Neutrogena’s launch of the Hydro Boost range marks the first time that the brand has brought over technology from Asia Pacific to the U.S. marketplace.

This story first appeared in the December 29, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

So, why now?

“Women in the [Asia Pacific] region have as many as 18 steps in their beauty routine, while in the U.S. they have an average of six,” said Michelle Freyre, general manager of Neutrogena. “We’re seeing the U.S. consumer becoming much more savvy and expecting more.”

The three-product assortment, which includes Gel-Cream, Water Gel and Gel-Cream Eye, each priced at $17.99, is made up of hyaluronic acid, glycerin and olive extract to lock in moisture and draw water into the skin.

Contradictory to its name, Water Gel doesn’t contain H20. “We don’t think that it will be confusing [for the consumer] because we’re talking about hydration and its benefits,” said Freyre, who added that the Hydro Boost line consists of 10 stockkeeping units in Asia and parent Johnson & Johnson will bring over more items to the U.S. in the future.

Freyre declined to discuss sales projections, but industry sources estimate that the Hydro Boost collection, which launches in January, could do $15 million in retail sales in its first year in the U.S.

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“In Asia today, hydration is the number-one skin-care benefit sought after by consumers in the 18-to-34 age range,” said Freyre. “It actually surpassed antiaging.”

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