BEAUTY CARE

Merlot Skin Care to expand offerings, update packaging

BY Antoinette Alexander

EL PASO, Texas Merlot Skin Care, a natural grape-seed-based skin care brand sold at Walgreens and Ulta, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2011 with new product launches and new packaging.

"Merlot is a brand that knows the power of natural grape-seed antioxidants can be used to achieve beautiful skin," stated Wayne Beckley, founder and CEO of Merlot Skin Care."We are proud that our moisturizer has become a staple of so many women’s daily beauty routines."

 

For 10 years, the family-run, Texas-based brand has maintained its commitment to cruelty-free products made in the United States. In 2006, Merlot launched Moonlight Radiance night cream for wrinkle reduction and skin firming. A year later, Merlot followed up with the release of a hand cream plus sanitizer. Now for 2011, the company is launching three new products:

  • 3-in-1 blemish/acne treatment, which is a cleanser, toner and blemish treatment in one bottle. The retail price is $17.
  • Body butter with natural grape-seed antioxidants to help protect skin from environmental pollution. The retail price is $9.99.
  • Chin Up neck-firming cream, which is designed to tighten and firm skin in the chin and neck area. The retail price is $12.99.

The brand’s new purple and gold packaging will hit shelves in early 2011.

 

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Unilever’s acquisition of Alberto-Culver to boost company’s local, int’l presence

BY DSN STAFF

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands —In a move that wasn’t exactly a surprise to many industry observers, Unilever announced plans to acquire Alberto-Culver for $3.7 billion in cash, a deal that significantly will boost Unilever’s hair care portfolio.

Alberto-Culver’s TRESemme and Nexxus styling and conditioning brands will complement Unilever’s Suave, Dove and Sunsilk. The deal makes Unilever the world’s leading company in hair conditioning, the second-largest in shampoo and the third-largest in styling, Unilever stated. It significantly enhances Unilever’s hair care presence in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Australia. In skin care, Alberto-Culver’s portfolio includes such brands as St. Ives and Simple.

The news of the acquisition was not unexpected. In August 2009, Morgan Stanley analyst Dara Mohsenian stated in a research note, “Alberto’s relatively less-efficient [selling, general and administrative expense] cost structure could offer cost synergies to a hypothetical acquirer. Alberto has U.S. scale that some international companies lack, as well as international distribution expansion potential that a number of companies could capitalize upon. Alberto has a healthy balance sheet, which could be attractive in the context of a consolidating industry.”

Unilever has stated that the acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to deliver significant synergies and, excluding restructuring costs, will be accretive to EPS in the first full year.

Alberto generated sales of nearly $1.6 billion and EBITDA of more than $250 million for the 12-month period ended June 30. It has operations in nine countries, six manufacturing facilities and employs roughly 2,700 people.

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Shining up lips sensationally

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK —Judging by the sales numbers, the overall lip gloss category has lost some of its luster. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth for Maybelline New York’s Shine Sensational lip gloss.

The Shine Sensational collection, which is comprised of 18 shades, like Cocoa Fever, Crazy for Caramel and Berry Dazzle, has been a hit among beauty mavens.

The collection launched in January 2010, and, according to the 12-week data ended Sept. 5 from SymphonyIRI Group, sales soared to $2.3 million, taking the No. 2 spot behind L’Oréal’s Infallible lip gloss. For the 52 weeks ended Sept. 5, sales totaled more than $7.5 million across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart, club stores and gas/c-stores).

Shine Sensational lip gloss features undiluted pigments for crystal-clear color and has fruit nectars to enhance taste and provide shine.

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