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A host of retailers — Whole Foods and Amazon included — are jumping into an entirely new category: natural personal hygiene for kids.
In time for back-to-school, these merchants, along with Meijer, Giant and Stop & Shop, will stock a new line called Fresh Kidz from Kind2Skin Ltd., a company based in the U.K. and founded by Michael and Roberta Harris. The pharmaceutical industry duo were seeking a solution to their grandchildren’s “funky smell,” and created the Keep It Kind brand, which includes a range of deodorants called Fresh Kidz.
Fresh Kidz, which contains no aluminum, no drying alcohol and no parabens, launched with success in Boots. The Fresh Kidz deodorants were previewed to U.S. buyers during last year’s National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Total Store Expo. Buyers said it was one of the most promising debuts of the show.
The company estimates Fresh Kidz could ring up sales of $1.8 million by the end of 2015, and grow to $9.8 million by the end of 2016. What’s notable is that it is incremental business since many of this target group is not currently using any product.
Fresh Kidz deodorants are dermatologically tested, but not tested on animals and the company eschews sexy or controversial advertising. The U.S. launch includes two items, one for boys and one for girls, priced at $4.99.
“It was essential to create a brand that parents could trust and, at the same time, we wanted to design the range so kids would always want to use them,” said Rochelle Diaz, the chief operating officer for Kind2Skin USA. “With the age of the onset of puberty continuing to fall, there is a substantial need for a collection developed exclusively for the five million eight- to 14-year-olds in the U.S.,” said Diaz, adding that 50 percent of kids are entering puberty before the age of 10. “The most important thing is to make the products really cool for kids, but make parents rest assure they are safe.”
The company has big plans to extend into a full assortment of personal-care items for the age group with body sprays most likely on tap next. The initial U.S. launch includes 1,500 doors with plans to expand to as many as 8,000 units by summer.
In addition to a large public relations push, Fresh Kidz will be promoted via social media, sample and trade support.