BEAUTY CARE

Whole Foods develops Premium Body Care standard to guide consumers

BY Antoinette Alexander

AUSTIN, Texas Looking to help beauty shoppers navigate the often confusing landscape of natural and organic personal care products, Whole Foods has developed a new Premium Body Care standard and labeling seal of approval.

“Personal care products are not regulated like food in this country so there are currently no consistent standards for them laid forth by any governing body. Customers have been bombarded with brands and products claiming to be ‘natural,’ which can be confusing,” stated Jeremiah McElwee, senior global Whole Body coordinator.

The new seal of approval can be found on nearly 1,200 products in the retailer’s Whole Body departments, which offers a selection of personal care items, nutritional supplements and vitamins. The seal identifies products that meet the Premium Body Care standard, meaning they do not contain ingredients such as parabens, polypropylene and polyethylene glycols, sodium lauryl and laureth sulfates. To develop the standard, Whole Foods worked with chemists and body care experts for more than two years, reviewing body care ingredients and labeling information.

A variety of the products in the Whole Body department already met the standard and will now include the new seal on its packaging.

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Revlon’s 2007 performance best in years

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Increased sales, restructuring efforts and cost control helped improve financial performance in 2007, according to Revlon president and chief executive officer David Kennedy.

“We are executing our strategy and our financial results in 2007 were our best in many years. We generated $224.5 million in adjusted EBITDA and our negative free cash flow was $13.8 million,” stated Kennedy.

For full year 2007, sales rose 5.2 percent to $1.4 billion compared with $1.3 billion in the year-ago period. Net sales for the full year 2006 were reduced by $19.7 million from Vital Radiance, the discontinued cosmetics line geared toward women aged 50 and older.

In the United States, sales for the year rose 5.1 percent to $804.2 million, compared with sales of $764.9 million in the year-ago period. Net sales in the United States for full year 2006 were reduced by $20.2 million from Vital Radiance.

Net loss for the year narrowed to $16.1 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $251.3 million, or 60 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

For the fourth quarter, the company swung to a profit. Net income totaled $40.8 million, or 8 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $5.5 million, or 1 cent per share, in the year-ago period. The current fourth quarter included restructuring expenses of $0.4 million. Last year’s quarter was unfavorably impacted by $20.8 million in restructuring and Vital Radiance-related expenses.

For 2008, the company is planning to introduce a new line up of products for Revlon and Almay color cosmetics.

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FTC chairman to move to P&G

BY Adam Kraemer

WASHINGTON Federal Trade Commission chairman Deborah Platt Majoras will become general counsel of Procter & Gamble, the FTC and P&G announced on Thursday.

The vacated position will likely be filled by William Kovacic, one of the two remaining Republicans on the commission, which also has one Democrat and one independent.

Before heading the FTC, Majoras was principal deputy assistant attorney general of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and prior to her government service, was an antitrust partner with law firm Jones Day.

After nearly four years at the FTC, Majoras will begin work on June 1 as P&G’s vice president and general counsel based in Cincinnati, said company spokeswoman Robyn Schroeder.

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