ORIGINS PORTRAYS NEW LINE AS FAMILY AFFAIR

Byline: J.L.B.

NEW YORK--Origins Natural Resources is launching an eponymous line of functional products intended for the whole family.
"We have decided Origins as a concept can go well beyond the vanity," said Daria Myers, vice president of marketing at Origins. "[The new line] is meant to go throughout the household and the family. Eventually we'll even have something for pets."
Origins will launch the dozen items in September exclusively in its own 20 freestanding stores. The company has no plans yet to introduce the collection in its 225 department and specialty store doors, according to William Lauder, vice president and general manager.
For now, Lauder said some of the new products would be "very much of a stretch in the department store world."
Some of the unusual items are Emergency Balm, a eucalyptus-based ointment for bug bites, nicks and burns, which will retail for $10 for a 1.7-oz. jar; Tisanes, four blends of calorie-free, dried-flower teas, which will retail for $8.50 for each 4-oz. package, and Deep Pore Facial Steamer, a 2-oz. bag of mixed herbs for $8.50.
Myers said Origins Natural Resources is based on botanicals, including dried fruit and herbs, giving it a distinct identity from the company's main line, which is based on essential oils.
She said the new products are meant to be folksy, "kind of like an old-fashioned pharmacy." The packaging is mainly recycled plastic and brown paper bags, and each label has a short anecdote or words of wisdom about the particular product. The names are straightforward, as opposed to the often tongue-in-cheek names of Origins' other products.
The other products in the Origins Natural Resources line are an 8-oz. pump bottle of Liquid Hand Cleanser for $10, an 8-oz. bottle of Gentle Baby Oil for $10, a 16.9-oz. bottle of Baby's Hair and Body Wash for $13.50, a 3.4-oz. can of Refreshing Body Powder for $10, and four varieties of bar soap for $6.50 each.
Origins Natural Resources is targeted as much at men as at women, Lauder said, noting that while about 10 to 12 percent of Origins' department store customers are men, close to 30 percent of the company boutiques' customers are male. He said men simply feel more comfortable in the shop environment than in the "beauty world" of a cosmetics department.
Lauder said because the company is trying the line on an experimental basis, Origins has not made a volume projection.
Other than mailing postcards and providing handouts on the line in its stores, the company will not advertise Origins Natural Resources in the fall. Executives declined to discuss the company's ad budget, but industry sources estimated Origins will spend more than $500,000 from July through February on advertising.
Lauder did say that Origins spends more than half of its ad budget on radio.
In October, Origins will launch Eye Doctor, its first eye cream. The company's other two eye products are Line Chaser, which smoothes the appearance of lines, and No Puffery, a 30-day antipuffiness treatment.
"We had a lot of customers asking for eye cream," said Maria Corbiscello, executive director of product development. "It's very serious, and we think it caters to every need men and women are looking for in the eye area."
Executives declined to discuss dollar projections, but industry sources estimated Eye Doctor will do 3 percent of Origins' total sales. With Origins' annual wholesale volume estimated to be about $45 million, Eye Doctor's sales could hit $1.35 million.
The formula contains ginseng to reduce darkness and centella asiatica to firm, Corbiscello said, adding Eye Doctor also counters puffiness and has antioxidants. A 0.5-oz. jar will retail for $25.
Myers said Origins will advertise Eye Doctor on local radio, in the October issue of New York Magazine and in the November issues of Allure, Glamour and Self. The ad and postcard read, "To watch crow's feet fly, just follow 'Doctor's' orders."
In Origins' tradition of cross-sampling, the company will hand out samples of Urgent Moisture, an intensive moisturizer, at counters during the launch.

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