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Maui Moisture Brings Superfood Trend to Mass Market Hair Care

The new Johnson & Johnson-owned hair-care brand is banking on consumers staying on the wellness bandwagon.

Vogue International is banking on consumers staying on the wellness bandwagon.

The Johnson-&-Johnson-owned-firm that oversees hair-care-brand OGX is launching a new line in January 2017, Maui Moisture, with formulas based in aloe juice and ingredients inspired by the indigenous botanicals of Hawaii. 19 skus will rollout next year to 40,000 doors in the U.S., including Ulta, Walgreens, CVS, Target, Wal-mart and Kroger. Each product is priced at $9, and industry sources estimate the line could do $70 to $100 million in retail sales in its first year on shelves.

“We believe the hair-care aisle is going to change,” said chief marketing officer Dana Paris on the impetus for the new line. “It’s been all about celebrity-driven, salon-inspired hair-care for the last 30 years. Consumers are looking for something different, they want their food and what they’re buying to be of a more ‘free-of’ positioning.”

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The “free-of” positioning Paris refers to is a host of ingredients like parabens, sulfates, phthalates and mineral oils, which Maui Moisture is formulated without. The brand is also advertised as gluten-free.

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The Maui Moisture products are solution-driven and organized into six ranges that target specific hair-care needs, each one harnessing a different natural ingredient — Nourish and Moisture Plus Coconut Milk, Heal and Hydrate Plus Shea Butter, Anti-Breakage Plus Agave Nectar, Smooth and Repair Plus Vanilla Bean, Curl Quench Plus Coconut Oil and Thicken and Restore Plus Bamboo Fibers. Aside from shampoo and conditioner, there are styling and treatment options available in each range, like the Nourish and Moisture Weightless Oil Mist for dry hair.

Aside from the food-based ingredients, the line’s packaging — done up in splashy colors and featuring photo renderings of fresh fruit — was designed to resemble a juice bottle. Paris said the company is banking on customers making an intrinsic connection between healthful ingredients and an all-natural product. “The positioning aligns with what [consumers] want to ingest and put in their bodies,” she said.

With the bulk of recent beauty launches being targeted at a Millennial customer, Paris emphasized that Maui Moisture is not a play for a younger consumer. Vogue International’s OGX is a “true Millennial line”, Paris noted — customers are encouraged to mix and match products from its different ranges and “have fun with it.” Maui Moisture, she noted, speaks more to the general consumer trend of having health and wellness concerns impacting buying decisions.

“We’re going for a more natural consumer,” said Paris. “We anticipate a lot of moms picking up this product, people who are really dialed in to what they’re bringing into their homes.”

Johnson & Johnson completed its acquisition of Vogue International for $3.3 billion earlier this summer. Paris told WWD that the new parent company will help OGX and Maui Moisture expand internationally — Vogue International is sold in 38 countries. Maui Moisture products will roll out to Asia and Australia by summer 2017 and Europe in 2018.