BEAUTY CARE

Unilever to acquire personal care company Carver Korea

BY David Salazar

LONDON and ROTTERDAM — Unilever has plans to grow its personal portfolio. The company on Monday announced its acquisition of leading skin care brand Carver Korea from Goldman Sachs and Bain Private Equity for $2.68 billion (2.27 euro).

Carver’s leading brand, AHC, is focused on age management and skin hydration and nourishment, with a line of products that includes essences, toners, moisturizers, masks and sun protection products. The company’s origins are as a professional products supplier for beauty salons.

“We are delighted to be acquiring Carver Korea. It is an impressive business that is completely aligned to our personal care strategy,” Unilever personal care president Alan Jope said. “It will significantly strengthen our position in North Asia, the largest skincare market in the world; and will complement our existing portfolio, enabling us to offer luxury skincare products at attainable price points. AHC has been strongly gaining popularity thanks to its efficacious, innovative and premium products; and it therefore offers great opportunities for growth."

Carver’s position in Korean beauty — particularly given South Korea is the fourth largest skin care market in the world — will bolster Unilever’s position within Asia’s beauty market and the global personal care category, the company said.

“This has been a great opportunity for us to partner with a leading Korean company in an exciting segment of the cosmetics space and to help support its brand, operations and growth around the world,” Bain Capital Private Equity managing director Ed Han said. “Unilever is a strong partner to help the company in its next phase of growth and development."

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Kroger creates new website to identify local vendors

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger has launched a new website to welcome local and emerging brands to partner with the company.

"Kroger has always had a commitment to supporting small-business owners and local vendors," said Mike Donnelly, Kroger EVP merchandising and procurement. "Our business has a track record of successfully blending centralized and decentralized decision making to promote local products while also enjoying economies of scale. Since Kroger's day one, we have had a longstanding, 365-day-a-year commitment to support and source from local farmers, ranchers, food producers, wineries, breweries and product makers. There are tastes and products that are unique to every region."

Kroger's team of buyers continuously look for opportunities to purchase regionally that allow the company to expand its product portfolio for customers, stimulate the local economy and enhance product freshness. now vendors will be able to contact them through the new website, called Kroger.Com/WeAreLocal. Sourcing locally also supports the company's sustainability commitments, including Kroger's Zero Hunger|Zero Waste initiative launched last week.

"Kroger has led the way for over a decade in making local, natural and organic products more affordable and accessible to America – especially for shoppers on a budget," Donnelly said. "We've always believed that our customers shouldn't have to pay higher prices just because a product is local, natural or organic. There are a lot of headlines about making local, natural and organic foods more affordable. The truth is, we've always been affordable. That's why we developed our Simple Truth brand, which today is the biggest natural and organic brand in the country by volume."
 

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Q&A: Prevention Health Sciences’ Donley talks meeting niche oral care needs

BY DSN STAFF

Retailers who are winning in the oral care category are those paying attention to market niches. Consumers today tailor their oral care purchases to specific needs. One important need that shouldn’t be overlooked is that of cancer patients.

Drug Store News talked to Chris Donley, SVP at Prevention Health Sciences, to find out why planograms need an offer formulated for these very specific requirements.

DSN: Why is there a need for products formulated specifically for oncology patients?
Chris Donley: Oncology patients have several concerns — risk of infection and weakened immune systems, xerostomia (dry mouth) caused by the powerful chemo meds that can lead to problems with teeth and gums, soreness and sensitivity due to oral mucositis, which is inflammation and sores to the mucous membranes of the mouth. The solution is a rinse that can address all of these concerns.

DSN: How big of a market are we talking about?
CD: There are nearly 2 million new cases a year and 15 million people living with cancer. Specifically, all head and neck cancer cases are impacted, and most people going through chemo are susceptible to developing oral complications. Additionally, good oral care health has a direct relationship to overall immune health, which is a primary concern for any cancer patient.

DSN: What makes Prevention Oncology effective?
CD: Prevention Oncology is designed specifically for the needs of these oncology patients. The natural glycerin in our rinse serves as a humectant — meaning it helps to attract and retain moisture in the mouth. It also serves as a demulcent, forming a protective coating in the mouth to provide temporary pain relief. This helps many patients who may be suffering with oral mucositis eat and drink with less discomfort. It also helps manage tissue inflammation and sensitivity.

Importantly, this formulation is very mildly flavored. Also, we have removed surfactants, or SLS, that are present in many rinses. Known for their cleansing properties, such surfactants as sodium lauryl sulfate can cause further irritation to the oral cavity of oncology patients who are already struggling with sensitivity, discomfort and taste issues.

DSN: How do patients and caregivers hear about Prevention Oncology?
CD: We have a long history in the professional dental and oncology community where we do extensive sampling through oncology centers, cancer clinics and dental offices featuring samples and offering coupons for in-store purchases.

DSN: What’s your advice on how to best merchandise the products?
CD: We recommend housing Prevention Oncology with specialty oral care products for dry mouth, halitosis, acute gingivitis and canker and mouth sores.

DSN: How important are pharmacist recommendations?
CD: Pharmacists play a huge role in recommendations and educating the consumers, and often are the primary information providers. We have developed Rx white papers and detailed product information.

DSN: Do patients require multiple products?
CD: Our Oncology rinse is specifically targeted at patients undergoing treatment. However, many patients — depending on their condition — will continue to use our product in conjunction with prescription medications. For example, we had one patient tell us he was prescribed a mucoadhesive, which required him to wait an hour before eating or drinking. To make his breakfast and morning tea more manageable, he used Prevention Oncology every morning.

DSN: What can you tell us about other Prevention products?
CD: The Prevention line of mouth rinses all adhere to a similar base formulation and concept. The first Prevention rinse was developed in the 90s as a less invasive rinse that works harmoniously with the mouth's natural functions. Our entire product line is alcohol-free and features low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide to oxygenate under the gum line in order to target only the harmful anaerobic bacteria. It also includes natural glycerin to keep the mouth moist. All of the Prevention SKUs (Dry Mouth, Mouth Sore and Oncology) are optimized versions of our Daily Care formula with specific enhancements to the formulation to meet the needs of these specific indications.

DSN: What else do you want retailers to know about the Oncology Mouth Rinse, or the company in general?

CD: We understand that consumers are looking for very specific solutions to their very specific medical or health conditions. These consumers are looking to their healthcare providers to provide information and options, and they also expect to find these products where they typically shop for their prescription and OTC healthcare products. If they cannot find these solutions on retail shelves, they quickly turn to an e-commerce supplier — representing a lost sale for physical retailers.

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