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L’Oréal’s La Roche-Posay, Vichy Laboratoires expanding at select Walgreens

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — La Roche-Posay and Vichy Laboratoires, two dermatological skin care brands from the L’Oréal Group, have announced the expansion into select Walgreens locations.  

With an upscale, interactive merchandising concept and a unique shopping experience that includes instant expert advice, the brands bring their medical heritage and expertise to the pharmacy retailer. Beginning this month, more Americans will have access to the skin care products that are in high demand by the savvy beauty shopper.



The brands originated in France and were once available only in European pharmacies. Developed in collaboration with dermatologists and based on scientific breakthroughs, both brands offer products that are formulated for sensitive skin and tested in clinical studies to ensure effective results.  



Walgreens plans to feature this kiosk concept at select Look Boutiques and other top beauty locations across the country. The kiosk will engage shoppers with a tablet experience that will offer information and advice about skin care. This interactive tablet experience will help customers by focusing on their concerns and needs, as well as guide their selection of everything from cleanser to sunscreen. The Dermatological Skincare experience also provides an educational component where users can tap into the brands’ skin care secrets or get dermatologist advice. In addition, customers can scan a product’s UPC code to instantly see the features, benefits and ingredient details. Vichy Laboratoires will also offer French beauty secrets while La Roche-Posay will deliver board-certified dermatologist advice. Walgreens beauty advisers, available at each of the drug store chain’s locations, are specially trained to help customers who may have questions about skin care products or would like to sample products.



"Industry studies show that 1-out-of-2 women in the U.S. are using the wrong skin care product for their skin’s needs,” stated Henric Sark, president of the Active Cosmetics Division at L’Oréal. “One of the prime objectives of this collaboration with Walgreens is to improve the level of results and satisfaction by helping customers to make the right choice. To do this, we have worked together to provide advice and in-depth information, either through the trained beauty adviser or the interactive tablet, and also by offering products that can deliver the results, that are backed by science, proven effective and safe. This educational approach and the new merchandising concept show that La Roche-Posay and Vichy Laboratoires are on the cutting edge of technology not just in skin care, but also in reinventing the skin care shopping experience.” 



“We are always looking for ways to help our customers get, stay and live well, and these L’Oréal brands are great examples of how we can provide new dermatological skin care brands in an exciting and innovative way,” added Joe Magnacca, Walgreens president of daily living and product solutions. "These brands are leaders in this area, and when you fuse that with our products and beauty advisers, we are thrilled to help our customers feel good about their health and the selection and knowledge we can bring.” 



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Reuters: Living Essentials looking to launch snack bar in 2013

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Living Essentials is planning to expand its portfolio into snack bars in early 2013, according to a Reuters report published last week. The low-calorie snack bar will hold off hunger for three hours, according to the report. The brand name of the new bar was not disclosed.

Living Essentials is also in the market for an acquisition. "The product itself has to be a slam-dunk," Manoj Bhargava, Living Essentials CEO, told Reuters in an interview. "It could really be anything as long as it’s consumer packaged goods and it’s a slam-dunk. What I don’t want to do is sell nonsense because it’s complementary."

For the complete report, click here.

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‘Old-school’ Peanut Chews is back, with new packaging, ad campaign

BY Melissa Valliant

The Philadelphia chocolate-and-peanut bar that started as a World War I ration is back — even though it didn’t really go anywhere. Candy company Just Born announced that it has overhauled its Peanut Chews’ brand image to better reflect its roots.

When it was first introduced in 1917, the chocolate bar was known as Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews. Just Born bought the product in 2003 and fitted it with a new wrapper and a different logo and color scheme that no longer included the word "Goldenberg’s." The company also introduced the product into national distribution. The revamped brand identity ultimately failed; consumers were confused, not realizing the Peanut Chews with the new packaging was their same old favorite candy bar, and sales plummeted.

Now, the brand is going back to its origins. The company has returned to the product’s original regional, rather than national, growth strategy and has launched a new marketing and advertising campaign. New TV commercials by Machinery in Philadelphia were aired intermittently in Philadelphia from January to April, featuring fictional marketers informing participants that while the packaging has changed, the product remains the same.

One ad shows a middle-aged man who tries the candy and is suddenly transformed, complete with Kangol hat, baggy tracksuit and oversize gold chain. He announces the chocolate bar is "off the hook." (Click here to watch.) Another ad features a conservatively dressed middle-aged woman who bites into the candy and morphs into a 1980s-era aerobics enthusiast with a headband, big hair and neon spandex; she says the candy is "totally awesome." (Click here to watch.) Both ads conclude with a brand spokesman resembling Billy Dee Williams delivering the tagline: "Now that’s chewin’ it old school."

Starting Sept. 10, the commercials will air in Philly four times as often and will also be featured as online ads. The new Peanut Chews ads can also be found on billboards, bus shelters and on top of gas pumps in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. The company also made a sponsorship deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, and the ballpark now displays ads saying "The only chew a player needs."

So far, the revamped brand image seems to be working. Peanut Chews reported that revenue for the 24 weeks ended June 10 was up almost 50% over the year-ago period. Today, about 60% of sales come from Philadelphia and 30% from New York, with the rest coming from limited national distribution through chains like Rite Aid and Cracker Barrel, as well as through online sales.

Just Born is also initiating an ad campaign in New York for the first time, with a Yankees sponsorship deal going into effect on Aug. 28. The deal involves a pennant giveaway that will feature the brand’s logo, as well as 117 ads in and around the Yankee Stadium subway station on 161st Street. The company also plans on embarking on a campaign in Baltimore within the next couple of years.

Peanut Chews contain roasted peanuts at the center of the bar, held together with a molasses mixture, with a dark chocolate exterior. Unlike other popular peanut and chocolate bars, like Snickers, this one doesn’t have nougat and is formed into eight bite-size pieces.

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