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La Prairie Builds Skin Caviar Franchise

Three fall launches are meant to help spur growth for the brand’s best-selling line.

PARIS — La Prairie is paving the way for the growth of its best-selling Skin Caviar franchise with three new offerings set to launch this fall.

“It’s the first building-block of the brand,” said Greg Prodromides, senior vice president of global marketing at La Prairie Group, referring to the line that generates about one-third of the label’s business globally.

To help make Skin Caviar Luxe Cream accessible to a wider consumer base a more sheer entrant will be introduced in September worldwide. Called Skin Caviar Luxe Cream Sheer, it targets people wanting a different texture, including those in emerging markets such as Asia, and more generally, clients who might intermittently be after a change from the original Skin Caviar Luxe Cream, like during hotter months. The sheer product could attract a younger audience, too.

The executive explained consumers aren’t just after another light product.

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“We wanted to create a luxe experience in a very sheer form,” he said.

“We wanted to keep the legendary lifting and firming power of Skin Caviar,” continued Marie-Laure Pons, vice president of global brand development at La Prairie Group.

That mission was accomplished, according to Jacqueline Hill, director of strategic innovation and science at the Beiersdorf-owned company, who said the sheer product gives both immediate and long-term results.

Some slight alterations were made to Skin Caviar’s fragrance, as well.

“In Asia, we intensively researched our consumers, and [some were] asking for a lighter version of this olfactive signature,” said Prodromides.

Asia — where “hyper-luxury” beauty has taken off — is a priority growth market for La Prairie.

A 1.7-oz. jar of Skin Caviar Luxe Cream Sheer will retail for $430 in the U.S.

La Prairie has also redesigned its foundation line, called Skin Caviar Concealer Foundation Sunscreen SPF 15, which will replace the existing offer (first out in 2002) in September in the U.S. and October in the rest of the world.

It is the merging of treatment and color cosmetics, according to Pons. The foundation has a formula enriched with a hexapeptides for increased firming results and contains pigments coated with botanical amino acids for better coverage and long-wear effect.

“There’s a more dewy, moist feeling to the foundation,” continued Hill.

Coming in a cobalt blue container, it exists in 17 shades, versus the dozen or so before. Each product also contains in its cap a concealer that’s a half-tone lighter for a “flawless” final look, said Pons.

The 1-oz. foundation, priced at $215, is another key to widening Skin Caviar’s client pool.

“Foundation is one of the products that very often will be the entry point of a consumer into a brand,” explained Prodromides. “Foundation is always a very natural bridge to skin care.”

It’s also a dynamic growth category sales-wise in most markets globally.

“We have been extremely happy over the last years with the performance of foundation, its ability to drive volume for us, and we are extremely optimistic about what this redesign will do for our business — for foundation and also skin care,” he said.

The Skin Caviar franchise’s sales could be given a boost in the order of 20 to 25 percent.

La Prairie executives would not discuss specific sales projections, but industry sources estimate the sheer cream and new foundation will together ring up about $100 million in retail sales during their first year.

A third project for La Prairie is a limited-edition crystal goblet that was created with Baccarat and holds 2.5 ounces of the Skin Caviar Luxe Cream. It will come out in October in all markets outside of the U.S., where it is to be introduced in November.

“There are a lot of commonalities in our history and our values,” said Prodromides of La Prairie and Baccarat, ticking off artistry, craftsmanship and passion as examples.

The groups married their most storied lines — Skin Caviar and Harcourt crystal, respectively — for Caviar Spectaculaire, which will come out in 1,500 pieces. In the U.S., each is to retail for $2,200.

With high single-digit gains last year, La Prairie’s sales have been growing significantly faster than that of the global selective skin-care market, which the company estimates rose between 1.5 and 2 percent.

“We ended 2014 gaining market share in all of our focus countries,” said Prodromides.

On a geographic basis, each of La Prairie’s four business zones — the Americas; Europe, Africa and the Middle East; the Asia-Pacific region and travel retail — generate approximately equal revenues.