Lip care creates purchase occasions

Premium positioning and design are a pair of driving factors contributing to the success of lip care, which generated $650.4 million in overall sales, up 15.8%, for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 26 across U.S. multi-outlets, according to IRI. Case in point is EOS, which revolutionized the lip balm category with new delivery formats. EOS’ overall brand family of products generated $85.5 million in sales, up 125.2%, and commanded a 13.1% dollar share of the category.

Mentholatum will be making a strong showing of its own this year with its Softlips Cube launch, which brings a little chic to the lip care aisle with a fashionably designed format that delivers a touch of gloss. “We’re taking some of the advancements you’ve seen in the forms in the lip care category, and what we’ve done is put in our superior formula from a Softlips standpoint,” said Steve Bickham, director of custom marketing for Mentholatum. “The item itself rehydrates, replenishes, smooths, protects and adds some shine.”

Carma Labs also had added some pizzazz to the lip care category with its launch last fall of the limited-edition Carmex Moisture Plus lip balm line. Sales of the company’s core line of products were up 15.87o to $44.2 million. And the new line features such limited-edition designs as Chic in houndstooth, Fab in a pink plaid, Adventurous in leopard print and Starlet in a metallic chevron. Earlier this year, Carma Labs signed singer and actress Zendaya to serve as spokeswoman for the brand.

What EOS, Carmex and Softlips Cube do is add additional purchase occasions. Consumers already buy multiple lip care products on a need base — a medicated lip balm to soothe chapped lips, for example, or a hydrated lip care SKU to help prevent chapped lips. Both of those purchase occasions drive sales more in the fall and winter. The third purchase occasion is more cosmetic, fashion-oriented and less seasonal.

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