By  on November 12, 2004

NEW YORK — With an attractive facial care business in place, Olay’s New Year’s resolution is focused on enhancing its body image.

In February, the Procter & Gamble beauty brand aims to broadly enter the declining hand and body lotion category with Olay Quench, a four-item line said to “break the cycle of dry skin.”

Olay intends to bolster the category the same way it has revved up mass skin care with Total Effects and Regenerist, declared Michael Kuremsky, general manager of Olay for North America. Sales in the hand and body lotion category have slipped 4.5 percent to $743.4 million for the current period (excluding Wal-Mart), according to Information Resources Inc.

Olay has made inroads into body care with brand extensions such as Total Effects antiaging body lotion and, more recently, Olay Moisturinse, a moisturizing lotion that is applied in the shower. Since it bowed in June, Moisturinse, which is sold in the body wash aisle, has generated $3.4 million in sales in mass-market retailers (excluding Wal-Mart), according to IRI.

While Total Effects and Moisturinse target two niche segments, Quench is intended for the masses. “The body care category is a wide-open frontier, and now we have the consumer proposition with Quench to really go after it,” said Kuremsky. P&G would not break out sales, but industry sources estimate Quench could generate $50 million to $60 million in sales, enough to earn a spot among the top five brands in a category lead by players such as Vaseline, Nivea and Aveeno.

According to P&G consumer research, 80 percent of women have dry skin, and more than 70 percent report they are dissatisfied with their current body lotions.

Enter Quench. Its mission is to encourage loyalty in a category where consumers are notoriously fickle. “We are going to break the cycle of dry skin. To do this, we looked at the science behind what causes the dry skin cycle to make a continuous loop, and why current lotions approach it superficially and simply temporarily diffuse it,” said Kuremsky.

After four years of research, P&G said it has cracked the code of dry skin. According to Olay, Quench relies on an amino vitamin complex to do four things: hydrate skin, renew it by removing older skin cells, replenish moisturizing agents like humectants and repair skin’s lipid or moisture barrier against environmental conditions. This cycle of hydrate, renew, replenish, repair, is what will make skin healthy and radiant, explained Kuremsky.

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