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Personal Care Business Insight Alert Archive

Have a look at some of our recent alerts. These give broad coverage of the industry - if you want something more specific create your own here.

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August 08, 2017, to September 19, 2017

L’Oréal CEO Says CeraVe Line Doing Well, Will Expand To Europe In 2018

In a conference call with analysts in June discussing six-month sales and profit performance, L’Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon [left] commented on the progress of its newly-acquired CeraVe skincare product line. According to Agon, CeraVe is “already contributing with double-digit growth” in the U.S. market. And the company’s globalization strategy includes a plan to expand CeraVe to Europe beginning in mid-2018, “because we need some time to adapt the formulations for Europe, but it would be deployed next year.” CeraVe was acquired from Canada’s Valeant in March 2017 and is now part of the fast-growing Active Cosmetics division.

Active Cosmetics Are A Rising Star In L’Oréal’s Firmament

L’Oréal’s half-year financial results shed some light on the hot “active cosmetics” trend in the beauty industry. The company’s Active Cosmetics Division showed a sales growth rate of 11.1 percent through the end of June, and 4.6 percent like-for-like. Profit was 26.7 percent, compared with 27.7 percent a year ago. The division includes brands with derma/pharmaceutical profile and image, and are sold in healthcare outlets. They include Vichy, La Roche-Posay, and SkinCeuticals, “dermocosmetics” developed and endorsed by dermatologists, pediatricians, cosmetic doctors. North America is the number one contributor to the division's growth, reflecting the successful integration of CeraVe into the portfolio, and the dynamism of SkinCeuticals and La Roche-Posay.

CeraVe Achieves Cult Status On Social Media

L’Oréal’s CeraVe is the drugstore skincare brand that is followed closely on Reddit’s huge Skincare Addiction thread patronized by dermatologists, experts, and full-blown skin care lovers. It has turned CeraVe into a “legit cult-favorite and desert-island necessity.” Launched in 2005 with a cleanser, moisturizing lotion, and moisturizing cream, the brand has expanded to include a full line of moisturizers, cleansers, body washes, and SPFs. Visitors to the Skincare Addiction thread on Reddit focus on CeraVe’s ability to get rid of stubborn breakouts and moisturize oily skin without aggravation. A key to the success is CeraVe’s low-cost, easy-to-find products that work with all skin types.

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July 25, 2017, to August 08, 2017

L’Oréal Takes An Expensive Flier On Virtual Reality Technology

L’Oréal’s Beauty Lab (left), located at the company’s year-old west-side Manhattan headquarters, serves as an experimental virtual reality center to explore a technology some industry observers call “the next frontier of fashion and beauty.” Though virtual reality has taken baby steps in fashion and cosmetics, it has yet to make significant inroads, and has had almost no impact on sales. Skeptics note that researchers aren’t even sure what to do with test data that are collected. L’Oréal, however, has invested a lot of money in its VR glasses, floor-to-ceiling VR screen, and additional 3-D modeling screens. Not so much to wow consumers, but to advance and enhance internal research.

Still Not Sure How To Measure The ROI Of It All, L’Oréal Pushes On With Digital

Despite a lack of evidence that its forays into the digital world are actually paying off, L’Oréal continues to do what it can to stay current with advanced technologies. In fact, it wants to do ”even better.” The latest of these technologies is voice search – think Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri – which the company believes will account for a fifth of all online searches within 18 months. The company wants to be at the forefront of that trend, a unique opportunity to tell consumers about brands and their stories. Lurking in the background of all this, however, is the ongoing “obsession” with the ROI of digital which, the company admits, it hasn’t quite figured out how to measure.

Timely, Relevant – Very Short – Ads Are L’Oréal’s Social Media Holy Grail

Market research suggests that consumers using smartphones are swiping quickly past – i.e., ignoring – ads adapted from traditional 30-second TV spots. Enter a new ad standard, pushed by social media platforms like Facebook and Snapchat: the super short six-second spot. L’Oréal has partnered with Google on an initiative – dubbed “Media Bets” – that will analyze data on the fly on what content is currently engaging eyeballs on YouTube. L’Oréal will use the data to develop timely, relevant, responsive six-second ads to run just before videos. Company media chief Nadine McHugh says it’s all about “a value exchange with consumers” in a seriously “time-challenged environment.”

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June 27, 2017, to July 25, 2017

Hain Celestial On The Block?

Organic and natural foods company Hain Celestial may soon be on the auction block. After successfully steering through an accounting review that worried investors and depressed stock value, top execs disclosed to a Jefferies Group analyst that they are open to takeover offers or other strategic changes. Shortly thereafter, Engaged Capital said it had accumulated a nearly ten percent stake in Hain Celestial and was prepared to jettison most of the board members and push for a sale of the whole company, or of part of it. Though the accounting review ended without any substantial changes being made, the Securities and Exchange Commission is continuing its own probe. Hain stock is down about 30 percent since the SEC investigation began.

Walgreens Adds UK Brand Sleek MakeUP To Beauty Lineup

Walgreens said it will start selling Sleek MakeUP brand of cosmetics at more than 150 stores and on Walgreens.com. One of the fastest-growing mass-market beauty brands in the UK, Sleek MakeUP was acquired by Walgreens Boots Alliance in 2015. Created by a local beauty entrepreneur in East London, the brand seeks to cater to the needs of women of color who were faced with limited choices in the cosmetics market.

Reckitt Benckiser Divests Food Business

U.K.-based Reckitt Benckiser Group plc announced it is selling its food business (RB Food) to McCormick & Company for $4.2 billion. The RB Food (Chester, N.J.) condiments and toppings line includes French's, Frank's RedHot and Cattlemen's brands. The nutrition bar Tiger’s Milk will be included in the cash-free, debt-free deal. Divestiture of its food business marks another step in RB’s transformation into a consumer health and hygiene company. It acquired infant formula firm Mead Johnson Nutrition in February for $16.7 billion.

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June 13, 2017, to June 27, 2017

Amazon-Whole Foods Merger Shakes And Rattles The Retail Industry

Drug Store News outlined several key points to keep in mind now that Amazon plans to acquire Whole Foods Market. The $13.7 billion acquisition, awaiting approval by regulators and shareholders, will have major repercussions for retailers that sell groceries, beauty products and health products. A few of the key takeaways: both companies benefit from a merger. Amazon extends its beachhead into grocery sales, while Whole Foods gets a rich uncle. The entire retail industry knows now that it’s no longer business as usual: witness the stock slides of Target, Walmart, Kroger, Costco, and Supervalu. The acquisition furthers Amazon’s metamorphosis into a true omnichannel business, thanks to the addition of 460 brick-and-mortar stores.

Unilever Continues To Realign Agency And Ad Tech Relationships

Unilever and British advertising/PR firm WPP announced they are investing in mobile creative management platform Celtra. The move furthers Unilever’s goal of boosting and applying creative technology innovation while reducing associations with ad agencies. As Unilever gets more involved in data and ad tech it has cut the costs and complexities of advertising across its 400+ brands. Celtra has been providing top brands with the ability to connect operational data, creative, advertising and analytics. The company has worked for several years with Unilever and with WPP’s Mindshare.

Unilever's Lifebuoy Brand Launches Campaign To Reduce Child Mortality In Kenya

Unilever's Lifebuoy bath soap brand launched a public information campaign aimed at reducing child mortality in Kenya. Part of the company's Lifebuoy Help a Child Reach 5 program, the 21-day campaign focuses on raising awareness and changing personal hygiene habits of 12 million people in the country by 2020. To achieve these goals, the campaign promotes handwashing with antibacterial soaps and supports a continent-wide campaign to encourage behavior change for more than 1 billion people across Africa.

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May 30, 2017, to June 13, 2017

Health And Personal Care Sales Booming Online, Led By Amazon

U.S. sales of health and personal care (HPC) products slowed in the first quarter by one percent year-over-year, mainly in brick-and-mortar stores. Online sales were up in the quarter, led by Amazon.com. As of the first quarter of 2017, the U.S. HPC market was valued at $80.6 billion, while Amazon sales represented $1.3 billion. Year over year growth of HPC sales on Amazon in the first quarter was 30 percent. According to One Click Retail, consumers are abandoning in-store shopping for HPC products in favor of online shopping. Within Amazon, the rate of growth for HPC is highest in Prime Pantry, with top categories multiplying revenue by as much as five times.

Fosun Should Find Better Takeover Target Than The Body Shop, Analyst Says

Chinese conglomerate Fosun International should discontinue its efforts to secure the rights to buy The Body Shop, the beauty retailer owned by L'Oreal SA. There are several reasons why Fosun would be better off looking for another company to acquire. These include the lack of positive forecasts for the retail sector, including the beauty retail segment. Also, The Body Shop's emphasis on all-natural beauty products no longer differentiates it from rival retailers, as reflected by the 4.8 percent drop in revenue in 2016. With a price tag of $900 million, which is expected to significantly jump once a likely bidding war starts, The Body Shop is quite expensive.

Unilever To Expand Indonesian Production Capacity

Unilever Indonesia will spend half a billion dollars over the next five years to improve its production capacity in nine factories in the country. The money will be spent to improve production capacity for products in its two main businesses: home and personal care, and food and refreshment. The company posted first quarter sales of $812 million, representing a year-on-year growth 8.9 percent. 

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May 23, 2017, to May 30, 2017

Symrise Announces Synthetic Fragrance Copy Of Scent Of Lily Of The Valley

Fragrance developer Symrise announced it has developed Lilybelle, a synthetic fragrance with fresh and transparent notes very similar to those of the lily of the valley. Lily of the valley are easy to cultivate; however, its flowers are delicate and offer very low yields. Also, its scent is very difficult to acquire with enough efficiency either through steam distillation or volatile solvent extraction. Perfume houses have been investing significantly to develop alternatives to existing synthetic molecules, such as Lyral or Lillial, which have been withdrawn from the market due to public health issues.

Procter & Gamble Assigns Publicis Media To Manage Consolidated UK Media Account

Procter & Gamble awarded its consolidated media planning, scheduling, and buying account in the UK and Ireland to Publicis Media. Valued at more than ₤200 million, the account used to be managed by Starcom Mediavest and later divided between Starcom and Mediavest Spark following Publicis' reorganization in 2016. P&G's reorganization of its advertising and marketing strategies is part of the consumer goods giant's efforts to reduce agency spending by $2 billion during the next five years.

P&G Supports Campaign For Sustainable Forest Management In Carolinas

Procter & Gamble Company joined the American Forest Foundation, International Paper, and 3M Company to establish the Carolinas Working Forest Conservation Collaborative. Focusing on the Coastal Carolinas Plain, the campaign seeks to educate and work with family woodland owners to promote sustainable forestry, forest certification, improvement of habitats for endangered species, and conservation of bottomland hardwood forests in the region. As part of the initiative, the corporate partners will provide $285,000 to AFF to support the organization's forest sustainability efforts in North and South Carolina.

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May 16, 2017, to May 23, 2017

Givaudan Lays Foundation For New Fragrance Encapsulation Facility In Singapore

Givaudan Fragrances has started building a fragrance encapsulation facility in Singapore. According to the company, the planned facility is expected to improve the company's leadership position in encapsulation technology, as well as expand its production capabilities. Company CEO Gilles Andrier said, the investment will help the company achieve its 2020 strategy objectives. Expected to have 500 sq. meters with four levels, the planned facility will include a development laboratory, manufacturing technology, offices, and a warehouse.

L'Oreal Partners With Suez To Improve Sustainability And Resource Management

L'Oreal said it plans to improve water usage at some facilities and expand reuse and recycling of waste by improving materials recovery at all company sites. To help achieve this goal, L'Oreal will be working with sustainable resources management company Suez to develop processes that will enhance resource management at all industrial, administrative, and research centers in France and overseas. According to L'Oreal, its partnership with Suez will help the beauty brand achieve its objective of becoming a “circular economy,” integrating biodiversity, ecodesign, digitalization, and material reuse to its business operations.

Unilever To Buy Quala's Personal Care, Household Care Brands

Unilever will acquire the personal care and home care brands of Latin American consumer goods company, Quala. Established in 1980, Quala operates in 10 Latin American countries, including Colombia, Equador, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. Brands owned by the company include Savital/Savile haircare and skincare products, eGo male haircare and styling products, and Bio-Expert haircare products.

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May 09, 2017, to May 16, 2017

Watsons Kiosk In Shanghai Features YouCam Makeup App, Allows Customers To Virtually Try On Cosmetics

Retailer Watsons' flagship store in Shanghai features a kiosk that comes with augmented-reality-powered facial detection technology. Developed by Perfect Corporation, the YouCam makeup app allows customers to try on more than 30 products from leading makeup brands, such as MaxFactor, Maybelline, and Kate Cosmetics.

L'Oreal Paris Partners With The Glam App To Host The Academy Event

Beauty brand L'Oreal Paris is working with mobile on-demand beauty service provider The Glam App to help manage the Academy 2017 event involving 1,900 makeup, beauty, and hair stylists. To be hosted by The Glam App co-founder Joey Maalouf, the Academy event will feature famous beauty professionals, such as L'Oreal Paris celebrity makeup artist Sir John and leading hair stylist Jonathan Colombini. Also, the event will feature a VIP party, which will function as a networking event for stylists sharing tips and trends, and expanding client bases.

Shiseido's Clinical Trial Shows Retinol Products Improve Skin Wrinkles

Retinol active ingredients have “positive effect and efficacy” in improving skin wrinkles, according to Shiseido. Results of a clinical trial conducted by the beauty brand revealed that “retinol-formulated products” come with features that improve skin wrinkles. With Japanese women aged 37-54 who had shallow to deep wrinkles at their eye corners as study subjects, the clinic trial involved the women using the products for nine weeks. After the usage period, skin wrinkles showed improvement compared with those of women who used non-retinol products.

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May 02, 2017, to May 09, 2017

Clorox Turns On Fairfield Plant's Solar Power System

Clorox announced the company has activated the solar panel system at its Fairfield Cleaning facility in California. Capable of producing 500 kilowatts of electricity during daylight hours the ground-mounted system is designed to help the facility reduce its electric power consumption by a significant portion. According to the company, Fairfield Cleaning is the first company-owned facility with installed solar power system. Power Purchase Agreements built the system, as well as Clorox’s first installation at its leased regional warehouse in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Kao Partners With Hakuhodo Singapore To Launch Local Campaign For Biore UV Body Care Serum

Kao Singapore worked with Hakuhodo Singapore to launch a marketing campaign, promoting the Biore UV Body Care Serum personal care product. Aimed at office ladies, the campaign includes interactive educational content designed to let consumers take part in the “storytelling process.” For its mobile components, the campaign also features real-time engagement and marketing messages on conventional media.

Laneige Names Kingdom Digital Its Social Media Agency In Malaysia

Korean beauty brand Laneige's Malaysia business has awarded its digital and social media accounts to Kingdom Digital, following a competitive pitch in December 2016. Part of the digital media agency's responsibilities will include handling the brand's digital marketing initiatives. In particular, Kingdom Digital will take care of developing digital strategies, creating content, and conceptualization of creative campaigns.

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April 25, 2017, to May 02, 2017

Flossy Brush Launches Toothbrush That Comes With Flossing Aid

Start-up company Flossy Brush launched the Flossy Brush, an oral care product that combines the features and benefits of a toothbrush and a flossing aid. According to the company, the toothbrush comes in a “simple, clean and compact design”, with the product's one end working as a toothbrush and the other end designed as a flossing aid. Flossy Brush said the product is designed to deal with issues keeping some people from flossing: the need for hand dexterity and the time and inconvenience that usually come with flossing.

Procter & Gamble Posts Weaker Sales, Earnings In 3Q Of Fiscal Year 2017

Procter & Gamble Company said net sales declined 1 percent to $15.6 billion in the third quarter of fiscal year 2017, compared with the same quarter in the previous year. Organic sales increased 1 percent, with diluted net earnings per share dropped 4 percent to $0.93 from the previous year. Core earnings per share increased 12 percent to $0.96. Operating cash flow was $3.0 billion, the company said.

Shiseido's Prestige Brand Cle De Peau Beaute Opens Ginza Store

Shiseido Group's prestige brand Cle de Peau Beaute opened its brand store Cle de Peau Beaute Ginza Six in Ginza Six, a commercial complex in Tokyo. Located in the country's prime shopping address, the store is designed to represent the brand's value described by the company as the combination of beauty and science. In partnership with architect Tsuyoshi Tane, the brand came up with the design concept it calls “Brilliant Cell” for the store.
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