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L’Oréal unveils ‘game-changing digital experience’

BY Antoinette Alexander

PARIS — L’Oréal Paris is bringing the personalized service of a department store to the mass market with its latest in beauty digital innovation — “Makeup Genius.”

Based on the insight that beauty is one of the most “Googled” topics in the world — with about 4 billion searches a year — the group’s innovation incubator decided to respond to the needs expressed by consumers by offering greater customization and interaction with their brand.

“By combining our knowledge of consumers and the science of colors with technologies for monitoring facial expressions, we have been able to calculate the best possible algorithm capable of producing an extremely realistic colur-rendering in real time using just an iPhone camera,” stated Guive Balooch, director of the Connected Beauty Incubator for L’Oréal Research & Innovation. This innovation will enable L’Oréal Paris to offer all women an unprecedented beauty “e-routine.”

The world market leader in beauty, L’Oréal Paris aims to be a pioneer in tools offering consumers a personalized experience. L’Oréal’s Makeup Genius enables consumers to test makeup products using their mobile phone or tablet as a virtual mirror and play with new looks in real time.

Unlike other virtual makeup apps that render colors onto a pre-uploaded static image, L’Oréal Paris uses facial mapping technology to transform your iPhone or iPad’s front-facing camera into a virtual mirror where you can try on L’Oreal Paris products. Facial expressions are detected and reproduced, allowing for a result that looks like you actually applied makeup. Makeup Genius captures 64 facial data points and up to 100 expressions.

Consumers can now test makeup products, a new makeup look or scan a bar code at the point of sale and instantly experience the most premium and innovative Before & After service.

“We believe that one of the major trends to come concerns the virtual reality experience, which will offer consumers a new and effective way of trying products, learning how to use them and personalize them, with unparalleled results for the consumer,” said Cyril Chapuy, president of L’Oréal Paris International.

Makeup Genius will be launched in France, the United States and China in May, then in other countries where the brand is present.

 

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AstraZeneca rejects Pfizer’s final bid of $118 billion

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Pfizer on Sunday made a final offer valued at $118 billion for AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca, in turn, rejected the bid Monday morning. 

"Even assuming that other key aspects of any proposal had been satisfactory, … the price at which the board of AstraZeneca would be prepared to provide a recommendation would have to be more than 10% above the level contained in Pfizer’s [latest] proposal," stated Leif Johansson, AstraZeneca chairman. "The final proposal is a minor improvement that continues to fall short of the board’s view of value and has been rejected.”

According to Pfizer’s revised offer, AstraZeneca shareholders would receive, for each AstraZeneca share, 1.747 shares in the combined entity and 2,476 pence in cash, representing an indicative value of £55.00 per share (or approximately $92.60 per share). The revised offer represents an increase of approximately 15% over the value of Pfizer’s May 2 proposal. 

AstraZeneca’s rejection may represent the end of the discussion. "Pfizer will not make a hostile offer directly to AstraZeneca shareholders and will only announce an offer with the recommendation of the AstraZeneca board," Pfizer stated Sunday. 

“We believe our proposal is compelling for AstraZeneca’s shareholders and that a Pfizer-AstraZeneca combination is in the best interests of all stakeholders," said Ian Read, Pfizer chairman and CEO. "We have tried repeatedly to engage in a constructive process with AstraZeneca to explore a combination of our two companies. Following a conversation with AstraZeneca earlier, … we do not believe that the AstraZeneca board is currently prepared to recommend a deal at a reasonable price. We remain ready to engage in a meaningful dialogue, but time for constructive engagement is running out. We have said from the beginning that we will remain disciplined in the price we are willing to pay, and we will not depart from that guiding principle. We believe that our proposal represents compelling and full value for AstraZeneca and that other issues that have been raised by AstraZeneca do not represent material difficulties.” 

Sunday’s offer represents the fourth proposal Pfizer has made. 

 

 

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Hershey showcases new products at Sweets & Snacks expo

BY Ryan Chavis

CHICAGO — In an effort to highlight its commitment to consumer preferences and tastes, Hershey is debuting a range of innovative confections this week at the National Confectioners Association’s Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago.

One of the new treats includes Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Chews, a mint-and-gum duo that gives the consumer an icy blast in the form of a dissolving chew. The product — available beginning September 2014 — is a new spin on the Ice Breakers brand and fills a changing consumer need as traditional gum sees a decline and the mint category enjoys growth.

"Consumers are at the center of all that we do at Hershey, and their preferences, needs and tastes drive our product innovation," said Michael Wege, SVP and chief growth and marketing Officer for the Hershey Co. "These new products are a direct result of a creative and innovative industry-changing pipeline that focuses on consumer trends. With more than 80 brands around the world, the Hershey Co. responds to diverse consumer needs to create a robust portfolio of innovative chocolate and confection products."

Reese’s Spreads also are taking the spotlight following the success of the company’s line of Hershey Spreads. The new spread will retail for $3.89 and will appear on retail shelves in December 2014. Other products being announced at the show include:

  • Hershey’s Spreads Snacksters Graham Dippers, an on-the-go package that combines Hershey’s Spreads Chocolate with Graham Dippers. Available in a 1.8-oz. package for a suggested retail price of $1.49. Available May 2014;
  • York Minis, a bite-sized version of the peppermint and smooth dark chocolate treat. York Minis will be available in 2.5-oz. King Size (SRP $1.69) and 8-oz. Stand-up Pouch (SRP $3.29). Available May 2014;
  • Brookside Crunchy Clusters, clusters of multigrain and fruit-flavored centers with sweetened cranberry bits, covered in dark chocolate. Brookside Crunchy Clusters will be available in 2.5-oz. (SRP $2.29) and 5-oz. (SRP $3.89) bags. Available December 2014;
  • Twizzlers Pull ‘n’ Peel Fruit Punch Twists, which grape, cherry and orange flavors. The product will be available in 2-oz. (SRP $.59) and 11-oz. (SRP $1.75) bags. Available December 2014;
  • Twizzlers Strawberry Lemonade Filled Twists. Strawberry and lemonade flavors combine to bring consumers a strawberry flavor with a touch of lemon flavor. Available in 1.9-oz. (SRP $.59) and 11-oz. (SRP $1.75) bags. Available December 2014.

 

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