Henkel’s Schwarzkopf sees plenty of potential in the $8 billion U.S. mass hair-care market.
After launching its Ultîme hair-care collection exclusively with Wal-Mart in January 2015, Schwarzkopf is rolling the Claudia Schiffer-created line nationally to the mass market this month. To sweeten the offer, Schwarzkopf is launching a new line of products for dry and damaged hair called Essence Ultîme Amber + Oil Nutrition.
“We added this to have something to cater to the growing desire to address damaged hair,” said Daniel Langer, senior vice president and general manager of Henkel Beauty Care North America. He said a keratin formula teamed up with amber oil reduces hair breakage. Essence Ultîme Amber + Oil Nutrition collection includes a shampoo, a conditioner, a leave-in serum and a 60-second treatment all line-priced at $7.99. Schwarzkopf is also launching a new styling collection, Styliste Ultîme Amino-Q Hold ,which includes a hairspray, a mousse and a gel also line priced at $7.99. Industry sources believe the added distribution could push Ultîme’s volume into the $40 million range.
The national rollout is just the beginning for the company, which has a goal to gain a bigger footprint in the U.S. hair market. “We are the hair experts in other parts of the world. We see great opportunities because few consumers are 100 percent happy with their hair. They are willing to try something new,” Langer said.
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While Schwarzkopf Ultîme is still a relatively fresh face in American drug, discount and supermarkets, parent Henkel has well-established U.S. brands. Its Got2b hair-care line ranks as the second bestseller in the styling category, according to IRI. Henkel also muscled in to the U.S. grooming business thanks to the purchase of The Dial Corporation in 2004 and the Right Guard brand, which it nabbed from Procter & Gamble’s Gillette in 2006. Henkel had been mentioned as a suitor for the hair-care business of Procter & Gamble prior to Coty’s $12 billion blockbuster deal.
The company also has a salon presence with the Schwarzkopf Professional line, along with Alterna, Sexy Hair and Kenra brands. Langer said Ultîme, which is positioned on shelves between entry level and salon brands, benefits from Henkel’s worldwide strength and experience in salons. “We aren’t selling just a shampoo, we are selling solutions. To be successful we need to take an approach to combine our retail and professional solutions that are relevant,” he said. “There is always opportunity in serving consumers better.”