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Utilizing targeted marketing to drive sales

BY Antoinette Alexander

Today’s budget-conscious consumer seems to be having an impact on the shaving cream segment as private label enjoys robust double-digit growth, and overall category sales fail to impress. Manufacturers, however, are banking on enhanced formulas and targeted marketing to drive change.

(Click here to view the full category review.)

According to the most recent 52-week data from IRI, sales of shaving cream inched up less than 1% at U.S. multi-outlets. Amid a sea of sales declines of brand-name players, private-label sales soared nearly 44% during the period.

Several manufacturers are hard at work churning out enhanced formulas that promise to deliver and are setting their sights on specific markets to fill unmet needs. Among those is Hue for Every Man. Looking to expand into retailers and specialty stores nationwide in 2015, Hue for Every Man is a line of men’s grooming products designed for the multicultural market. The collection includes Hue Shave Therapy, which contains jojoba beads and volcanic minerals to exfoliate and prevent ingrown hairs.

Earlier this year, Unilever launched the Dove Men+Care Expert Shave range, marking the brand’s first three-step approach to shave. Positioned as an “upgraded shaving experience,” the regimen includes pre-shave, shave and post-shave products. Among the lineup is the Total Comfort Shave Cream designed for men with dry skin.

It also is important to note that getting a close shave can be especially challenging for teens with acne and men with tough beards.

“Most people with shaving issues experiment with different razors, but they don’t consider what small changes in their routine, shaving technique or shaving cream could do to stop nicks, cuts, red bumps and razor burn,” said Kyle Schroeder, co-founder and managing partner of Cremo Co., maker of Cremo Shave Cream.

Founded in 2005 and once available only at select boutiques, Cremo Co. dropped its retail price by about 60% and became more widely available in store locations and online retailers. According to the company, what sets its shave cream apart is that it has no air and no trace ingredients; it’s a cream with super-lubricating, highly slippery molecules that have been specially compounded with other skin conditioners.

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P&G’s FlexBall turns heads

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Just when you thought the shave segment had seen it all, Procter & Gamble’s Gillette made waves earlier this year when it launched its new Fusion ProGlide with FlexBall technology.

(Click here to view the full category review.)

The new razor promises to change the face of shaving by allowing each cartridge to ride the facial contours for more constant contact to help get virtually every hair. According to P&G, a man’s face hosts an average of 25,000 hairs to trim.

The razor had wide in-store availability beginning in June and, for the 12 weeks ended Aug. 10, generated more than $9 million in sales at U.S. multi-outlets, according to IRI data.

The FlexBall technology builds on an innovation that Gillette brought to shaving in 1977 with the first-ever razor pivot.

Features of the new FlexBall razor include:

  • A reimagined handle that gives the cartridge a fuller range of motion, responding to contours and maintaining close contact to get virtually every hair; and
  • More ergonomic grip for precise control.

It has a suggested retail price of $11.49. A power version has a suggested retail price of $12.59.

 

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New products cause recent growth

BY Antoinette Alexander

Despite an economic improvement, consumer optimism still leaves something to be desired, and wallets remain close to the vest. This has impacted the often-pricey shave segment, but manufacturers are eagerly turning to value and innovation to spur growth.

(Click here to view the full category review.)

According to the most recent data provided by IRI, sales of razors were down slightly — 0.2% — for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 10 at U.S. multi-outlets. However, a look at the most recent 12-week data paints a different picture, with sales rising about 11.6%, suggesting that manufacturers’ efforts are taking hold.

Demonstrating that consumers are seeking value, Energizer Holdings’ Schick brand reports seeing success with its competitively priced Hydro razors.

“When you come out with a product like Hydro, it’s not only very efficacious, but a great value. I think it is in the sweet spot for where a lot of consumers are right now,” Energizer Holdings’ CEO Ward Klein told analysts during the company’s third-quarter earnings call in late July.

He noted that, during the quarter, Hydro’s share of men’s systems achieved its highest quarterly share ever of 9.8%, up 1 point versus the year-ago period. Furthermore, the newly launched Hydro Sensitive and Hydro Groomer drove incremental sales in consumption.

Meanwhile, rival Gillette has set its sights on innovation with the newly launched Fusion ProGlide with FlexBall technology.

With trial coming from across the category — including 25% from disposable users — the new FlexBall razor is causing a stir.

“While it’s only been available for two months, we’ve see an improvement in the U.S. blades and razors market growth, including more than a 30% spike in razor sales, and have seen sequential improvement in our shares with Gillette earning nearly 75% of U.S. razor sales and nearly 90% of cartridge sales in the month of July,” Jon Moeller, P&G CFO, told analysts during the Barclays 2014 Back-to-School Consumer Conference held in early September.

With the razor segment enjoying a recent upswing in sales, expect to see companies continue to focus on delivering not only innovative products, but also ones that offer a great value.

 

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