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NPD: Nail, color cosmetics helped fuel growth of prestige beauty in first half 2011

BY Antoinette Alexander

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — Those within the mass-market beauty industry are wise not to rest on their laurels, as research indicates that sales of prestige makeup and skin care in U.S. department stores surpassed pre-recession volume in the first half of 2011, according to market research company the NPD Group.

In first half 2011 (January through June), prestige women’s and men’s skin care dollar sales increased 14% and 9%, respectively, compared with first half 2008. Prestige makeup sales increased as well, nearly 4%, compared with pre-recessionary levels.

All categories of prestige makeup posted growth. The strongest increases can be attributed to the rediscovery by consumers of color cosmetics, such as eye and lip products, as well as the resurgence of the nail and other color segments. Most outstanding growth was in the nail category, which has increased 65% since first half 2008.

When looking at prestige skin care, every segment except for body helped bring the category back to meet its pre-recessionary levels; however, the star category for prestige skin care was sets and kits, with 56% growth, compared with first half 2008, according to NPD. The sets and kits segment experienced the highest dollar growth among all the segments for the past three semi-annual periods.

Prestige fragrance, while not yet reaching pre-recessionary levels, continues to build momentum. In first half 2011, women’s and men’s prestige fragrances generated 4% and 2% less dollar sales, versus first half 2008. However, when compared with first half 2010, women’s and men’s prestige fragrance sales increased 14% and 8%, respectively, a 10% dollar growth in total prestige fragrance overall.

“If prestige fragrance sales momentum continues at the accelerated levels experienced since April 2011, sales in the second half of 2011 may well exceed the second half of 2008,” stated Karen Grant, VP and senior global industry analyst for the NPD Group.

“Historically, we saw fragrance purchasing follow the consumer confidence trend. When sentiments were low, so were fragrance sales. However, the trend in fragrance appears to have shifted. While fragrance suffered the steepest declines at the start of the recession, there has been a turnaround in recent months, even though consumer confidence has not yet fully recovered. Consumers are gravitating to classics and new scents, as well as high-end and niche brands,” Grant added.

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Kimberly-Clark introduces new Poise product

BY Michael Johnsen

DALLAS — Kimberly-Clark on Thursday launched the Poise Hourglass Shape pads, a premium line extension, offering a curved shape that improves fit.

The new Poise product is especially designed to meet the needs of women with light bladder leakage who experience difficulty with the fit and performance of traditional protective pads. The new Poise Hourglass Shape pads have innovative "stand-up" leak shields that help eliminate gaps and an absorbent core that offers the excellent protection the Poise brand is known for, all in a narrower product. In addition, Poise Hourglass Shape pads have first-of-a-kind "pink lace" graphics and are packed in an attractive pouch for a feminine look and feel.

"Poise Hourglass Shape pads bring breakthrough technology to the world of light bladder leakage," stated Jay Gottlieb, VP North American adult and feminine care for Kimberly-Clark. "This first-of-a-kind product is designed especially to meet the needs of women who are experiencing LBL and have difficulty with the fit of traditional protective pads. Poise Hourglass Shape pads provide the performance women expect from the brand, and now offer a more feminine design these consumers will love." The contoured shape of the new Poise innovation curves around the legs, enhancing the fit around the natural curves of a woman’s body. In K-C consumer research and testing, 83% of women who tried the product said they would buy it. 

The introduction of Poise Hourglass Shape pads will be supported by a multimillion-dollar integrated commercial program that includes print advertising, online marketing and social media, in-store communication, coupons and an aggressive consumer sampling program to encourage  women to trial the new product. 

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Researcher: Cancer patients ought to confer with doctors on supplement use

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Acai berry, cumin, herbal tea, turmeric and long-term use of garlic may negatively impact chemotherapy treatment, according to a new report released Wednesday that originally was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago this summer.

Researchers from Northwestern Memorial hospital say there is growing evidence that these popular supplements may intensify or weaken the effect of chemotherapy drugs and in some cases, may cause a toxic, even lethal, reaction.

"With the growth of the Internet, patients have better access to information about alternative products and often turn to dietary and herbal supplements to treat their illness because they think they’re natural and safe," stated June McKoy, geriatrician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and lead investigator on the ASCO presentation. "What people don’t realize
is that supplements are more than just vitamins and can counteract medical therapies if not taken appropriately."

McKoy suggested more research is needed to understand which supplements interact with chemotherapy drugs and the extent of those interactions, and encourages patients to openly communicate with their physicians about the use of supplements.

"Patients need to tell their doctors what medications they are taking — including vitamins and supplements — to avoid any possible interaction," she said. Recent research found that half of patients undergoing chemotherapy did not tell their doctors they were taking alternative therapies. "Some believe it’s not important, while others are uncomfortable admitting they are pursuing alternative therapies," McKoy said. "The truth is, integrative approaches can be beneficial for cancer patients, but it’s important to take these approaches at the right time and under the supervision of your doctor."

McKoy plans to launch a pilot study this fall to examine how frequently conversations about supplements come up between cancer patients and their doctors. "By identifying communication barriers, we can take steps to improve doctor patient communication in order to prevent potentially dangerous drug interactions," she said. 

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