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Stopping the clock

BY Antoinette Alexander

When it comes to skin care, facial anti-aging potions still reign, as women continue their quest for younger, healthier looking skin. However, the mass market continues to face fierce competition, thanks to the flood of new products and affluent consumers migrating to premium solutions.

The economic downturn had prompted some affluent consumers to trade down to more affordable mass-market solutions and lower-income consumers to buy on discount or switch to private label but, with the lift in the economy, the pattern has seemed to shift in recent years.

“Consumers returned to premium products in 2011 and continued to do so in 2012. While advanced anti-aging technology increasingly is incorporated into mass-market products, many consumers believe that premium anti-agers still hold a performance edge over mass-market brands,” Mintel stated in its 2013 report, “Skin Care in the U.S.

That shift is evident in the most recent 52-week sales data provided by IRI, in which sales of facial anti-aging products decreased 2.8% at U.S. multi-outlets.

Meanwhile, the NPD Group recently reported that sales of prestige anti-aging products rose 4% to $436 million for the 12 months ended January 2014

Looking to remain competitive, mass-market brands continue to step up their game with formulas that tout new active ingredients and multi-functionality. Meanwhile, retailers continue to enhance their beauty departments to better compete with specialty beauty retailers and department stores. For example, Rite Aid’s revamped Beverly Hills store, which recently celebrated its grand re-opening, features an expanded beauty department with several new prestige cosmetic and skin care lines. Also new to the store is a Rite Aid Beauty Advisor specially trained to assist shoppers through demonstrations and education.

Target also is proving that it’s serious about beauty, staffing hundreds of its stores with beauty advisers, revamping the look and feel of its beauty department and now has stepped up its offerings by adding premium skin care products to 749 stores in the United States. The brands include Vichy, La Roche-Posay, MD Complete by Dr. Brian Zelickson, Laneige, 29 by Lydia Mondavi, Own Skin Health and Borghese Age Defying Cellulare Complex.

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Anti-aging below the neck

BY Antoinette Alexander

Lift, smooth, de-wrinkle and firm. This is the desired effect of not only facial anti-agers, but also those formulas for the body, as aging women yearn to turn back the hands of time below the neck.

(For the complete category review, including data, click here.)

The body anti-aging segment may not be as robust as those products designed for the face, but that’s not to say that women aren’t interested in such offerings. In fact, IRI data revealed that sales of body anti-aging products rose more than 5% during the 52 weeks ended May 18 at U.S. multi-outlets.

Helping to fuel the growth of these products is that some women want results but cannot afford a pricey professional option. According to consulting and research firm Kline & Co., the injectibles market continues to drive overall market growth in professional aesthetic products, with body contouring and cellulite reduction being the most dynamic addressed skin concern. Kline noted that injectibles accounted for more than half of total market sales, but body treatment products experienced double-digit growth in 2013, due in part to good alternatives now offered to liposuction.

The fascination with anti-aging solutions shows no signs of slowing, and those manufacturers that continue to innovate and deliver effective, cheaper at-home solutions will reap the benefits.

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Sales of heat, ice packs chilly

BY Michael Johnsen

While sales of heat and ice packs are relatively flat — the category generated slight growth of 0.2% to $235.9 million for the 52 weeks ended April 20 across total U.S. multi-outlets, according to IRI — there has been some positive momentum within the category.

HeatMax’s hand-warming Hothands product has collectively garnered $29.9 million in sales (up 32.1%), claiming the No. 2 spot in the category. No. 1 within the heat and ice pack category is Pfizer’s ThermaCare brand, which generated $59.4 million (down 4.5%).

TheraPearl is another brand to watch. Recently acquired by Performance Health, TheraPearl generated $5.6 million in sales on growth of 55.3%. “TheraPearl brings proven strength and additional scale to our emerging retail business,” said Marshall Dahneke, president and CEO of Performance Health. “The alignment for us is both natural and exciting.”

Also on the horizon is Arctic Ease, bringing to market a cold compress wrap that stays on while active and doesn’t require refrigeration. “Unlike other treatments where 20 minutes more or less is what you’re going to get out of something frozen, this can last up to two hours,” Peter Costello, president and COO of the company, said. “So you’re getting long-lasting relief.”

Arctic Ease recently announced a three-year partnership with Ironman, where the product will be integrated into the Ironman North American triathlon series.

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