NEW YORK — Nivea for Men is expanding into body care this spring with the hopes of winning over male users of body lotion.

This story first appeared in the December 21, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Beiersdorf AG-owned brand, which began marketing men’s shaving and facial skin care products in the U.S. mass market in 2001, has developed six new items, including its first body lotion, two shaving products and three body washes.

“This is the first step for us outside of our normal realm of face care,” said Joseph Venezia, marketing director for Beiersdorf Inc., Beiersdorf’s U.S. subsidiary.

Discussing demand for a men’s body lotion, Venezia cited market research conducted over a six-month period in 2006 in which 52 percent of men aged 18 and older used a body lotion. Twenty-nine percent were “heavy” users, applying body lotion at least six times a week.

“They were using the brand that happened to be in the household,” said Venezia, who claimed that with Nivea for Men’s body lotion, called Revitalizing Body Lotion ($4.99 for 8.4 oz.), the brand is “first to market with a men’s body lotion.”

When it comes to body washes, Nivea for Men will enter a category occupied by brands like Axe, Old Spice, Dial, Neutrogena and Adidas. Still, “The evolution away from bar soap has continued to fuel growth in the men’s body wash category,” said Venezia, adding, “body wash continues to grow at a double-digit rate.”

The Nivea for Men body wash range will include Cool, Sensitive and Energy versions and each will come in a 16.8-oz. size ($4.99), as well as an 8.4-oz. size ($3.49).

The two shaving products have been given the Extreme Comfort moniker and there is a shaving gel ($3.99 for 7 oz.) and a post-shave balm ($6.99 for 3.3 oz.).

Plans call for the six products to reach drugstores, mass discounters and grocery chains between January, when the products are shipped to retailers, and April, when they are expected to be on shelves at more than 33,000 doors. Industry sources estimate that combined, the items could generate more than $30 million in first-year retail sales.

Venezia said the shaving products’ silver and dark blue packaging is intended to give the items an upscale feel. “We’re shooting for the high-end razor user,” he said. Their price points are up to $1 higher than existing Nivea for Men shave gels and aftershaves.

“In the past, we haven’t put a lot of emphasis on shaving,” said Venezia. “Our focus has been more on aftershave. The other inspiration behind Extreme Comfort is that men love high-tech toys and this has new technology and an upscale feel.”

The shaving products’ so-called “natural microtechnology” is designed to help ingredients like chamomile and licorice root extracts penetrate the hair and skin for “a more comfortable shave,” said Venezia. The Extreme Comfort products are intended to fit into Nivea for Men’s “advanced skin care” regimen, said Venezia, which also includes the brand’s Q10 antiaging lotion and eye cream.

The men’s face care category in the mass market, which includes preshave, shaving, aftershave and facial treatment products, stands at roughly $320 million, according to Venezia, with the exception of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which accounts for about 30 percent of the total market. The category is growing at a mid- to high-single-digit rate, Venezia added.

“Premium shaving products are accounting for a lot of the growth,” he said, “and [facial skin] care is still a growing category.”

Guys 25 to 34 years old are driving the category, according to Venezia, who added, “He’s concerned about his appearance, into his first or second job, has disposable income and wants to look good and feel confident,” said Venezia.

An advertising campaign for TV, print and online is planned for the new Nivea for Men products, but has not been finalized. The items will also be supported via cross promotions in the women’s skin care aisle as well as on product packaging. “We definitely want to use our existing user base to drive volume on these new products,” said Venezia.

Some retailers will merchandise the body lotion and body washes in men’s grooming sections, according to Venezia, while others will sell them in the bath-and-body care aisle. He also noted some existing Nivea for Men products will likely be phased out on a chain-by-chain basis to accommodate the new items, but he did not specify which products might be taken off the market.