Historically the challenge for wholesalers looking at stocking personal care products has been how will these sell in the independent grocers and convenience stores we serve? But as the convenience retail trend grows, it’s becoming clear that if shoppers see their favourite personal care brands in their local store, they will buy them there rather than the supermarket. This trend is the basis of Unilever’s Partners for Growth initiative, which we look at in this feature.

Before that, Unilever’s first new personal care brand in 20 years is Love Beauty and Planet. Inspired by Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, with its goals of raising standards of health and hygiene around the world, the new beauty brand, featuring six hair and skincare product ranges, has sustainability at its heart and is designed to meet rising demand from consumers for more environmentallyresponsible products.

But the bigger opportunity for wholesalers, says Chris Barron, Vice President of Beauty & Personal Care, Unilever UK and Ireland, is that the new beauty brand targets consumers who currently shop the natural beauty fixtures and specialist shops, in a bid to convert them to grocery and high street channels, and drive penetration of more natural beauty products in these outlets.

A look around the bathroom is a stark reminder how much plastic packaging personal care products come with. With ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients, vegan-friendly formulations and bottles that are 100% recycled and recyclable, Love Beauty and Planet is designed to help consumers give a little love back to the planet, without compromising on beauty boosting results, allowing them to both look good and feel good.

As part of that commitment, Love Beauty and Planet is pledged to be transparent and open about its impact on the planet. The brand will not only disclose its annual carbon footprint annually but work towards a goal to reduce its carbon footprint by 20% by 2020.

All Love Beauty and Planet products have easy-peel labels that can be removed during recycling. The range of hair, face and body care products come at grocery retail-friendly, affordable RRPs from £5.99 – £9.99.

Also in the Unilever portfolio, TRESemmé, the UK’s most popular haircare brand is launching its innovative Biotin+ Repair 7 range, designed to repair seven types of hair damage. The range sits in the TRESemmé Pro Collection tier and is supported with a £7M marketing investment.

Launched to help the 71% of UK consumers who want less damaged hair (Kantar Worldpanel), the Biotin+ Repair 7 range consists of a shampoo, conditioner, instant recovery mask and a new primer spray format. All products feature the salon ingredient Biotin, aka Vitamin B7, known to contribute to the healthy look of hair, nails and skin.

Grace Buck, TRESemmé Brand Manager at Unilever UK, comments: “Biotin is a popular ingredient found in high-quality salon products around the world. We’re proud to be able to bring the salon trend to the mass haircare category with our new Biotin+ Repair 7 range.

“Two million women in the UK who don’t use hair products to prevent or repair damaged hair. Our Biotin+ Repair 7 range offers them a full regime of products, to help achieve the look they want without worrying about damage, putting ‘pro’ performance in their hands every day.”

Sure, Unilever’s best-selling antiperspirant brand, has added new Sure Invisible Antibacterial Anti-Perspirant to its portfolio, supported by a £4M media investment. The new launch combines the brand’s best-ever anti-marks formula with new antibacterial odour protection. The formula also contains the brand’s unique MotionSense™ technology, releasing bursts of freshness throughout the day, keeping consumers feeling fresher for longer.

This July saw Radox, the UK’s number one washing and bathing brand from Unilever UK (Nielsen) introduce the new Radox Bath Me-Time collection. Inspired by nature and offering a luxury bath-time experience to help wash away the stress of everyday life, the Radox Bath Me-Time collection comprises bath salts, bath bombs and bath oils. The launch is supported with a below the line campaign, including in-store, PR and social media.

Oral care is another important area in the personal care category. Consumers of all ages look to oral care products to give them fresh breath and protect them from tooth decay, the most common oral disease affecting children and young people.

GSK’s latest innovation in kids’ oral care is new Aquafresh Advance toothpaste and toothbrush for 9-12’s, supporting parents in maintaining healthy teeth throughout their child’s dental development.

Emma Pittendreigh, Aquafresh Senior Brand Manager at GSK, comments: “The 9-12 stage can sometimes be overlooked by parents, so new Aquafresh Advance toothpaste and toothbrush helps protect teeth at their most vulnerable. Developing a product specifically for this age group should help to grow the kids’ oral hygiene segment.”

The Aquafresh Advance launch is supported with digital and cinema advertising and a schools programme driving oral health education among 9- 12’s.

Sensodyne is another long established brand in GSK’s oral care portfolio. Sensodyne Pronamel Strong & Bright Enamel Toothpaste is turning its cartons and tubes pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October. For each pack sold, 15p will be donated to Breast Cancer Care.

Limited Edition Sensodyne Pronamel Strong & Bright Enamel Toothpaste packs will be available from September to December and will be supported with TV, press, social, out of home and shopper activation. The limited edition packs have an RRP of £5.00.

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