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Critical Mass: Jane Cosmetics to Double Mineral Line

It is no longer enough to simply have a mass market mineral line.

NEW YORK — It is no longer enough to simply have a mass market mineral line.

Just ask Lisa Yarnell, president and chief executive officer of Jane Cosmetics. Her company was among the first to go mass with minerals with the launch of Be Pure. Sales soared, but she quickly saw a bevy of competitors join her on mass shelves. She knew she needed an encore.

In addition to reinforcing Jane’s mineral line’s value positioning, the company has a battery of new items set to hit the market in the first half of 2008. Jane will double its Be Pure product line to total 88 stockkeeping units. The company will also commit to its first national TV campaign.

Minerals have become a hot property at mass. According to ACNielsen data reported in November, minerals accounted for 4 percent of total cosmetics sales and industry sources said recent statistics reveal minerals hitting more than 10 percent. Without minerals, overall sales across color cosmetics in food, drug and mass would be down. With that said, almost every company is launching minerals and looking for a special market niche.

“We are the only one in value with a full line of lip, eye and face,” said Yarnell, who said a mass shopper doesn’t want to shell out the $13 retail price of some of the other widely distributed mineral offerings. A pricing survey by the firm found Jane’s retails of $3.99 to $6.99 were lower than competitors including Physicians Formula, Cover Girl, Revlon, Neutrogena, Maybelline, Almay and L’Oréal. Nielsen data also shows value is the fastest growing segment within total cosmetics.

“On a unit basis, Jane Be Pure grew double digits, surpassing Cover Girl and on par with Neutrogena, and this is due to the success of Be Pure as well as sell-through on holiday Be Pure kits,” said Yarnell. She firmly believes Be Pure is taking share from competitors, including those sold outside of the mass realm.

“We were also the only brand in drugstores with mineral kits,” said Yarnell. Retailers confirmed that the Be Pure mineral makeup in a box was a brisk seller for the holiday — supplanting fragrance gift sets in some circumstances. She added that minerals in general are bringing more shoppers to the drugstore.

Realizing face makeup is Jane’s strongest category, representing more than 40 percent of total sales, the company decided to expand its lineup. Face products are a destination category and higher dollar ring for retailers. Jane minerals are available in multiple forms including liquid foundation, powder foundation, pressed powder, loose powder, loose blush and press blush, as well as two new brushes. A few examples of the new lineup include Be Pure Mineral Skin Perfecting Foundation and Be Pure Mineral Oil Free Bronzers.

Despite the concentration in face, Jane has new lip pencils on tap as well as shadows. There are Mineral Gliding Liners, Mineral One Liners and Mineral Eye Lighter Shadows. Also in the lineup are Mineral Lip Balms.

One goal is to bring mineral use to young consumers, many not using face products. TV ads will be aimed at more users in the 18- to 34-year-old range.

Also new for the traditional Jane line are Max Lash2 Waterproof mascara, Extreme Mascara and EZ Gel Liner and Brush. The mascaras feature new-technology brushes.