By  on November 5, 2010

NEW YORK — Ulta is putting its vote into natural bath and body with the rollout of a new line from Aromafloria called Healing Waters. Healing Waters is hitting all 388 Ulta doors at a time when the retailer is aggressively updating its stores with upscale fixturing and a focus on boutique presentation.

The line will be merchandised in Ulta’s prestige bath and body area near other Armafloria brands Ulta has stocked. Ulta is the launching pad, but Healing Waters is being presented to department stores and spas for launch next spring.

The timing appears right for natural products. Railroaded by a tough economy, the growth pattern of the natural category flattened over the past year. But retailers and manufacturers believe interest is returning. In fact, recent Mintel research predicts the natural segment “is poised to resume rapid growth once consumer spending begins to recover from the current downturn.” There’s a great deal of potential, too, since Mintel found that one-third of all consumers have never tried organic or natural personal care products, suggesting that there is plenty of room for growth in the market.

Sharon Christie, founder and chief executive officer of Aromafloria, couldn’t agree more. “Consumers are very interested. It’s part of their everyday life. Consumers want what they should have had all along and that is good, wholesome, safe products that work,” she said. While some shoppers have shied away from natural fearing the products aren’t as efficacious, Christie said Healing Waters delivers. “Many companies have created ‘natural’ products as a sway to pursue consumers and to gain market share. The ingredients in these products may not have been quality ingredients, the formulations may not have been effective and the products were not always esthetically pleasing,” she said. That led to some market perception that natural didn’t always work.

The team at Aromafloria is trying to overcome this by creating products Christie said result in a positive experience. “We combine the art of science with the art of wellness to provide consumers with products that are benefit driven, easy to use, smell good and feel good,” she said. Christie calls upon her background as a pharmacist and aromatherapist to create her products.

The essential healing benefits of the ocean and earth are brought together in Healing Waters Body Mineral Bath Treatment, Body Purifying Treatment, Body Exfoliating Treatment, Body Smoothing Treatment, Body Firming Treatment and Travel Kit. “We have meticulously designed Healing Waters with the user and the planet in mind,” added Christie. Plans call for an entry into facial skin care with a face mask, and the company is also looking to the fragrance category as part of future development for Healing Waters.

Prices range from $16 for the Travel Kit to $24 for the Body Exfoliating Treatment. The range contains only natural ingredients compatible with Ecocert standards. Aromafloria products have been marketed since 1985 and include Sensory Fusion, Organics, Mixology and Stress Less.

Retailers agreed that with shoppers letting loose of purse strings, natural ingredients are once again garnering attention. “We are seeing many more natural launches that have better results,” said one buyer. “The trend stretches from high end to mass.”

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