NEW YORK — Lotta Luv, the company that introduced licensed candy cosmetics, now hopes to sweeten the bath-and-body category.

Just in time for back-to-school 2003, Lotta Luv will extend candy brands such as Bubble Yum and Tootsie Roll into bubble bath, bath gels and lotions, soaps and gift sets. The bath-and-body products will retail between $6 and $10.

"Imagine the impact we can make with soaps in the well-known candy packaging with incredible scents," said Steph Fogelson, president of New York-based Lotta Luv, a division of Skaffles Inc.

Lotta Luv is also adding to its candy concept, called Candy Corner, with new licenses. Joining renowned names such as Junior Mints, Blow Pop and Sugar Daddy are lip glosses, lip balms, nail polishes, glitter gels and accessories bearing the logos such as Pez, S’Mores, Jelly Belly and Gummy Bears.

To take advantage of the interest in candy brands, Lotta Luv is also adding accessories such as compact mirrors and key chains to the recipe. In conjunction with its parent, Skaffles, an accessory firm, the candy brands are also being featured in whimsical jewelry. For example, a necklace has a facsimile of a Sugar Daddy candy hanging on it.

"We continue to look for well-known candy licenses," added Fogelson. The company currently has the rights to roughly 24 confectionery brands from at least seven candy or snack manufacturers. And, Lotta Luv has also branched into snack and beverage brands with plans for items based on Nesquik, Cracker Jacks and Cheetos.

Candy Corner products are already prominently placed in specialty stores such as Claire’s, The Limited, Too and Dylan’s Candy Bar. Several leading chains, including Walgreen’s, CVS and Rite Aid, are also installing Candy Corner into cosmetics departments. CVS, for example, features a countertop display in its stores. With the addition of flavors and new items, Fogelson hopes to reach15,000 doors by yearend.

Industry sources estimate the entire candy franchise could cook up retail sales of about $40 million by yearend.

Now in its second year, Fogelson said Candy Corner has evolved to be more than just candy-flavored products. "We are even doing more custom molds so that a Jelly Belly compact mirror is actually in the shape of a jelly bean," he explained. The new Pez product has a lip balm with the Pez head doubling as a key chain.To date, bubble gum flavors have lead sales for Candy Corner, with chocolate coming in at number two. In addition to product placement in beauty — often in a teen department — Fogelson said many chains have had luck with selling Candy Corner at checkouts. "Some retailers are also thinking of trying to sell the items in candy," added Fogelson.

Lotta Luv isn’t the only manufacturer sweetening its selection. Worldwide Cosmetics and Added Extras have been looking at linking sweets with beauty. However, retailers said Lotta Luv has the most developed program.

The company has found another ravenous audience — women beyond the teenage years craving nonfat delights. Fogelson said, "my wife's friends can't get enough of them."

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