Bath products stay afloat by lathering up with vitamins

Antoinette Alexander

Consumers have curbed their spending, but the bath and shower products segment has managed to stay afloat amid the penny-pinching, thanks to consumers’ desire for a bit of an escape and relaxation, and a call for more multifunctional products.

“While consumers have reined in spending, even in the personal care aisles, the popularity of a product like Nivea for Men Active 3, which combines three functions into one product, shows that consumers are willing to pay more than they would for just the basics if an item is truly worth it,” stated Mintel International Group in its “U.S. Soap, Bath and Shower Products” research report in October 2009.

Mintel reported soap, bath and shower sales have continued to post slow but steady increases since 2004. Dollar sales in the soap, bath and shower market reached nearly $2 billion in 2009 at food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), an increase of 3.5% since 2008 and a total increase of 18% since 2004 (or 3% in inflation-adjusted dollars). Liquid body wash is the largest segment, accounting for nearly 40% of the total soap, bath and shower market in FDMx. Looking ahead, Mintel estimated that sales of soap, bath and shower products will grow 11% at inflation adjusted prices from 2009 to 2014.

Hoping to lather up sales, manufacturers have turned to new scents and products that promise to beautify skin via vitamin-enriched formulations. One such example is Bodycology by Advanced Beauty Systems, which just launched a line of body washes at Walgreens. While it is not a shave cream, the company noted that the creamy formula could be dually used as a cleanser and shave cream for added convenience.

The Rich & Creamy body wash began hitting Walgreens stores in March and is available in three formulas—hydrating, nourishing and skin-softening—priced at $4.99 each. Silk extracts and avocado oil are infused into the skin-softening formula, while aloe vera and vitamin E are used for the hydrating formula. Soymilk and shea butter are blended for nourishing.

Bodycology’s product portfolio also includes a range of hand soaps and hand sanitizers. Coming in May will be a new fragrance for its existing line of antibacterial scrubbing hand soap: cherry blossom.

Calgon—a bath and beauty brand known for its iconic tagline “Calgon, Take Me Away!”—kicked off a rebranding effort in March that includes new packaging, logo, product extensions and a new marketing campaign. Ilex Capital Group acquired the business in November 2008 from Ascendia Brands.

The brand has introduced more than 30 new products. Added to the Bath Bead line is a range of mineral salts, epsom salts, bubble baths, bath fizzy sets and more. In addition, Calgon has extended its specialty bath offerings to include new aromatic fragrances and new formulas, such as a 2-in-1 shower gel and foaming bath and an ultra-nourishing body cream.

As part of the relaunch, Calgon has a more vibrant message of confidence and escape with new packaging designs that showcase vivid colors, bold imagery and sensual landscapes. The logo also has been redesigned to capture the new, active brand experience with the replacement of the “o” in Calgon with a botanical flower, and new script-style font for the words “Take Me Away!”

In addition, Calgon is offering its moisturizing bath beads in a sleek cylinder container in addition to its traditional box, addressing key consumer requests for a more modern, luxurious bath experience.

Tone and Dial, both Henkel brands, recently launched the new Tone daily detox purifying body wash with white clay and pink jasmine and Dial NutriSkin body wash. The new Tone daily detox purifying body wash with white clay and pink jasmine exfoliates, removing dull, dry skin. The cream-based formula is infused with an essence of pink jasmine and vitamin E. The suggested retail price is $3.99.

The new Dial NutriSkin with fruit oil body wash is packed with a combination of hydrating fruit oils and soothing extracts to leave skin feeling soft and revitalized. The body wash is available in two combinations: grapeseed oil and lemongrass, and cherry seed oil and mint. The suggested retail price is $3.99 each.

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