By  on June 17, 2005

NEW YORK — Avon introduced three of its upcoming product innovations against the backdrop of its new Global Research and Development Center in Suffern, N.Y., last week. Each of the new items, namely Anew Alternative Intensive Age Treatment, Shine Supreme Lip Color and Extraordinary eau de parfum spray, will bow this fall and grace the cover of Avon brochures.

Avon's 225,000-square-foot R&D center, which opened in April, occupies the same plot of land as the company's first facility, built in 1897. The sprawling structure, which has a facade of glass and steel, houses more than 300 scientists and technicians, all of whom help to churn out 1,000 Avon products each year. It was designed by the architectural firm HLW International LLP.

"R&D is the heart and soul of the brand," said Janice Teal, group vice president and chief scientific officer, Avon Products Inc., adding that the company invested $100 million to build the facility, which stands in the former parking lot of Avon's former R&D center.

"We are truly committed to resourcing beauty," noted Jill Scalamandre, senior vice president of global beauty brands Avon Products Inc. Referring to the new facility, Scalamandre said, "It solidifies and shows the commitment we have to beauty."

During a tour of the center, Avon introduced three products, all slated to bow back-to-back in the fourth quarter. The first product, Anew Alternative Intensive Age Treatment, brings the Anew skin care franchise into the realm of Eastern healing. Described as an ‘herbaceutical,' Anew Alternative was designed to meld Eastern plant therapies with pharmaceutical-inspired technology. Avon partnered with research institutions in Thailand and China to develop the formula, which includes herbs such as Szechuan lovage root and neem flower, as well as Glycation-Reversing Technology, a patent-pending complex said to undo skin damage caused by aging.

According to Avon's consumer testing, 91 percent of women who used the product for two weeks saw more resilient skin. After continued use, 90 percent reported their skin looked and felt firmer. Anew Alternative will be available in September for $32, and supported by print and television ads, along with six million trial packets. Ad visuals will be used to convey product benefits by picturing two overlapping petri dishes — one containing an herb leaf and the other a molecular structure, along with the tag line, "Where Eastern Herbs Meet Western Technology." A second Anew Alternative product is slated for early 2006. "We see Anew Alternative growing into a major franchise," said Scalamandre.

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