Major shift to private-label personal care purchases noted in new survey
DALLAS — In the first half of 2010, consumers continued to shift to less-expensive private-label products in all categories, including the personal care and baby care segments, according to a recent survey by Epsilon Targeting, a provider of consumer information for targeted marketing solutions.
According to the August survey by Epsilon Targeting, an increasing number of consumers switched to store-brand products in the previous six months. In fact, 61% said they switched to private-label personal care products, including shampoo and facial moisturizers, while almost 18% of the respondents said they moved to private-label baby goods, including baby shampoo. These categories historically have a higher perceived cost of switching because consumers believed they are sacrificing on quality, according to Epsilon Targeting.
The brand shift is a marked increase over Epsilon Targeting’s last survey, in May 2009, when 51% of respondents said they purchased private-label personal care products, and 13% bought baby items.
The gain by store brands in the personal care category is especially noteworthy because consumers tend to be more loyal to national brand shampoos, facial moisturizers and other "appearance" products, according to Epsilon Targeting. For instance, 37% of respondents said they moved to private-label shampoo and conditioner in the past six months, based on Epsilon Targeting’s research. Traditionally, this is a small category for store brands — less than 3% of all shampoos and 1% of conditioners purchased at supermarkets in the third quarter were store brands, according to the Private Label Manufacturers Association, through The Nielsen Co. Among drug store shoppers, the figures were 5% and 4%, respectively.
Epsilon Targeting’s findings are supported by PLMA data that showed unit sales of store-brand shampoos and conditioners did rise in the third quarter, by almost 71% and 13%, respectively, at drug stores alone.
Still, national brands linger in the minds of shoppers, as indicated by the research. At least 45% of respondents said they would definitely purchase their usual label of personal care, food or household products again if they had a coupon. More than 44% said they would buy their usual brand of health products.
"This is an opportunity for national brands to turn to their vast resources and find new ways to engage their customers one-to-one," stated Epsilon Targeting VP Warren Storey. "National brands have the ability to leverage rich data in new ways, across all communication channels from direct mail to mobile. The information is there — where their shoppers buy, when and how they respond to promotions. As the economy returns, national brands must leverage this intelligence and apply it to pricing, product placement and special offers. Marketers must leverage this data to identify and provide incentives, such as coupons and samples, to consumers who would switch back."
EvoraPlus gains distribution at Winn-Dixie
TAMPA, Fla. — Biopharmaceutical company Oragenics has expanded retail distribution of its oral care probiotic EvoraPlus through an agreement with Winn-Dixie Stores. EvoraPlus will be sold in select Winn-Dixie locations, beginning in January 2011.
ProBiora3, the active ingredient in Oragenics’ probiotic products, is designed to naturally support gum and tooth health while freshening breath and whitening teeth. Oragenics’ chief scientific officer, Jeffrey Hillman, developed ProBiora3 technology during more than 25 years of research, which began at the Harvard-affiliated Forsyth Institute in Boston and continued at the University of Florida. This technology only recently has become available to the general public.
ProBiora3 contains three strains of beneficial bacteria that promise to help maintain a healthy microbial balance in the mouth. It is 100% natural and is made in the United States in an FDA-registered and GMP-certified facility, the company stated.
Kiss My Face looks to grow brand
GARDINER, N.Y. — Kiss My Face, a maker of natural personal care products, has partnered with industry vets Lisa Yarnell and Ron Gordon, and financial partner Caltius Equity Partners, in an effort to fuel the growth of the brand throughout various market channels, including mass merchants, specialty shops and natural retailers across the United States and internationally.
"National independent market research showed Kiss My Face to have the third-highest brand awareness among all women inclined to try a natural product, and the second-highest unaided recognition among women aged 24 years or younger shopping in natural and conventional retailers," stated Yarnell, who will serve as CEO.
According to the company, an important area of focus for the new partnership will include building on the recent launch of Kiss My Face’s Peace soap — a multipurpose, pure, 100% natural castile soap — and its partnership with Seeds of Peace, an organization that aims to develop relationships and leadership skills among young people from regions of conflict. Kiss My Face will continue to support Seeds of Peace by donating 10% of all profits from Peace soap to the organization.
Peace Soap will be available in the next quarter at such retailers as Whole Foods, Target, Fred Meyer, Publix, Loblaw and Wegmans.
New investment partner Yarnell will join founders Bob MacLeod and Steve Byckiewicz to help grow the company, as well as the natural body care category. Yarnell comes to Kiss My Face with experience at such consumer packaged goods companies as Jane & Co., Coty Inc., Colgate-Palmolive and L’Oreal.
Gordon has joined the company’s board of directors. He is the retired chairman and CEO of Beiersdorf North America, past president and COO of Nice-Pak Products and, prior to that, Gordon was the president of Goody Products Inc.