BEAUTY CARE

SymphonyIRI Group releases 2011 Pacesetters report naming most successful new launches

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Pampers Cruisers/Swaddlers with Dry Max, Gillette Fusion ProGlide and P.F. Chang’s Home Menu were the top three new product introductions in 2011, according to the SymphonyIRI Group "2011 New Product Pacesetter" report released Tuesday afternoon. Respectively, Pampers generated $296 million in first-year sales, Gillette Fusion ProGlide generated $169.4 million and P.F. Chang’s Home Menu generated $101.6 million. The three were the only new brands to break the $100 million barrier in year-one sales through 2011.

SymphonyIRI Group also identified several brands to watch for next year — the 2012 Pacesetter Rising Stars — including Dr Pepper 10, MiO liquid water enhancer and Magnum gourmet ice cream bars across food; and Allegra, Huggies Little Movers Slip-On and Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Meals across nonfoods.

Absent from the top 10 nonfood pacesetters were any Rx-to-OTC switch products that typically generate in excess of $100 million in first-year sales. "A trend that we’re seeing — very, very few products are able to achieve more than $100 million, and most are lucky with $20 million in first-year sales," Larry Levin, EVP consumer insights at SymphonyIRI, shared during a webcast on Tuesday. Two-thirds of all Pacesetter products did not clear $20 million in the first year.

Still, 198 new product introductions qualified as a "Pacesetter" — defined as greater than $7.5 million in first-year sales beginning once the product has reached 30% distribution — in 2011, out of more than 1,500 new product launches. That collectively brought in more than $4.4 billion in sales to food, drug and mass retailers, Levin noted.

As many as 15% of new food products and 11% of new nonfood products reached Pacesetter status. A slow economic recovery has many consumers holding on to their dollars, but still 22% of consumers are actively looking for new product innovation, and a lot of them are looking for innovation in food products. "We did see food innovation pick up just a little bit, while nonfoods was essentially flat," commented Susan Viamari, editor of Times & Trends for SymphonyIRI.

The ritual of home-based eating has really driven the need for products that offer quick and easy meal solutions and provide the variety, comfort and/or restaurant quality that consumers need at a solid value. According to SymphonyIRI’s Q1 2012 MarketPulse survey, 55% of consumers are eating out less frequently today versus before the downturn began. This opportunity has been addressed and capitalized on by today’s most savvy manufacturers, evidenced by the fact that successful dinner solution launches became more numerous versus historical averages in 2011.

Another trend potentially driving down first-year sales expectations is the industry gravitation toward more targeted media vehicles. “With the growing presence and power of social media, as well as the potential to innovate freely and creatively, the ‘go-to-market’ playing field is a bit more level than it has been in the past,” Viamari noted. “Many of today’s most powerful launches are quite targeted and this trend is ultimately changing the definition of successful innovation. Big or little, CPG manufacturers with a laser-like focus on true marketplace needs, at an increasingly granular level, will be the ones to enjoy new product success in the years to come.”

In nonfoods, most of the 2011 innovation came out of beauty and personal care launches — only nonprescription medicines GlaxoSmithKline’s Nicorette Lozenge ($45.2 million in first-year sales) and Abbott Nutrition’s Ensure with Vigor ($37.5 million) cracked the top 10 nonfood new product Pacesetters.

“Just like home-based eating is on the rise, more and more consumers want to take care of many of their beauty and personal care needs at home,” Viamari added. “They want professional-level performance of such places as spas and hair and nail salons without the price tag. From the top of your head to the tips of your toes, beauty and personal care products that bring luxury and indulgence into the home are really striking the right chord with consumers.”

The top 10 food and beverage Pacesetters:

  1. P.F. Chang’s Home Menu ($101.6 million);
  2. Thomas’ Bagel Thins ($73.6 million);
  3. Oscar Mayer Selects ($69.2 million);
  4. Folgers Gourmet Selections K-Cups ($58.4 million);
  5. M&M’s Pretzel ($58.4 million);
  6. Sun Drop ($55.8 million);
  7. Kellogg’s Special K Cracker Chips ($50.6 million);
  8. Lean Cuisine Market Creations ($48.6 million);
  9. Gold Peak Chilled Tea ($44.3 million); and
  10. Bailey’s Coffee Creamer ($44.2 million).

The top 10 nonfoods Pacesetters:

  1. Pampers Cruisers/Swaddlers with Dry Max ($296 million);
  2. Gillette Fusion ProGlide ($169.4 million);
  3. U by Kotex ($74.6 million);
  4. Schick Hydro ($64.9 million);
  5. Maybelline Volum’ Express Falsies ($46.5 million);
  6. Nicorette Lozenge ($45.2 million);
  7. Sally Hansen Salon Effects ($41.8 million);
  8. Tide Pluse Febreze Freshness ($37.9 million);
  9. Ensure with Revigor ($37.5 million); and
  10. Maybelline Fit Me ($36.2 million).

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Coty reaffirms interest in Avon

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Two weeks after Avon rejected Coty’s bid to snap up the company in a deal valued at $10 billion, Coty is reaffirming its interest in Avon and is urging Avon shareholders to push for the offer.

As previously reported, Coty submitted a nonbinding proposal to acquire Avon for $23.25 per share in cash. The proposal, valued at approximately $10 billion, represents a substantial premium of 27% over the three-month, volume-weighted average price for Avon shares, Coty stated.

Avon swiftly rejected the unsolicited bid and stated that Coty’s offer “does not reflect the fundamental value of Avon and its global beauty care franchise.” Avon also stressed that it was committed to hiring a new CEO and, just days later, announced the hiring former Johnson & Johnson executive Sheri McCoy to as the new CEO.

McCoy will assume her role as Avon CEO as of April 23. The appointment brings to a close a four-month search to replace CEO Andrea Jung. Jung will continue as chairman of the board.

In an April 16 letter addressed to Jung, Coty outlined some of its financing and requested a look at inside information, which would give Coty a chance to then offer its best price.

“We believe strongly that the only reasonable way to reach a conclusion on overall value for your shareholders is to do so in private negotiations, after you have given us access to due diligence. We are proposing that we devote no more than a couple of weeks — at your invitation — in confidential discussions to see if we have a basis for proceeding with a transaction.  If we do not, each company can move on, taking its separate course,” wrote Bart Becht, chairman of Coty, in the letter.

Coty also outlined some of its financing and stated that BDT Capital Partners has "arranged for equity commitments which, together with the equity committed to [Coty] by the Joh. A Benckiser companies, total more than $5 billion." Coty also stated that it has received a highly confident letter from J.P. Morgan Securities for the debt financing.

Becht reportedly told Reuters that JPMorgan Chase has provided a "highly confident letter" with about $9 billion of debt financing. Roughly $4 billion of that will go toward refinancing $2 billion of Coty debt, and $2 billion of Avon debt.

"Right now we have commitments for the $23.25. We will go back to our various parties to see what we should do post-due diligence," Becht was quoted as saying in a Reuters report.

Coty has indicated that it intends to structure its financing to achieve an investment grade credit rating for its debt.

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FaceLube skin care targets men

BY Antoinette Alexander

A recent study by market research company NPD Group found that most men are using some sort of grooming product today, such as shave, hair care and fragrance; however, only 25% of men are currently using facial skin care products. The findings suggest that the market is poised for growth, but noted that the challenge is getting him involved and engaged. 


The challenges have not gone unnoticed by FaceLube, a new men’s grooming and skin care line that is taking a unique approach to engaging him.


You won’t find FaceLube in the typical personal care aisle or department store counter. FaceLube founder Candace Chen said it is going where the men are, and by year’s end will be selling the product line at new car dealerships.


FaceLube, through its packaging and product descriptions, draws analogies from vehicle maintenance and is in the midst of developing its “2013 models” of product.

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