they have come to expect.”

Also in razors, P amp;G teamed up with Jennifer Lopez to promote Venus as its first brand ambassador.

Wilkinson Sword has launched a razor that boasts green credentials. Intuition Naturals more earth-friendly packaging is 100% recyclable, helping to reduce the impact on nature and care for the planet.

According to Wilkinson Sword, consumer trials have shown the purchase intent for Intuition Natural is 15% higher than the current Intuition Sensation variant and when just considering packing, purchase intent of the new environmentally-friendly packaging is 43% higher than the current blister format, with strong sales expected from the February launch.

Diana Graovac, product manager female systems at Wilkinson Sword, says: “Intuition Naturals is another great example of Wilkinson Sword’s commitment to introducing innovative solutions, in response to real consumer needs and demands. The current Intuition range is highly popular with consumers and we’re excited to see the impact it has on the brand.”

GlaxoSmithKline is continuing its sponsorship of Dancing on Ice for the third year with its oral healthcare brand Macleans.

GSK reports that the sponsorship in 2011 saw MacLeans’ sales increase by 56.3% compared to the prior period.

Carla Speering, brand director, family oral health, for GSK consumer healthcare, says: “Our sponsorship of Dancing on Ice has proved highly successful and we are really proud to be associated for the third year. On average nine million viewers watched each episode last year and the huge popularity of the show is expected to drive awareness and sales of Macleans’ range once again in 2012.”

wholesaler comment

Richard Jorden, commercial director, DCS

The major launch by Unilever of Lynx Attract is the first truly cross category launch of the L ynx brand. If the Attract launch is as successful as the introduction of Excite last year there are lots of opportunities to realise here.

Lynx Attract is just one of a number of launch initiatives from Unilever. Others include a wave of price-marked pack activity on the brand. Other health and beauty manufacturers Procter Gamble, PZ Cussons, and Colgate Palmolive all offer a host of price-marked packs that offer a decent shared margin at a competitive retail price compared to the usual channel pricing.

Hair care is very buoyant at the moment and 2012 sees a host of brand activity.

The major brands provide the channel with the best support notably Procter Gamble, Unilever, Colgate Palmolive, and PZ Cussons.

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