Alberto VO5’s Nourishing Oasis.

NEW YORK — Alberto VO5 is expanding its role in hair care with Nourishing Oasis, a restorative, heat-activated shampoo and conditioner range that looks to fill a gap in the midpriced hair care arena.<br><br>For the first time, Alberto-Culver is...

NEW YORK — Alberto VO5 is expanding its role in hair care with Nourishing Oasis, a restorative, heat-activated shampoo and conditioner range that looks to fill a gap in the midpriced hair care arena.

This story first appeared in the November 14, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

For the first time, Alberto-Culver is stepping outside the value-priced tier — its shampoos generally retail for $1 — and into the $2-plus range. The move signals the manufacturer’s realization that the midpriced hair care segment needs an innovative brand with a point of difference.

To that end, beginning in February, Alberto-Culver’s new eight-item line ships to the mass market. It has been designed to differentiate itself from the fray with top notes that are released in warm or hot water, increasing the fragrance strength 130 percent.

Three fragrance houses worked on Nourishing Oasis’ four varieties: Soothe & Smooth with Honey & Almond; Calm & Condition with Lavender & Chamomile; Refresh & Replenish with Jasmine & Aloe, and Energize & Volumize with Citrus & Vitamin C.

Each stockkeeping unit was named by aromatherapy mood and hair benefit rather than by hair type to better meet the needs of women.

“We feel women don’t look for hair care that way,” said Lori Schulte, marketing manager for Alberto VO5.

Alberto VO5’s R&D director, Randy Schueller, said that in addition to the fragrance punch, shampoos are formulated with no-strip skin cleansing ingredients. Conditioners, he added, contain a patented dual-action formula to seek out damaged hair to deliver ultrafine silicone molecules to coat hair cuticles.

Schueller emphasized Nourishing Oasis’ thick formulas by comparing a sample of it to a competitor’s conditioner on a napkin. “You can see that the competition’s sample has a ring surrounding it. That’s water,” Schueller pointed out. The VO5 sample did not have a similar ring.

The company expects Nourishing Oasis to generate $25 million in sales its first year on shelves. The line will be supported by a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign, beginning in March, to include print and TV efforts.

Packaging for the line sports elongated shapes and colorful containers.

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