By  on October 7, 2011

NEW YORK — British import beauty brand I Love…Cosmetics last week used a New York City icon — a food cart — to introduce its fruity skin care products to Duane Reade shoppers.

Doling out samples of gelato and products, the cart, stationed at Duane Reade’s bustling 40 Wall Street unit, attracted more than 700 people Sept. 29. Lines wrapped around the store’s main building at some key traffic times and word of mouth spread quickly in the neighborhood about the freebie treats.

Sampling was also provided at Rockefeller Center, Union Square and Herald Square as the fledgling brand looks to shake up the skin care business. The brand’s scents dovetail nicely with gelato flavors, such as Mango & Papaya, Coconut & Cream and Strawberries & Milkshake. Food carts have become a popular vehicle for beauty companies with other brands; Urban Decay used them as a distribution point during fashion week in conjunction with free pizza coordinating to a new color palette.

“The idea to use the gelato sampling came out of a brainstorming session with our promotional marketing partner,” said James Brown, founder of I Love…Cosmetics who added that the carts, which will be featured at other locales throughout October, match the fun-living image of the brand. “I Love…Cosmetics was born from a desire to make fun, functional, affordable bath and body products that are designed to make people smile. We feel there is a real niche in the marketplace for products that incorporate wow fragrances, amazing performance and vibrant colors.”

I Love…Cosmetics was one of the new brands singled out by buyers attending the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Marketplace meeting in Boston last June. Since being previewed there, it has been picked up by Duane Reade, Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, Navarro, Fred Meyer, Pamida Stores, Kmart, Lewis Drug, Drugstore.com, cvs.com, walgreens.com and AAFES.

While Brown is targeting bath and skin first, there are expansion plans into lip balms and gloss in 2012. New seasonal fragrances will also bow next year, such as Tropical Paradise for summer. The current offer includes bubble baths, shower smoothies, body butter, lotions hand creams and gift sets. Prices range from $5.99 for a 2.5-ounce hand cream to $9.99 for a six-bottle gift set. “We are thrilled to introduce our brand to the U.S. market,” said Brown. “The products are already popular throughout Europe and Canada and we are excited to share the line with American consumers.”

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