Stuck in the red: Sun care sales still down
Despite the constant warnings swirling around skin cancer and efforts by retailers to offer a bigger selection on a year-round basis, the sun care category is still stuck in the red.
(To view the full ECRM Personal, Oral and Sun Care Report , click here.)
Overall dollar sales of suntan products decreased by 1.3% to $1.1 billion, for the 52-week period ended May 15, according to IRI. What’s also concerning is that unit sales dipped somewhat more — by 1.6%, to 138 million, IRI figures indicated. Dollar and unit sales of suntan lotions and suntan oils slid downward as well, by 1.3% and 1.6%, respectively. One positive area is sunscreens and insect repellant, where sales expanded 3.4%, much of that attributed to consumer fear over insect-transmitted diseases.
One reason for weak sales could be stepped up sun care offerings from prestige and specialty stores. Euromonitor reported an overall category uptick of 2%. Mass buyers also noted that more sun products with anti-aging capabilities were being sold at Ulta Beauty and department stores.
While sun care is certainly seasonal, buyers noted that consumers are motivated — even on a year round basis — to seek formulas with specific benefits. Some of the options exhibiting the most sales kick, IRI data showed, are those with such benefits as water and sweat-resistance, easy application, skin comfort and such add-ons as mosquito repellant rather than just UVA/UVB protection.
For example, Solskyn Personal Care’s Bullfrog Mosquito Coast DEET-, PABA- and paraben-free sunscreen topped IRI’s list of best-selling sunscreens/insect repellents for the 52-week period ended May 15, with dollar sales of $3.7 million. In addition to providing 2-in-1 protection from the sun and insect bites, the product resists water for up to 80 minutes, contains no oil and is enriched with aloe leaf extract and vitamin E.
New product introductions reflect consumers’ apparent preference for sunscreen with benefits that transcend shielding them from UVA and UVB rays. For its part, Solskyn has rolled out six new sun care products, including No-Ad Oil-Free Face Sunscreen. The product is being promoted as guarding against skin cell DNA damage caused by UV light. Other line extensions encompass No-Ad anti-aging body moisturizers, which contain an SPF 15 broad-spectrum sunscreen agent, along with vitamins, antioxidants and moisturizers.
Fruit of the Earth has extended its Block Up! brand franchise with Continuous Spray SPF 30 and Block Up! Kids Continuous Spray SPF 30, as well as Block Up! Continuous Spray Sport SPF 30. The non-Sport spray products contain aloe vera — along with vitamins A, C and E — and offer UVA/UVB protection. The Sport version has all of these attributes and is sweat-and water-resistant.
Meanwhile, Edgewell Personal Care recently augmented its Banana Boat line with the addition of SunComfort Lotion Sunscreen, available in SPF 30 and SPF 50+ varieties. The product does give users broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection, but it also is water-resistant with moisturizing properties. The formula has an added benefit of making it easy to brush sand off skin.
And now ClearlySheer, which the company said affords sun protection without clogging wearers’ pores, is part of the Coppertone sunscreen lineup from MSD Consumer Care. Bayer also has reformulated its Coppertone Sport sunscreen to “feel light” on the skin.
Not surprisingly, skin care prevention advocates, marketers and even some drug store chains are attempting to promote sun safety via a variety of campaigns. The American Cancer Society has, through media and educational activities, been pushing hard on its Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap skin cancer awareness campaign, which it designed to remind consumers to decrease their risk of skin cancer by slipping on a shirt, slopping on sunscreen, slapping on a hat and “wrapping” with sunglasses. The National Council on Skin Caner Prevention, of which the American Cancer Society is a member, harnesses the campaign website to share sun safety tips that are applicable year-round, as well as instructions about sunscreen use.
For its part, Edgewell Personal Care has tapped a myriad of technological tools to help shoppers make educated sunscreen purchasing decisions, including what to select based on the weather that day or the activities they plan outside. This is an interactive tool on the fixture that suggests formulas based on time outside, activities and overall weather forecast.
MSD Consumer Care is running a multiyear campaign built around the Coppertone brand. Geared toward families, the campaign promotes regular sunscreen application as an important move that can be made toward keeping skin cancer at bay. Players from the United States Soccer Federation and the National Women’s Soccer League serve as brand ambassadors. On the Coppertone website, consumers will see detailed information about the sun and its effects, as well as about how to best take advantage of sunscreen and other sun care products. An explanation of the UV index and a “product finder” can be accessed on the website as well.
Social media also is being harnessed on the marketer end to command more attention for sunscreen. For instance, Edgewell’s Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Weightless Lotion Sunscreen was featured in seven episodes of actress Shay Mitchell’s YouTube series, “Shaycation.” Mitchell has more than 21 million followers across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, and will promote Hawaiian Tropic across her social media channels.
As for efforts by drug chains to boost sunscreen sales, several players — including CVS and Walgreens, as well as regional contenders — are carrying larger assortments of sunscreen year-round instead of featuring a large selection during the summer months and scaling back once fall arrives.
Paris Presents: It’s all about authenticity
Some companies are all about formalities — long, drawn-out decision-making processes; PowerPoint presentations; and a “top-down” organizational structure in which conversations between the CEO and associates never happen. Paris Presents is not one of those companies.
(Click here to view the complete Future Leaders Summit report.)
“Our culture is a key to our success,” said Bob Wiltz, chief customer officer. “It’s all about authenticity and challenging ourselves, as leaders, to be authentic. It’s about leaders being present — doing a lot of deep listening. It’s about being externally focused. It’s a culture where we are informal and we have fun, and instead of holding on to ideas, we make decisions, take the risk and move on.”
Paris Presents’ approach to recruiting top talent is highly reflective of this culture. The company’s executive team devotes considerable time to networking activities, such as industry breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings, where they attempt to scout out talent. Attendance at such events as the Future Leaders Summit, held by Mack Elevation Forum in conjunction with Drug Store News, and seeking referrals from others — even, as Wiltz noted, friends of friends of connections — comprise other strategies for finding the best prospects.
“We’re doing this all the time, even if we don’t currently have an open position,” Wiltz stated. “If we find someone who’s really great and we don’t have a position open, we’ll find a job for them. If we’re impressed with someone, we’ll forge a relationship with them — get to know them and then see if there’s a fit. We’ve even hired people we’ve spent several years getting to know. We spend a lot of interview time talking about our culture, and if there’s a match, there’s a strong attraction for us.”
In fact, Wiltz observed, Paris Presents is so committed to attracting the best and brightest talent that it opened a satellite office in downtown Chicago. Management made the move based on the belief that many of the most highly skilled potential employees reside in the city and would not want to make the 90-minute commute from their homes to the company’s headquarters in Gurnee, Ill. “The Chicago office has really opened up the talent pool,” Wiltz reported.
Once employees are on board, support for their growth and impetus for their inclination to remain with the company kick in. Steps to “ensure an understanding of each person’s career goals and aspirations” and forge an alignment of their goals with those of the company include sending employees to forums, connecting them with coaches and mentors, and surrounding them with a peer group of “high-potential people,” Wiltz explained.
He added that these initiatives are not “cookie-cutter” in nature. Rather, training, coaching and mentoring are tailored to the current plan for the person in question to increase the potential that they will be of value.
Meanwhile, a one- to two-day General Management University, held each quarter, focuses on developing the skills employees will need to move forward. University sessions focus on individual skills, such as account business planning and “financial literacy” for salespeople. A case study approach, reminiscent of that used by business schools, comes into play to maximize learning value.
Employees also experience “check-ins” with Paris Presents’ CEO, where they can explain what they are working on and have a true dialogue. “This shows that we’re really present, which is a major element of our culture and a ‘must’ for retaining talent,” Wiltz observed. Wiltz and his colleagues do not believe the challenges posed by today’s workforce are any different than the challenges posed by older generations. “Many people say millennials are different from Generation X and the Baby Boomers, but I don’t think that’s true,” he said. “Regardless of generation, if you build a culture around authenticity, presence, an external focus, informality and development — if you have fun and are present and engaging with your employees — talented people will want to work with you and help your company to grow.”
Canus Caprina soaps launch at Meijer
WATERBURY, Vt. — Canus, a leading provider of fresh goat's milk skin care products in North America, is launching its Caprina by Canus line at Meijer.
The Caprina line includes a variety of soaps, body washes and foaming milk baths in several fragrances as well as a fragrance-free version for soaps.
Canus is currently the best selling goat's milk soap in North America and launched Caprina in Canada in early 2009 with great success.
Caprina by Canus products include a selection of Original fragrance, Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Lavender, Orchid Oil and Unscented. Soaps are available in 3 packs 3.2 oz. (SRP $4.99) and 1.3 oz. trial ($0.99) sizes. Body Wash selections come in a 11.8 oz. size at an SRP of $5.99, and the foaming milk baths are available in a 27.1 oz. size at SRP $4.99.
All soaps, body washes and milk baths are biodegradable and phosphate-free. Caprina by Canus products are now available at Meijer, Publix and other major retailers across North America.