NEW YORK -- As Tsumura International continues its push to become the premier bath company in department stores, Vitabath, the company's lead brand, is getting a makeover.
The classic Vitabath gelees and lotions will be repackaged in an effort to create a uniform look, according to Jean Brackenbury, vice president of marketing at Tsumura.
The new packaging is a white-on-white wave pattern with Vitabath printed in a different color for each of flavors. The change from the old packaging -- some of which was striped, some floral -- will take place at the end of June and beginning of July. "This repackaging updates Vitabath for a new generation," said Alfonso Lopez, president of Tsumura's Consumer Products Group. "There is still a lot of impulse buying in this category, and you have to telegraph to the consumer that this product is great."
Visual consistency is a key factor in attracting a customer, Lopez said, noting that in its quarter-century-plus on the market, Vitabath has been repackaged a dozen times. Tsumura acquired the brand five years ago.
In addition to giving Vitabath a new look, Tsumura is adding a new flavor, Vitabath Fresh, which -- as with the Vitabath Gold and Vitabath Sensitive lines -- will be in limited distribution to department stores. Fresh is intended for all skin types and has a floral scent.
Thomas Day, vice president of sales, said that with the repackaging and the new scent, "a 50-percent increase would not be unreasonable" for Vitabath's volume this year. In 1993, the four existing flavors together did about $25 million at retail, he said.
Day noted that the Vitabath is running 27 percent ahead year-to-date, despite a 5 percent decline last year. The industry's recent focus on the bath and body category, Day said, has helped revive the brand, which he said is the only prestige bath brand to have unaided recall among consumers.
The July introduction of Fresh in Vitabath's 2,500 prestige doors is part of the company's strategy to build the brand's department store business, Brackenbury said.
The original Vitabath and Vitabath Plus are also distributed in 7,500 drugstores, Day said.
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